Federal judge rules in merger cases

March 5, 2011

WASHINGTON — Late Friday, March 4, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates issued several rulings regarding the pending cases regarding the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association — SMWIA v. UTU and Murphy et al. v. SMWIA.

Initially, Judge Bates granted the motion to consolidate the cases before him.

He also ruled that the claims regarding whether the merger ever took place, as well as other merger related claims, should go before an arbitrator to decide, and that he could make no ruling on those issues.

With regard to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) Title I and Title V claims concerning the validity of the merger, Judge Bates found that those were not within the arbitrator’s jurisdiction and would remain with him.

However, he ruled that he will hold those claims in abeyance pending the outcome of the arbitration.

Judge Bates also granted the individual UTU members’ motion to intervene with regard to the LMRDA claims.

As matters develop, further information will be posted at www.utu.org.