1849 Driver v. UAW Region 2B
Case No: 1849
The PRB’s jurisdiction over appeals related to the processing 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. Here, the International Representative relied heavily on the fact that two witnesses were willing to testify against Appellant, who was a low seniority employee. In addition, other employees had described Appellant as combative in the workplace. The International Representative also recognized that increasingly workplace violence is treated more seriously than such incidents may have been viewed in the past. Generally, incidents involving physical contact, such as is alleged to have occurred in this case, are viewed as far more serious than verbal aggression. These considerations provided a rational basis for the Representative’s decision to reach a settlement.
Appellant correctly points out that sound arguments could have been made in her defense if the Union had proceeded with arbitration. However, the settlement assured that Appellant was able to return to work instead of risking an unfavorable arbitration decision or awaiting a decision no better than the settlement terms. Appellant also argues that she rescinded her initial agreement to the settlement. The Board finds no evidence to suggest that she was pressured to accept the terms of the conditional reinstatement. She appears to have accepted willingly, even if she later reconsidered this decision. In the end, however, this issue is immaterial to the outcome of this case because the Union is not required to obtain a member’s consent before settling a grievance.