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Socalgas Union Agreement

UWUA is proud to welcome Hawaii Water Workers to its ranks, the latest bargaining unit to join the National Union. Their time in the union was, in many ways, an example of how the positive experiences of public service workers as members of the UWUA can be implemented to bring the benefits of a union contract to others. Denise King, a spokeswoman for SoCal Gas, said the distribution company was « pleased to have reached a preliminary agreement that will allow us to continue to provide excellent service to our customers and employees a fair set of wages and services. » I am one of the 50,000 members of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA). My union made a big difference in my life by making sure I could support myself and my family from my pension work. My colleagues in particular and I have partnered with UWUA and negotiated for higher wages, better social benefits and increased job security. An arbitrator`s arbitral award « must derive its essence from the contract and cannot simply reflect the arbitrator`s own conceptions with respect to industrial justice. »   E. Associated Coal, 121 p.Ct. at 466 (cite United Paperworkers Int`l Union, AFL-CIO v. Misco, Inc., 484 U.P. 29, 38, 108 pp.c. 364, 98 L.Ed.2d 286 (1987));  United Food & Commercial Workers Int`l Union, Local 588 v. Foster Poultry Farms, 74 F.3d 169, 172 (9th Cir.1995).   »The arbitrator cannot ignore the simple language of the contract;  But parties who have allowed the arbitrator to understand the language of the agreement should not be dismissed by a court on the grounds that the arbitrator misread the contract. Misco, 484 U.S.

at 38.   An arbitrator`s decision must be a plausible interpretation of the CBA. Ass`n of W. Pulp & Paper Workers, Local 78 v. Rexam Graphic, Inc., 221 F.3d 1085, 1090 (9th Cir.2000).   It is clear that « the award that directly conflicts with the contract cannot be a `plausible interpretation`. Frederick Meiswinkel, Inc. v. Laborer`s Union Local 261, 744 F.2d 1374, 1377 (9th Cir.1984) (cited Pac. Motor Trucking v.

Auto. Machinists Union, 702 F.2d 176, 177 (9th Cir.1983)). The district court had jurisdiction over the company`s application to expel the arbitrator`s order pursuant to 29 U.S.C§ 185.   We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C§ 1291.   We review a district court decision rejecting the expulsion of an arbitral award, using the same standard as that applicable to « any other district court decision by which an agreement is reached between the parties ».   The first options of Chicago v. Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938, 947-48, 115 p.ct. 1920, 131 L.Ed.2d 985 (1995).   We must accept factual findings unless they are clearly false and decide de novo legal issues.  Id.

at 948, 115 p.C. 1920.   »[T]he arbitrator`s interpretation of what their agreement means. »   E. Associated Coal Corp. v. United Mine Workers, Dist. 17, 531 U.P. 57, 121 pp.c. 462, 466, 148 L.Ed.2d 354 (2000).   However, « an arbitrator`s arbitral award is not bulletproof. »   Hawaii Teamsters & Allied Workers Union, Local 996 v.

United Parcel Serv., 241 F.3d 1177, 1182 (9th Cir.2001).   There are « three exceptions to general compliance with an arbitrator`s arbitral award: (1) if the arbitral award does not concern « its nature in the collective agreement »;  2. where the arbitrator exceeds the scope of the matters submitted;  and (3) if the award is contrary to public policy. SFIC Properties, Inc. v. Int`l Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 311, 103 F.3d 923, 925 (9th Cir.1996).   Based on the undisputed facts summarized above, we are obliged to set aside the arbitrator`s arbitration award, as it does not derive its essence from the collective agreement and flagrantly violates public order when it exposes members of the public to serious violations or death due to the conduct of powerful employees who occupy safety-sensitive positions in the pipeline industry.  The gas company seeks to set aside the arbitration award under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 29 U.S.C. .