United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED-INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO-CLC AND ITS LOCAL NO. 1693 PLAINTIFF
LLFLEX, LLC d/b/a ORACLE PACKAGING, INC. DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (DN 5). The motion is ripe. For the reasons below,
the motion is GRANTED.
LLFlex, LLC (“Company”) is an Illinois
corporation which owns and operates a facility in Louisville,
Kentucky, with employees represented by Plaintiff United
Steel, Paper and Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy,
Allied-Industrial and Service Workers International Union,
AFL-CIO-CLC and Its Local No. 1693 (“Union”), a
labor organization under the Labor Management Relations Act
of 1947, 29 U.S.C. §§ 141-197. (Compl. ¶¶
3-4, DN 1). The Company and the Union are parties to a
collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) that
covers terms and conditions of employment for certain
employees. (Compl. ¶ 5; Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. 1,
at 2, DN 5-1 [hereinafter CBA]). The Union alleges the
Company violated the CBA in January 2018 when it altered
retiree healthcare plans to require affected retirees to pay
a share of the premium costs related to those benefits.
(Compl. ¶ 7).
provides for a three-step grievance procedure followed by
final and binding arbitration. (Compl. ¶ 8). In December
2017, the Union filed a grievance protesting the
Company's decision to shift premium costs to retirees as
a violation of the CBA. (Compl. ¶ 9). When there was no
resolution through the grievance procedure, the Union moved
the grievance to arbitration, but the Company refused to
arbitrate. (Compl. ¶ 9-11).
Union brought this action to have the grievance at issue
deemed arbitrable and to have the Company ordered to
arbitrate the grievance pursuant to the procedures described
in Article XV of the CBA. (Compl. 3). The Company now moves
to dismiss the Union's Complaint for lack of standing and
for failing to state a claim. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 2-3,
8, DN 5). The Union contends that it does have standing to
bring these claims on behalf of the affected retirees, that
the presumption of arbitrability directs the Court to find
the grievance arbitrable, and that the language of the CBA is
broad enough to include retirees. (Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s
Mot. Dismiss 2, 10, 14, DN 13 [hereinafter Pl.'s Resp.]).
Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 and 29 U.S.C. § 185(c).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
a complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) is proper when
the Court determines it lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over a claim, including when a plaintiff lacks standing.
Ward v. Alternative Health Delivery Sys., Inc., 261
F.3d 624, 626 (6th Cir. 2001) (standing is “thought of
as a ‘jurisdictional' matter, and a plaintiff's
lack of standing is said to deprive a court of
jurisdiction.”). Motions to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction fall into two categories: facial attacks
and factual attacks. United States v. Ritchie, 15
F.3d 592, 598 (6th Cir. 1994). Facial attacks challenge
subject matter jurisdiction as to the sufficiency of the
pleadings. For facial attacks courts will consider the
material allegations in the complaint as true and construe
them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Id. Factual attacks challenge subject matter
jurisdiction as to the facts alleged in the pleadings, in
which case courts weigh conflicting evidence and resolve
factual disputes in determining whether there is
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a court “must construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiff, accept
all well-pled factual allegations as true” and
determine whether the “complaint states a plausible
claim for relief . . . .” League of United Latin
Am. Citizens v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir.
2007) (citation omitted); Wingo v. Tenn. Dep't of
Corr., 499 Fed.Appx. 453, 454 (6th Cir. 2012) (citation
omitted). To survive a motion to dismiss, the pleading
“must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 677 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Mere statements of legal
conclusions are insufficient for avoiding a 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss. Id. at 678. A claim is plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” In re
Harchar, 694 F.3d 639, 644 (6th Cir. 2012) (internal
quotation marks omitted) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677).
Company challenges the Union's complaint on the
sufficiency of its pleadings, which is a facial attack.
Accordingly, the Court will consider the Union's factual
allegations as true in deciding whether it has standing to
bring this claim on behalf of retirees. See Ritchie,
15 F.3d at 598.
standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, a
plaintiff must suffer an injury that is fairly traceable to
the challenged action, for which a favorable decision from
the court could provide redress. Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife,504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). The Sixth Circuit
has held that “where a union and company bargain for
retirees' benefits and include the benefits in their
contract, the union has standing to represent the retirees in
any dispute ...