UTU, SMWIA arbitration set for June

April 21, 2011

Arbitrator Michael H. Gottesman will hear presentations by the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association during five days of arbitration in June to determine whether the merger agreement between the UTU and the SMIWA is an enforceable agreement.

Gottesman, a law professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., was named to arbitrate the dispute by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka following a March 4 ruling of Federal District Court Judge John Bates.

The choice of Gottesman was jointly approved by UTU International President Mike Futhey and SMWIA National President Mike Sullivan.

Judge Bates, in his March 4 ruling, 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.

Gottesman will hear evidence from each organization June 7-9 and June 14-15. There is no deadline on his issuing a ruling.