6th Cir (Collective Bargaining): United Steelworkers v. Saint-Gobain Ceramic (WD KY 10/30/2006)

United Steelworkers v. Saint-Gobain Ceramic
Western District of Kentucky at Louisville
Arbitration (collective bargaining agreement; untimely grievance)
06a0402p.06 10/30/2006

SUTTON, Circuit Judge. General Drivers, Warehousemen and Helpers, Local Union 89 v. Moog Louisville Warehouse, 852 F.2d 871 (6th Cir. 1988), held that the application of an express time-limitations bar in a collective bargaining agreement prohibiting the arbitration of untimely grievance appeals presents a substantive question of arbitrability for a court to decide, as opposed to a procedural question for an arbitrator to decide. Consistent with that decision, the district court in this case granted the company’s motion to preclude arbitration as a matter of law based on the late filing of a grievance appeal. Like two prior panels of this court, we have serious misgivings about the soundness of Moog’s reasoning. See Armco Employees Indep. Fed’n v. AK Steel Corp., 252 F.3d 854 (6th Cir. 2001); Raceway Park, Inc. v. Local 47, Serv. Employees Int’l Union, 167 F.3d 953 (6th Cir. 1999). But like those panels, we are constrained to follow Moog and therefore affirm.

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