Construction Workers' Trust Fund et al v. Spiniello Companies, Inc.
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge J. Frederick Motz on 1/20/2017. (hmls, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS’ TRUST
FUND, ET AL.
SPINIELLO COMPANIES, INC.
Civil No. – JFM-16-3526
This is an action by four employee welfare benefit plans and by a management-labor
association as defined by the Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978. Plaintiffs have
alleged that defendant has not made required contributions to them under a collective bargaining
agreement. Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss which will be treated as one for summary
judgment because it refers to matters outside of the Complaint.
The issue presented is whether defendant was party to any collective bargaining
agreement. Plaintiffs allege that the collective bargaining agreement was signed by Spinello
Construction Company – which defendant alleges is unrelated to it – in 1994, and that the
agreement continued to renew itself in perpetuity by reason of an “Evergreen Clause” that it
contained. However, this agreement was not extended beyond 1996 but was terminated by the
Union and the Maryland Heavy and Contractors Association, Inc. every three years from 1996
through 2017. When an Evergreen Clause is nullified, the collective bargaining agreement is not
automatically renewed, but rather is terminated, changed and replaced with new terms and
conditions. See Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 331 NLRB 205 (2000). Moreover, in 2005,
defendant notified the Union that it would assume the 2005-2008 collective bargaining
agreement negotiated by the Union and the Association but only on a projects specific basis, i.e.
for a specific project. Further, on January 29, 2008, the Union contacted defendant to advise it
that it intended to re-negotiate and not automatically renew the 2005-2008 collective bargaining
agreement. Defendant never entered into negotiations with the Union and never authorized the
Association to negotiate on its behalf. In 2014, the Union contacted defendant with a request
that defendant enter into a new collective bargaining agreement but defendant refused to sign the
collective bargaining agreement.
Plaintiffs rely upon the fact that the defendant made contributions for 11 employees.
However, defendants point out that the 11 employees constituted only approximately 1% of its
Maryland employees, and that the statement was made by mistake.
A separate order granting defendant’s motion to dismiss, treating it as a motion for
summary judgment, is being entered herewith.
Date: January 20, 2017
J. Frederick Motz
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?