Arbitrator named in UTU-SMWIA merger dispute

March 25, 2011

Pursuant to a March 4 ruling of a federal district court judge, an arbitrator has been named to determine whether the merger agreement between the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) is an enforceable agreement.

Georgetown University law professor Michael H. Gottesman has been named by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka as the arbitrator — a choice approved jointly by UTU International President Mike Futhey and SMWIA National President Mike Sullivan.

In his March 4 ruling, Federal Judge John Bates said a separate action brought by several UTU members, challenging the validity of the merger — alleging violations of Titles I and V or the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act — is not within the arbitrator’s jurisdiction and that he would delay a ruling on that complaint pending the outcome of the arbitration.

Arbitrator Gottesman earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and his law degree from Yale University.

He teaches labor law, constitutional law and civil rights at Georgetown University.

Gottesman held an appointment from President Jimmy Carter to review hundreds of candidates for federal court vacancies, and has published numerous articles for law journals. His latest article, “The Role of Labor in the 21st Century,” will be published later this year by the Columbia University Law Review.

As matters develop, further information will be posted at