U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number



2009 Term

Oral Argument Date

January 19, 2010


Questions Presented

1. Does a federal court have jurisdiction to determine whether a collective bargaining agreement was formed when it is disputed whether any binding contract exists, but no party makes an independent challenge to the arbitration clause apart from claiming it is inoperative before the contract is established?

2. Does Section 30l(a) of the Labor-Management Relations Act, which generally preempts otherwise available state law causes of action, provide a cause of action against an international union that is not a direct signatory to the collective bargaining agreement, but effectively displaces its signatory local union and causes a strike breaching a collective bargaining agreement for its own benefit?

Case Updates

Supreme Court rules on arbitration of labor agreeements

June 24, 2010

The Supreme Court ruled that a court, not an arbitrator, must decide when and whether an employer and a labor union have agreed to arbitrate a particular dispute as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

September 03, 2009

NCLC urged the Supreme Court to reverse a Ninth Circuit decision that an arbitrator should decide whether a binding contract was reached during collective bargaining negotiations between Granite Rock Company and its unionized workers. In this case, Granite Rock negotiated with Teamsters Local 287 a collective bargaining agreement providing for arbitration in lieu of worker strikes. The local union now denies ratifying the agreement. In its brief, NCLC argued that federal courts have jurisdiction to determine whether a binding contract was reached, not an arbitrator. Precedent in other arbitration cases dictates that such a decision is subject to judicial review.

Case Documents