TEXTRON LYCOMING v. UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
97-463
Petitioner 
Textron Lycoming
Respondent 
United Automobile Workers
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Textron Lycoming Reciprocating Engine Division and the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America and its Local 187 are parties to a collective-bargaining agreement that required Textron to notify the Union before entering into any agreement to "subcontract out" work that would otherwise be performed by Union members. In 1994, Textron announced plans to subcontract out work that would have caused approximately one-half of the Union members to lose their jobs. Subsequently, the Union filed suit, alleging that Textron had fraudulently induced the Union to sign the collective-bargaining agreement. The complaint invoked section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act, which confers federal subject matter jurisdiction over "suits for violation of contracts" between an employer and a labor organization. The District Court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, concluding that the cause of action alleged did not come within section 301(a). The Court of Appeals reversed.

Question 

Does section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act permit a union to sue in federal court to declare a collective bargaining agreement voidable in the absence of any alleged violation of the agreement?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Textron Lycoming, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Labor-Management Relations

No. In an opinion delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court held that neither it nor the lower federal courts have subject-matter jurisdiction under section 301 because the Union's complaint alleged no violation of the collective-bargaining agreement. "Suits for violation of contracts" under [section 301(a)] are not suits that claim a contract is invalid, but suits that claim a contract has been violated, wrote Justice Scalia. Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen G. Breyer filed concurring opinions.

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TEXTRON LYCOMING v. UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 22 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_463>.
TEXTRON LYCOMING v. UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_463 (last visited October 22, 2014).
"TEXTRON LYCOMING v. UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 22, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_463.