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Union's Suit For Arbitration Against Steel Company, Plus Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

US v. Walker, 08-4680, concerned a challenge to the district court's conviction of defendant for bank robbery and brandishing a firearm, and a sentence of 277 months and one day in prison.  In affirming, the court held that the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence of the firearm obtained during a search of his duffel bag as, on the record, it is fair to say that the search was reasonably designed to discover weapons that might pose a threat to the officers' safety.  The court rejected defendant's claim for resentencing as he has not shown that any error, even assuming for the sake of argument that one occurred, affected his substantial rights.


US v. Bowers, 08-5595, involved a prosecution of defendant for conspiracy to posses, with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of powder cocaine and fifty grams or more of crack cocaine.  In dismissing defendant's challenge to the district court's imposition of a below-Guidelines-range sentence of 262 months of imprisonment and ten years of supervised release, the court held that it lacks jurisdiction to hear defendant's appeal of the grant or denial of a sentence reduction pursuant to those sections on Booker "reasonableness" grounds, as the Supreme Court has recently clarified that Booker does not apply to district court's decision to reduce (or decline to reduce) a final sentence under 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c)(2) and/or Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b).

Int'l Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, Local Lodge 1943  v. AK Steel Corp., 09-3425, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment to the union, ordering the parties to submit the question of the substantive arbitrability to an arbitrator, in a union's action against a steel company, pursuant to section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, seeking an order to compel the company to arbitrate the substantive arbitrability of ninety-three grievances.

In reversing and remanding the matter, the court held that the Transition Agreement governs grievances which arise during the Transition period and are based on violations of the Transition Agreement.  The court concluded that the Transition Agreement did not include a "clear and unmistakable" provision that the substantive arbitrability of the union's grievances would be determined by an arbitrator, but rather, it explicitly exempted the Transition Agreement from the 2007 Agreement. Lastly, the issue of substantive arbitrability of grievances arising under the Transition Agreement, as well as the antecedent question of whether a grievance arises under the Transition Agreement must be determined by a court.

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