Union says West Virginia-American Water is violating collective bargaining agreement

By Bree Gonzales | Jan 29, 2019

CHARLESTON — A labor organization is suing a water company citing an alleged violation of collective bargaining agreement provisions.

Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 1353 filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against West Virginia American Water Company alleging that it wrongfully and without proper factual or legal basis refused to participate in the grievance and arbitration process.

According to the complaint, the union local alleges that on July 16, 2018, it commenced grievance proceedings under the CBA in connection with the termination of employee Jimmy Mitchell by WVAWC. Article V of the CBA provides for a three-step grievance procedure and a process for appeal to arbitration. The company has refused to participate in Stage 3 of the grievance process.

The plaintiff holds WVAWC responsible because allegedly the CBA has no provisions or terms that permit WVAWC to refuse to arbitrate a grievance.

The plaintiff seeks a judgment declaring that WVAWC is obligated to proceed to arbitration of the grievances and that WVAWC has breached its obligation in failing and refusing to do so and ordering WVAC to proceed to arbitration without delay on the Mitchell Grievance, as well as costs incurred and such other and further relief as is just and proper. It is represented by Vincent Trivelli of The Law Office of Vincent Trivelli, PLLC in Morgantown.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number 2:18-cv-01522 

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The Law Office of Vincent Trivelli, PLLC U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Charleston Division

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