United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DANIEL SARAUER, DARYL BARTSCH, RANDALL BRACE, JOANN CAPTAIN, PETER ENGELEITER, RANDOLPH KUBATSKI, STEVEN LEITZKE, MICHAEL STINEMATES, DONALD ZAGAR, and DANIEL ZASTROW, Plaintiffs,
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, DISTRICT 10, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, ROCK RIVER LODGE 2053, and MAYSTEEL INDUSTRIES LLC (ALLENTON FACILITY), Defendants.
DECISION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
E. JONES United States Magistrate Judge.
issue in this case is whether the date of either contract
ratification or contract execution constitutes the date when
a collective bargaining agreement is renewed, extended or
modified for purposes of applying the Wisconsin right to work
law. For the reasons discussed below, the Court holds that
the date of contract ratification, demonstrating that a
meeting of the minds has occurred, is the operative date, not
contract execution. Accordingly, defendants’ motion for
summary judgment will be granted and plaintiffs’ motion
for summary judgment will be denied.
Factual and Procedural Background
factual recitation that follows is derived from
Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendants’ Findings of
Fact (“PRDPFP”), ECF No. 40. It may read a little
choppy, but the Court has tried to set out only facts that
plaintiffs do not dispute.
Negotiation of the 2015 CBA
many years, Maysteel Industries (“Maysteel” or
“Company”) and International Association of
Machinists, District 10 and Rock River Lodge 2053
(collectively “Union”) have been parties to
collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) covering workers at
the Allenton, Wisconsin facility. The prior CBA had effective
dates from March 4, 2012, to March 4, 2015 (hereafter
“2012 agreement”), and the new agreement has
effective dates from March 2, 2015 to March 4, 2018
(hereafter “2015 agreement”). PRDPFP ¶ 1,
ECF No. 40.
Union sent a timely letter to Maysteel to negotiate a
successor to the 2012 agreement. Negotiations over the 2015
agreement began in January 2015. A committee of bargaining
unit employees, with the assistance of Business
Representative Scott Parr bargained for the Union. Dave
Dembinski, Kevin Matkin, Darci Boettcher and Mark Mertzig
bargained for Maysteel. Dembinski was the Company’s
lead spokesman. Id. ¶ 2.
Maysteel bargaining unit had a history of voting down
contracts. When Parr began bargaining, he informed both the
members and the Company that he intended to obtain
ratification on the first vote no later than March 4th, the
expiration date of the prior agreement. Id. ¶
parties kept a “living document” (or
“summary document”) of tentatively agreed-upon
proposals which were typically initialed or signed by Parr
and Dembinski. Once all proposals were tentatively agreed
upon, they were combined into a “tentative
agreement.” Negotiation regarding all items save the
specifics of the break times were completed by February 27,
2015. Id. ¶ 4 During negotiations, the parties
agreed to change from two breaks to one, and from a 20-minute
lunch to a 30-minute unpaid lunch. There was never a
contractual provision or proposal on when such breaks were
provided. Id. Similarly, the 2012 CBA did not
specify when breaks were to occur. Id. ¶¶
6 & 8.
company did not want to specify break times in the agreement
but proposed that the Union poll employees, then the Union
and company would agree from there. The tentative agreement
stated that “the specific time of the rest period will
be established by the company and the committee by April 1st
of 2015.” Id. ¶¶ 2 & 7.
focused on changes to the existing CBA as had been the
parties’ tradition. They did not bargain from scratch.
If no changes to the 2012 language were proposed, the
existing language would be included in the next agreement.
Id. ¶ 5.
collective bargaining agreements negotiated by the Union are
subject to ratification. After negotiations concluded, but
prior to ratification, the tentative agreement was sent by
Boettcher to Parr by e-mail. The Company also provided enough
copies of the tentative agreement so that it could be
distributed to the Union’s membership at the
ratification meeting. Id. ¶ 14.
tentative agreement was submitted to the Union’s
membership on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Parr believed the
Union had gotten everything that they could out of the
Company and recommended that the membership ratify the
agreement. Id. ¶ 17.
ratification meeting, Parr explained that the members were
voting on the existing CBA as modified by the changes
reflected in the tentative agreement. Before voting started,
Parr explained all the changes included in the tentative
agreement. He observed that no modifications had been made to
the union security provisions during the negotiations and
that the membership was ratifying the continuation of
provisions of the prior agreement, which would include the
union security provisions. Maysteel and the Union agreed that
the new CBA would include all existing provisions of the 2012
agreement plus all changes to the language tentatively agreed
upon during negotiations. After this explanation, the members
ratified the contract on February 28, 2015. Id.
¶¶ 18 & 19.
Brace, at that time a Union member, attended the ratification
meeting; the remaining plaintiffs, not being members of the
Union, did not attend. Id. ¶¶ 13 & 20.
on February 28th or the next day, Dembinski asked Parr if
they could make the new wage rates effective March 2nd.
Dembinski indicated that the contract would have taken effect
March 5th, but he agreed to pay the new wages for the entire
week. March 2 was a Monday and the first day of the
Company’s payroll period. This early implementation
allowed the Company to avoid ...