United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
William C. Lee, Judge United States District Court
matter is before the court on a motion to take judicial
notice filed by Defendants United Steel, Paper and Forestry,
Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service
Workers International Union (“International”) and
its Local 115T (collectively, “the Union”), on
September 16, 2016. The other parties have not responded or
objected to the motion.
before the court is a motion for summary judgment filed by
the Union on September 16, 2016. The plaintiff, Daniel Reed
(“Reed”), filed his response on October 14, 2016,
to which the Union replied on October 31, 2016.
on September 19, 2016, defendant Ardagh Glass, Inc.
(“Ardagh” or “the Company”) filed a
motion for summary judgment. Reed filed a response to the
motion on October 17, 2016 to which Ardagh replied on
November 4, 2016.
following reasons, all three motions will be granted.
court will first discuss the motion to take judicial notice.
The Union requests the Court to take judicial notice of the
following Indiana state court documents, which have been
submitted as exhibits:
1. February 11, 2010 restraining order against Reed issued by
the Jay County, Indiana, Circuit Court.
2. February 23, 2010 permanent injunction against Reed issued
by the Jay County, Indiana, Circuit Court.
3. March 26, 2010 motion for order of contempt filed in the
Jay County, Indiana, Circuit Court.
4. March 26, 2010 Chronological Case Summary entry regarding
contempt hearing date setting issued by the Jay County,
Indiana, Circuit Court.
5. April 30, 2010 Order on Sanctions of the Jay County,
Indiana, Circuit Court on contempt motion.
6. May 24, 2010 motion to correct errors filed by Reed on the
contempt order filed in the Jay County, Indiana, Circuit
7. June 30, 2010 Order Denying Motion To Correct Errors by
the Jay County, Indiana, Circuit Court.
8. July 29, 2010 Notice of Appeal From Trial Court filed by
Reed over the contempt order with the Jay County, Indiana,
9. August 29, 2011 Indiana Court of Appeals opinion affirming
ruling of trial court denying motion to correct errors on
noted, there is no objection to the motion. The court will
grant the motion.
the court will turn to the motions for summary judgment.
Summary judgment must be granted when “there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). A genuine issue of material fact exists when
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Not
every dispute between the parties precludes summary judgment,
however, since “[o]nly disputes over facts that might
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law”
warrant a trial. Id. To determine whether a genuine
issue of material fact exists, the court must construe all
facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and
draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.
Heft v. Moore, 351 F.3d 278, 282 (7th Cir. 2003). A
party opposing a properly supported summary judgment motion
may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own
pleading, but rather must “marshal and present the
court with the evidence she contends will prove her
case.” Goodman v. Nat'l Sec. Agency, Inc.,
621 F.3d 651, 654 (7th Cir. 2010).
July 23, 2015 Complaint, Reed alleges that the Union breached
the duty of fair representation they owed to Reed after his
former employer and co-Defendant Ardagh Glass, terminated him
on February 12, 2010. Reed also alleges that Ardagh Glass
breached the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“
CBA”). The Union and Ardagh Glass have filed separate
motions for summary judgment.
following facts are relevant to both motions. Keith Olmstead
is a Staff Representative for USW District 7. Olmstead has
held this position since October 29, 1995. As a Staff
Representative, Olmstead negotiates contracts on behalf of
USW local unions and the International. These contracts
include grievance-arbitration procedures that allow actions
by employers to be challenged as being inconsistent with the
applicable contract. Olmstead meets with local union
officials and companies to try to resolve grievances that
have been filed once they have reached the applicable step of
the contractual grievance-arbitration procedure. If Olmstead
and the local union cannot resolve the grievances with the
Company, Olmstead has the authority to advance grievances to
arbitration. Olmstead is responsible for presenting
arbitration cases on behalf of the International and the
local unions he represents for grievances that have been
advanced to arbitration. He has handled more than fifty
2005, the USW and its Local 115T have been the exclusive
collective bargaining representative for the Mold Makers and
Mold-Making Apprentices who work at the Company's
Dunkirk, Indiana facility. A separate Dunkirk facility
bargaining unit is represented by Local 124 of the Glass,
Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Union
(“GMP”). The Union and the Company were parties
to a CBA effective between September 1, 2008 and August 31,
2013. GMP and Local 124 negotiated separate collective
bargaining agreements with the Company. The CBA between the
Union and the Company included a five-step
grievance-arbitration procedure in Article 25 that could
culminate in “final and binding” arbitration.
Under this procedure, the arbitrator could not add to,
subtract from or modify any provisions of the CBA.
was a bargaining unit employee who was employed by the
Company from July 6, 1998 until his termination on February
12, 2010. Between 2004 and 2010, he was the President of USW
Local 115T. Reed went on sickness and accident disability
leave from the Company on January 7, 2010. On January 25,
2010, while he was still on sickness and accident disability
leave, Reed was on Company property. The Company contended
that Reed did not have permission to be on its property at
that time. Reed alleges in his response to the motion for
summary judgment that he went to the plant to obtain a
write-up because he was investigating the Company's time
clock policy which he believed had led to inconsistent
discipline among the union members he served. (Reed Decl
¶¶ 4, 5).
evening of January 26, 2010, while still on sickness and
accident disability leave, Reed went on the Company property
again. The Company again contended that Reed did not have
permission to be on its property. On that day, a
confrontation occurred between Reed and Company Supervisor
Tim Coleman and Reed was asked to leave the Company property.
During this confrontation, Reed testified that Coleman twice
told Reed that Coleman had orders to “throw [Reed]
out.” (Reed Dep. p. 86; Reed Dep. Ex. 11). In response,
Reed testified that he told Coleman that he had three
choices: 1) Coleman could get the Company's supervisor
and plant manager Kim Pratt on the phone; 2) Coleman could
call the police; or 3) Coleman could throw Reed out. (Reed
Dep. p. 86). Reed made similar admissions about his January
26, 2010 confrontation with Coleman in his written statements
outlining his version of the events of that day. (Reed Dep.
Ex. 11; Reed Dep. Ex. 22). Reed again claims that he was on
Company property to conduct union business.
February 1, 2010, the Company sent Reed a letter informing
him that he was suspended pending termination for his actions
during the January 26, 2010 incident. (Olmstead Decl. ¶
8, Ex. 2). The suspension letter stated, in relevant part:
This decision has been made due to the behavior you displayed
on January 26, 2010 whereby you were blatantly insubordinate
towards management, and inevitably created a hostile work
environment for both management and non-management personnel.
February 12, 2010, the Company converted Reed's
disciplinary suspension to a termination. (Olmstead Decl.
¶ 10, Ex. 3). The termination letter stated, in relevant
This action was taken in part because, on January 25 and 26,
2010, you threatened SGCI supervisors; trespassed on company
property when you had no right to be in the plant; and, after
having been specifically told not to be on plant property,
engaged in blatant ...