1822 Cowan v. UAW Local Union 600

Case No: 1822


The PRB’s jurisdiction over appeals related to the handling of grievances is limited to claims that the matter was improperly handled because of fraud, discrimination, or collusion with management, or that the disposition or handling of the matter was devoid of any rational basis.  The Board agrees with Appellant that termination was a severe penalty under the circumstances.  Nevertheless, despite the Company’s harsh stance, the Union achieved a fair settlement of the termination grievance at a relatively early stage in the process.  Most importantly, the settlement restored Appellant’s employment.  In addition, the Board finds it significant that Appellant expressly agreed to the settlement terms.  It is also worth noting that, if the PRB were to set aside the settlement agreement and reinstate the grievance, Appellant would return to the status of a terminated employee.  The Company could refuse further settlement negotiations and insist upon arbitration.  An arbitrator might sustain the termination, or order reinstatement, but without any back pay.  Appellant could potentially lose far more than she gave up by accepting the settlement agreement.