1768 McCombs v. Local Union 2250
Case No: 1768
McCombs’s rejection of settlement offers in April and May 2014 would not on its own provide a rational basis for the local union’s rejection of this resolution of his grievance. The local union representative is expected to act in the member’s best interest based on his or her experience and superior knowledge of the grievance resolution process. McCombs’s testimony revealed why the local union did not want to agree to his reinstatement in 2014 or 2015; he was still taking narcotics for pain caused by a work-related injury during that period. It now appears evident that the local union committeeperson wanted to delay McCombs’s reinstatement until he got his use of narcotics under control.
The settlement negotiated by the International Union in September 2017 that would have allowed McCombs to be reinstated for the purpose of retiring as an active employee provides significant advantages to McCombs. McCombs explained that he rejected the settlement agreement because it would have amounted to an admission of guilt. He insists that he is entitled to a review of the 2013 incident by a panel of skilled trades experts and a declaration that his actions were appropriate. The settlement negotiated by the International Union, which may or may not still be available, provides recognition of McCombs’s many years of service to the company and eliminates the risk that he might be reinstated only to face discharge again for insignificant violations. There was never a path to the kind of civil suit that McCombs envisions. The union achieved through negotiations a better result for McCombs than he would have been likely to receive if his grievance had been submitted to the Umpire for arbitration