RONALD BARTON; NEIL KNOX; ELIJAH P. MORRIS; WAYNE MORRIS; JOHN TABOR, on behalf of himself and all other persons similarly situated; UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL & SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION AFL-CIO/CLC, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
CONSTELLIUM ROLLED PRODUCTS-RAVENSWOOD, LLC; CONSTELLIUM ROLLED PRODUCTS-RAVENSWOOD, LLC EMPLOYEES GROUP BENEFITS PLAN, Defendants-Appellees.
Argued: January 24, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of West Virginia, at Charleston. Joseph R. Goodwin,
District Judge. (2:13-cv-03127)
P. Stuligross, UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF AMERICA, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, for Appellants.
Christopher Alan Weals, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP,
Washington, D.C., for Appellees.
Ewing, McKean Evans, FEINSTEIN DOYLE PAYNE & KRAVEC, LLC,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Appellants.
Charles C. Jackson, Chicago, Illinois, Sean K. McMahan, Abbey
M. Glenn, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Washington, D.C.,
MOTZ, DUNCAN, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
GRIBBON MOTZ, Circuit Judge.
of retirees and their union filed this action after their
former employer unilaterally altered its retiree health
benefits program. Because the governing collective bargaining
agreement does not provide for vested retiree health
benefits, we affirm the district court's grant of summary
judgment to the employer.
Rolled Products-Ravenswood, LLC operates an aluminum plant in
Ravenswood, West Virginia. The individual plaintiffs have
retired from working in that plant. The United Steel, Paper
and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industry
& Service Workers International Union AFL-CIO/CLC
("the Union") represented the retirees during their
employment. As far back as 1988, the Union negotiated
collective bargaining agreements ("CBAs") with
Constellium (or its predecessors) on the employees'
individual class member retired during the operation of one
of seven CBAs between the Union and one of Constellium's
predecessors. These included the 1988 CBA between the Union
and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation; the 1992 CBA
between the Union and Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation of West
Virginia, Inc.; the 1994 CBA between the Union and Ravenswood
Aluminum; the 1999 CBA between the Union and Century Aluminum
Corporation; the 2002 CBA between the Union and Pechiney
Rolled Products; the 2005 CBA between the Union and Alcan
Rolled Products- Ravenswood; and the 2010 CBA between the
Union and Alcan. The 2010 CBA expired on July 15, 2012.
15 of each CBA, which appears in substantially the same form
across all seven, contained a provision for group health
insurance benefits. The 2010 provision reads as follows:
1. The group insurance benefits shall be set forth in
booklets entitled Employees' Group Insurance Program and
Retired Employees' Group Insurance Program, and such
booklets are incorporated herein and made a part of the 2005
Labor Agreement by such reference.
2. It is understood that this agreement with respect to
insurance benefits is an agreement on the basis of benefits
and that the benefits shall become effective on July 15,
2010, except as otherwise provided in the applicable booklet,
and further that such benefits shall remain in effect for the
term of this 2010 Labor Agreement.
"booklet" to which Article 15 refers, entitled
"Retired Employees' Group Insurance Program, "
serves as the summary plan description ("SPD") of
the group health insurance benefits program for retirees. The
first edition of the SPD was issued in 1985, with subsequent
editions issued in 1990, 1992, 1995, and 2005. The 2005 SPD
provides that, with limited exceptions, "[t]he benefits
described in this summary are effective as of June 1, 2005,
" the date of the start of the 2005 CBA, and that these
benefits last "for the term of ...