United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 135, Plaintiff,
SYSCO INDIANAPOLIS, LLC, Defendant.
ENTRY ON MOTION TO DISMISS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
cause is before the Court on Defendant Sysco Indianapolis,
LLC's, Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 13). The motion is
fully briefed, and the Court, being duly advised, hereby
DENIES the motion for the reasons set forth below.
case arises out of a dispute between the Plaintiff, Teamsters
Local Union No. 135 (“Union”), and the Defendant,
Sysco Indianapolis, LLC (“Sysco”). The facts as
alleged by the Union in its Complaint are as follow.
Union and Sysco entered into a collective bargaining
agreement (“CBA”) effective March 3, 2013. While
negotiating that agreement, “Sysco proposed ending its
participation in and withdrawing from the Central States,
Southeast, and Southwest Areas Pension Fund (“Central
States”) for bargaining unit employees and enrolling
them in the Sysco Corporation Retirement Plan.”
Complaint at ¶ 8.
As an inducement to obtain the Union's agreement on its
proposal to withdraw from Central States and enroll the
employees in its retirement plan, Sysco representatives
explained to the Union's negotiators that in addition to
the base retirement benefits under the Sysco plan, the
bargaining unit employees would receive a Supplemental Early
Retirement Benefit (“SERB”) of $500 per month
between the ages of fifty-five and sixty-five. The SERB would
be available to bargaining unit employees who retired before
the age of sixty-five, provided they had twenty years of
overall service with Sysco, at least ten of which were in
delivery and/or warehouse positions, and at least two of
which were immediately preceding retirement.
Id. at ¶ 9. The Union agreed to Sysco's
proposal. However, after the CBA was ratified, “Sysco
representatives informed the bargaining unit employees that
there were additional requirements for retiring employees to
obtain the SERB, which would effectively make the SERB an
illusory benefit, and which were not mentioned when the CBA
was negotiated and ratified.” Id. At ¶
10. That led to some bargaining unit employees who retired
early with the expectation of receiving the SERB not being
eligible for it.
Seward, a member of the bargaining unit, filed a grievance on
behalf of himself and all other bargaining union employees
regarding the “post-ratification changes to the
SERB” and asking that the bargaining union employees
“be made whole in all ways.” Id. at 14.
The grievance progressed through the stages set forth in the
CBA and ultimately was heard by the Joint Grievance Committee
(“JGC”). On January 22, 2014, the JGC summarily
ruled in favor of the Union.
to Article 9 of the CBA, “[a]ny decision reached by a
majority of members of the Joint Grievance Committee which is
not referred to arbitration by either party within (10)
calendar days from receipt of the written decision shall be
final and binding on the parties.” Dkt. No. 2 at 7.
Sysco apparently did not seek arbitration of the decision.
The Union now asks this Court for the following relief:
1. A permanent injunction enforcing the Joint Grievance
Committee decision and directing Sysco to comply with the
decision by either providing the equivalent of the SERB
benefit directly to all eligible bargaining unit employees
who retire in the future, or by reforming the terms of the
Sysco Retirement Plan to ensure that the SERB benefit is paid
to all eligible employees; and
2. A judgment confirming and enforcing the Joint Grievance
Committee in [sic] decision in its entirety and directing
Sysco to make the employees and the Union whole for monetary
damages incurred as a result of its unlawful refusal to
comply with the decision.
Complaint at p. 5.
moves to dismiss the Union's Complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). In resolving this
motion, the Court must “accept all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and view them in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff.” Lavalais v. Village of Melrose
Park, 734 F.3d ...