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International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local No. 24 v. Chesapeake Firestop Products Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 26, 2017

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HEAT & FROST INSULATORS & ALLIED WORKERS LOCAL NO. 24, Plaintiff,
v.
CHESAPEAKE FIRESTOP PRODUCTS, INC., Defendan.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          THEODORE D. CHUANG United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local No. 24 (the "Union") has filed suit against Defendant Chesapeake Firestop Products, Inc. ("Chesapeake") alleging breaches of a collective bargaining agreement and a settlement agreemen.. The Union, asserting its right to proceed in federal court under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA",, 29 U.S.C. S 185 (2012), seeks damages based on amounts due and owing under both of these agreements. Pending before the Court is the Unionss Motion for Summary Judgment. Chesapeake has failed to file an Opposition to the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         I. The Collective Bargaining Agreement

         The Union is a labor organization that represents employees in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Chesapeake has, in the past, employed workers who were members of the Union. On September 25, 2015, as the termination date of an earlier collective bargaining agreement between the Union and Chesapeake drew near, the parties[1]entered into a Retroactivity Agreemen.. The Retroactivity Agreement provided that the parties would "maintain in foil force and effect the terms and conditions of the most recent collective bargaining agreement between the parties" until a "successor collective bargaining agreement-could be agreed upon or until either party declared "further negotiations for such successor agreement to be at an impasse." Joint Record ("J.R.") 002. It further stated that any collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the Union and the Insulation Contractors' Association of Washington, D.C. (the "ICA") "shall be applied by the parties hereto as a successor to the parties' current agreemen,, and shall remain in full force and effect as the collective bargaining agreement between the parties in accordance with the term of such agreement." Id. Finally, the Retroactivtty Agreement provided that any successor agreemen,, including an agreement between the Union and the ICA, would be applied "retroactively to October 1, 2015, as if such successor agreement has been negotiated and agreed to on or before that date." Id.

         On October 1, 2015, as contemplated in the Retroactivity Agreemen,, the Union and the ICA entered into a collective bargaining agreement for the period from October 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019 (the "ICA Agreement"). Under the ICA Agreemen,, employers agreed to, as relevant here: (1) deduct union dues from consenting employees in the amount of 3.5 percent of wages plus an additional deduction per hour; (2) make contributions to the National Apprenticeship Fund on behalf of each employee covered by the ICA Agreemen;; (3) deduct fees from the paychecks of consenting employees for the Political Action Fund; (4) make contributions to the Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Labor-Management Cooperative Trust ("LMCT") on behalf of each employee covered by the ICA Agreemen;; (5) remit the union dues, National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, and Political Action Fund fees to the Union by the 15th day of the month following the month in which such hours were worked; and (6) remit the LMCT contributions on a monthly basis. Employers were also required to provide a monthly remittance report listing the names, social security numbers, pay periods, hourly pay rate, gross pay, and amount of union dues deducted of each covered employee. The parties agreed that a "penalty in the amount of eighteen percent (18%)" would be levied in the event an employer made late payments of Union dues or benefits. J.R. 032.

         Pursuant to Paragraph 2 of the Retroactivtty Agreemen,, Chesapeake was bound by the provisions of the ICA Agreement applicable to employers. Nevertheles,, from January 2016 through December 2016, Chesapeake failed to remit any Union dues, National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, Political Action Fund fees, or LMCT fees.

         The Union filed this lawsuit on April 14, 2016. On July 13, 2016, Chesapeake submitted outstanding remittance reports for the months from January 2016 to May 2016. The remittance reports reflect the following amounts owed:

• January 2016: For 648 hours worked by four employees, Chesapeake was required to remit $867.25 in Union dues, $32.40 in LMCT contribution,, $32.40 in National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, and $25.92 in Political Action Fund fees.
• February 2016: For 801 hours worked by four employees, Chesapeake was required to remit $1, 014.51 in Union dues, $40.05 in LMCT contribution,, $40.05 in National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, and $32.04 in Political Action Fund fees.
• March 2016: For 533 hours worked by four employees, Chesapeake was required to remit $713.34 in Union dues, $26.65 in LMCT contribution,, $26.65 in National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, and $21.32 in Political Action Fund fees.
• April 2016: For 512 hours worked by four employees, Chesapeake was required to remit $685.24 in Union dues, $25.60 in LMCT contribution,, $25.60 in National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, and $20.48 in Political Action Fund fees.
• May 2016: For 533 hours worked by four employees, Chesapeake was required to remit $740.11 in Union dues, $27.65 in LMCT contribution,, $27.65 in National Apprenticeship Fund contribution,, and $22.12 in Political Action Fund fees.

         Despite submitting these reports, Chesapeake did not make any of those payments. On October 21, 2016, Chesapeake submitted remittance reports for June 2016 through October 2016. Those reports reflected that no employees ...


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