CAWP News 3-10
Employer’s Previous Payments, Filings Bind it to Agreement Requiring Fund Contributions
A construction company’s actions of submitting remittance forms and contributing benefits and wages on behalf of its employees in accordance with the rates set forth in a collective bargaining agreement bind the company to the bargaining agreement even though it did not sign the agreement, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled February 19 (Empire State Carpenters Welfare Annuity and Apprentice Training Funds v. Conway Construction of Ithaca, Inc., E.D.N.Y., No. 07-CV-2259 (ETB), 2/19/10).
Judge Denis R. Hurley said the actions of Conway Construction of Ithaca Inc. were “more than sufficient” to manifest an intent to be bound by the bargaining agreement, at least through April 2003, when Conway unilaterally attempted to terminate its contribution obligations.
The court agreed with the funds that Conway engaged in several actions that manifested its intent to be bound by the 2001 CBA, even though it did not sign that agreement. According to the court, after the effective date of the 2001 agreement, Conway contributed benefits and paid wages in accordance with the rates set forth in that agreement.
Conway also submitted numerous remittance forms from May 2001 through the end of April 2003, with fringe benefits payments made in accordance with the 2001 bargaining agreement, and each form contained a clause stating that Conway agreed to be bound by the terms of the CBA, the court said. Conway also agreed to let the funds audit its books in compliance with the agreement.
Conway also attempted to terminate its obligations under the agreement in 2003 in accordance with the agreement’s termination procedure, which demonstrated an assent to the agreement’s terms, the court said.
The court thus held that Conway’s conduct manifested an intent to be bound by the 2001 bargaining agreement, at least through April 2003.
Source: Construction Labor Report, February 25, 2010