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UNITED R.R. OPERATING CRAFTS v. WYER

April 16, 1953

UNITED RAILROAD OPERATING CRAFTS et al.
v.
WYER et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONGER

The defendants and the intervenor move to dismiss the amended complaint herein on several grounds.

The plaintiffs move for an injunction pending the trial of the action.

 Originally only the defendant Wyer, as Trustee of the Long Island Railroad, was named in the suit. Upon motion of Wyer, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (referred to hereafter as Engineers) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen (referred to hereafter as Firemen) were added as parties defendant. The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (referred to hereafter as Trainmen) was permitted to intervene.

 The amended complaint alleges that the plaintiff United Railroad Operating Crafts (referred to hereafter as UROC) is a labor organization, national in scope, organized in accordance with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq., admitting to membership railroad employees in engine, train, yard and hostling services and crafts; that the plaintiffs Gallagher, Hunt, Carlson and Owens are members of UROC'S Local 118 in New York City; that defendant Wyer, as Trustee in bankruptcy, conducts the business of the Long Island Railroad, an interstate carrier subject to the provisions of the Railway Labor Act.

 The amended complaint further alleges that prior to June 20, 1952 Wyer entered into separate agreements with the Brotherhoods, railway labor organizations, relating to and controlling hours, wages and working conditions of Wyer's employees, including the plaintiffs; and that said agreements were, on June 20, 1952, supplemented by separate union shop agreements pursuant to the authority of Section 2, Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act; and that the various agreements constitute the respective collective bargaining agreements between Wyer and his employees in engine, train, yard and hostling services, regardless of such employees' membership in any of the contracting Brotherhoods.

 It is further alleged that the individual plaintiffs and those of the class on whose behalf they sue have worked for long periods of time for the Long Island as firemen, enginemen, conductors, trainmen, yardmen, hostlers, etc. and have accumulated and enjoy seniority rights in their employment and rights and benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act.

 It is further alleged that on or about September 17, 1952, Wyer, pursuant to the union shop agreement with the Firemen, notified plaintiff Gallagher that said Brotherhood had complained that he was not in compliance with said agreement in that he was not a member of a labor organization, national in scope, and that a hearing could be requested in accordance with said agreement; that Gallagher demanded a hearing, which was accorded, and at such hearing, he made proof of compliance with said union shop agreement in that he was a member of UROC; that despite such proof, Gallagher was discharged from Wyer's service on October 16, 1952 by notification in writing stating that he was not in compliance with the union shop agreement.

 The amended complaint further alleges facts showing that plaintiffs Hunt, Carlson and Owens are similarly aggrieved in that Hunt was complained of by the Engineers, given a hearing at which he proved membership in UROC, but has not as yet been notified of Wyer's decision *fn1" ; while Carlson and Owens were complained of by the Trainmen; they notified Wyer of their membership in UROC and requested a hearing, but they received no hearing and were nevertheless discharged for failure to avail themselves of the opportunity of being heard.

 The amended complaint further alleges, as a consequence of all the foregoing, that the individual plaintiffs, except Hunt, have been deprived of their livelihoods and of their right to continued employment by Wyer, have lost their seniority rights and their benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act solely because of membership in UROC and nonmembership in the respective Brotherhoods; as to Hunt all this deprivation and loss is threatened; that the individual plaintiffs, in joining UROC, exercised their rights pursuant to the provisions of the Railway Labor Act freely to join a labor organization of their own choosing and to transfer from one to another; that Wyer's action in discharging them, or threatening to, as aforesaid, violates the provisions of the Railway Labor Act; that Gallagher and Hunt were deprived of their earnings on the days of their hearings contrary to law.

 It is further alleged that all of the foregoing similarly threatens other UROC members, the effect of all of which will be to cause them and the individual plaintiffs irreparable harm and to destroy UROC contrary to the Constitution of the United States, the Railway Labor Act, the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. 141 et seq., for which there is no adequate remedy at law; that damage to each individual plaintiff will exceed $ 85,000.

 The relief sought by the amended complaint includes generally a permanent injunction against discharge of UROC members for such reason alone, a permanent mandatory injunction reinstating Gallagher, Carlson and Owens and damages.

 It should be stated at this time that Gallagher, Carlson and Owens have been reinstated to their positions, and Hunt's threatened discharge has been prevented, by temporary injunction orders issued by Judges of this Court.

 Wyer and the Brotherhoods attack the amended complaint on two grounds: (1) that UROC and the individual plaintiffs have an adequate remedy before the National Railroad Adjustment Board under Section 3, First (i)-(p) et seq. of the Railway Labor Act and consequently, that this Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit; (2) that UROC is not, as a matter of law, 'national in scope' since it has never been certified in a proceeding under Section 3, First (f) of the Railway Labor Act and consequently, that the amended complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

 Each of the union shop agreements, which are annexed to the amended complaint, provides in substance that as a condition of continued employment, employees covered by the basic labor agreement, shall, within 60 days after the effective date of the agreement, become and remain members of the contracting union; except that such requirements shall be satisfied if such employees 'acquire membership in any one of the labor organizations', other than the contracting union, 'national in scope, organized in accordance with ...


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