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FITZGERALD v. ABRAMSON

March 15, 1950

FITZGERALD
v.
ABRAMSON et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RIFKIND

By order to show cause, Albert J. Fitzgerald has moved for a temporary injunction and for the appointment of a receiver. Fitzgerald sues individually and as representative of the members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (hereinafter called UE), and of the members of all its locals. Defendant Abramson is sued as an individual. Defendants Jennings, Fitzgerald, Cestare, Brady, Ratti, and Flaherty are sued both in their individual capacity and as representatives of the members of Local 450, International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, CIO (hereinafter called IUE). The Committee to Support CIO Policy and Combat Communism, a corporation, is also a defendant.

The motion is founded upon a verified complaint, affidavits, and exhibits. In substance, plaintiff alleges the following:

 Plaintiff is a resident of Massachusetts and president of UE, a national labor organization. Local 450, UE, is a local union chartered by UE. The individual defendants are all citizens of New York. The defendant Committee is a District of Columbia corporation doing business in New York. Local 450, UE, has assets which include the following: (1) approximately $ 165,000 in Government bonds; (2) a lease to union premises; (3) a bank account of approximately $ 30,000; (4) collective bargaining contracts with Sperry Gyroscope Co., Inc., which contain provisions for a check-off of union dues (amounting to approximately $ 9,000 per month) pursuant to authorizations signed by its employees.

 The complaint further alleges that Local 450, UE, has accepted and agreed to the constitution of the UE, which contains the following provisions:

 Article 18, Section N:

 'If a local disbands, the local secretary and trustees shall send all funds and property belonging to the local to the General Secretary-Treasurer. The General Secretary-Treasurer shall hold this property intact for one year. If within that time, an application is made by at least fifteen (15) former members, a charter will be reissued and the funds and the property returned. Should no application be made within the year, the funds and property shall revert to the International Union.'

 Article 18, Section O:

 'Any local union whose good standing members fall below seven (7) may have its charter revoked in accordance with the provisions of Article 18, Section N, and Article 10, Section I, of the International Constitution. Members of such a group may become members-at-large, affiliated directly with the International Union in accordance with Article 20, Section C, or they may transfer to other local unions in the area.

 'Any disbandment, dissolution, secession or disaffiliation of any local shall be invalid and null and void if seven or more members indicate their desire to retain the local charter.'

 More than seven members of Local 450, UE, desire to retain the charter of Local 450.

 The complaint further alleges that the defendants, by various illegal means, have stripped Local 450, UE, of its assets and have caused these assets to be transferred to an organization known as Local 450 of the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, CIO or to the Committee as part of a scheme in which Local 450 was to secede or disaffiliate from UE and become affiliated with IUE.

 The plaintiff moves for the following interlocutory relief, pendente lite:

 (a) a temporary injunction (1) prohibiting and restraining defendants and each of them and their agents, servants, employees and attorneys and those acting in concert with them from in any way spending, transferring, conveying, using or disbursing any of the money, property and assets of (UE) Local 450, including any bonds, or other assets transferred and conveyed to the defendant Committee or to anyone else, and from taking any further steps whatsoever in pursuance of their plan to have (UE) Local 450 secede from the UE and to take with them from the UE and (UE) Local 450 and the members of the UE the money, property and assets of (UE) Local 450; and (2) prohibiting and restraining the defendants Jennings, Fitzgerald, Cestare, Brady, Ratti and Flaherty and each of them and their agents, servants, employees and attorneys and those acting in concert with them from using the name 'Local 450' either alone or in combination with any other name, occupying or using the offices at 91-24 168th Street, Jamaica, New York, or preventing or attempting to prevent the use thereof by (UE) Local 450 and its officers and agents, claiming to be or holding themselves out as officers of UE Local 450, and from accepting or receiving from the Sperry Gyroscope Company, Inc. any union dues checked-off from the wages of the employees of the said corporation under the contracts between the said corporation and the UE and Local 450 or under any purported assignment or arrangement with respect to the said contracts;

 (b) the appointment of a receiver over the property and assets of (UE) Local 450 controlled by the defendants with full authority to conserve the assets of UE Local 450, to discover and recover its assets by legal action or otherwise, and to account and report to ...


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