Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Arbitrator Drastically Limits Remedy Available to MWA Employers

Breaking News...The labor arbitrator in the MWA case rejected the employer associations’ demand for an award from the District Council and Funds of more than $60 million. Arbitrator Rosemary Townley, in issuing her remedy award, rejected most of the MWA employers’ demands and instead awarded a retroactive wage amount of $8 million.

She also ruled that she doesn’t have jurisdiction under the MWA collective bargaining agreement to hear claims related to benefit fund contributions because such claims have to be determined by a different arbitrator under different procedures. That means that the Funds are owed more than $3 million in delinquent contributions from those MWA employers dating back to May 2012 and that any employees whose medical coverage was reduced should have coverage fully restored.

The original grievance was filed by the MWA, which moved it to arbitration. The grievance involved the MWA’s claim that its employers in the architectural millwork industry are competitors with a District Council signatory shop that does work for trade show displays.

Nevertheless, the arbitrator had determined back in May 2012 that the MWA millwork employers were competitors of the trade show shop and its agreement with the Distinct Council should apply to the MWA. The remedy award that was just issued was to settle disputes between the District Council and the MWA regarding the full scope of the remedy available to the MWA employers.

The District Council’s officers and staff leadership, along with legal counsel, are reviewing all options based upon the arbitrator’s remedy award.

Read the Arbitrator's Official Decision below.



  1. This is good news, to owe $0 would be better, but $8 million is better than $59 million. And $3 million of it will be going right back in the benefit funds. Now we can move on.


      Can we trust the District Council going forward? It was District Council who negotiated with the employer, approved the arrangement and put it in place.

  2. Move On, another uninformed opinion. NOT ONE RED CENT! W/out the proper correction this sham is doomed to be repeated. We can not move on till the dirty Shiel Deal is exposed for what it was UBC set up!

  3. Good job by our leadership on fightng the MWA. This is a major victory for our union. Prop's to them on their battle and victory.

  4. I am not one for conspiracy theories BUT
    1) the union itself was active in CREATING this situation and
    2) was happy to put it in the system making it official AND
    3) was too eager to try to cut off those 200 or so rank and file affected regarding health benefits.

    I wonder if MWA problem was a test by District Council to GET OUT OF PROVIDING MEDICAL.
    This was just a test case with a sample of rank and file.

    And truth be told - if the EMPLOYERS were not fighting for money those rank and file would be out of luck regarding medical - it was NOT the union fighting for membership here.

  5. Can someone post the briefs filed by each side with the arbitrator.

    She was out of her area of judicial expertise to issue the initial orders and had to do some major back-peddling to save face here; yet, she is still wrong. This case shall turn of the definition of competitor and application of the All Writs Act. The D.C. does not owe one red cent to anyone. Spencer & McCarron had the ball under the Trusteeship imposed by the UBC International. It was their responsibility and the UBC Internationals corporae legal counsels job to vett every contract prior to execution and they failed miserably at tha simple task.

    The NYC District Counsel in-house attorney (Murphy), EST Bilello, the Executive Committee & the Delegates need to sue the UBCJA International and it's Officers and go after their insurers & re-insurers.

    You wanna fight McCarron EST Bilello, now is your chance. The February EST love-fest down in Florida would be a great time to start the conversation. Let him putt out first though (be a sport), then serve him with the suit.

  6. Anonymous said:  Can someone post the briefs filed by each side with the arbitrator. The briefs submitted by the parties in September were part of the Fifth Interim Report of the Review Officer. I posted the briefs here.

  7. are the lower benefits paid since may 2012 stay they are right now or the employers will be obligated to pay the difference?

  8. is any new information if the DC agreed to pay the award or the RO will use federal court to impse decree? what will happen to the MWA benefits now?
    are the MWA copmanies gonna pay the lower benefits and it is against the contract? They cut them without court decision and it is a wrongful action
    affecting us? please post all possible action .

  9. What are the odds that the DC won't agree?

    Anyone know WHY the Union created the separate agreement with lower benefits?

    Just who was the union looking to screw over?


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