Timeliness, functus officio, mitigating circumstances, and use of force

Arbitrator erred in determining timelines of a grievanceThe Fifth Circuit has effectively vacated an award of Arbitrator Daniel Jennings (here), concluding that the Arbitrator's reliance on the execution date of the contract rather than its ratification date triggered the start of the timeline for the filing of a grievance. Southwest Airlines Company v. Local 555, Transport Workers Union of America. TWU Local 555 sought to arbitrate Southwest's use of non-union vendors to clean the interior of its aircraft. The cba called for a ten day period from the date of the union's knowledge of the alleged violation for the filing of a grievance. The dispute in this case turned on whether that ten day period started on the ratification date or the execution date of the cba. The cba provided that the cba would become effective "when [it] is accepted by the Company and ratified by the membership." The cba was ratified on February 19, 2016. It was actually…

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