United States District Court, E.D. Missouri
For Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff: Christopher N. Grant, Loretta K. Haggard, LEAD ATTORNEYS, SCHUCHAT AND COOK, St. Louis, MO; Matthew G. Holder, DAVID VAN OS & ASSOCIATES, P.C., Austin, TX.
For YP Holdings, LLC, Defendant: Gina Moshiri, James N. Foster, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEYS, Stephen B. Maule, MCMAHON AND BERGER, St. Louis, MO.
ORDER DENYING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order (" TRO" ). A hearing was held July 3, 2013, at which counsel for both parties appeared. Plaintiff (" the Union" ) and Defendant are parties to a collective bargaining agreement (" CBA" ) that is effective through December 6, 2013. For the reasons set forth below, the motion for a TRO will be denied.
Defendant, which employs approximately 1,000 employees and whose principle business is the sale and print of online advertising, notified the Union on November 30, 2012, of a force adjustment that would result in the elimination of numerous jobs in the St. Louis, Missouri, area.
Several employees holding " Artist" and " Directory Artist" positions who were to be laid off sought to displace, or " bump," junior employees in five " Creative Artist" positions that were to remain in St. Louis. The employees invoked Article XVII of the CBA, which provides:
If an employee with over ten (10) years of service is to be laid off . . ., the employee may elect, provided the employee is physically qualified, to accept a lateral transfer or a downgrade to a previously held job title in the same metropolitan area occupied at that time by another employee with less seniority.
The employees' requests were denied and the Union filed four grievances on the employees' behalf on March 5, 2013. The grievances convened directly to the second step and are subject to binding arbitration. But the Union decided to hold the arbitration in abeyance, to assess its options. Thereafter, on April 19, 2013, Defendant informed the Union that the five positions the grievants sought to be bumped into would be moved to Georgia, effective July 5, 2013. The Union filed the present motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction on July 1, 2013, requesting a hearing on July 3, 2013. The Union seeks to prevent Defendant from relocating the five positions in question pending the completion of the arbitration regarding the grievants' bumping rights. The Union argues that the relocation of the positions will deprive the grievants of their " bumping" rights, and " would undermine the pending grievances and render them a nullity in abeyance because employees can only bump positions in their metropolitan area." The Union's position is based on its premise that once the positions are relocated, the arbitrator will be unwilling to undo what has already been done, and thus the grievants would suffer irreparable harm.
Defendant argues that the Union's motion should be denied because, among other reasons, the Union has not and cannot demonstrate that it has no adequate remedy at law or that it will suffer irreparable harm if preliminary injunctive relief is denied. According to Defendant, the remedies contemplated by the parties' CBA and readily available to the arbitrator are more than adequate to remedy the Union's or the grievants' claimed injury. At the hearing, Defendant further argued that it would suffer irreparable harm if the Court enjoins it from making ...