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NATIONAL MARITIME UNION v. MCLEOD EX REL. NLRB

March 27, 1958

NATIONAL MARITIME UNION OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff,
v.
Ivan McLEOD, Regional Director of the Second Region of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board, and Seafarers International Union of North America, Atlantic and Gulf District, AFL-CIO, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUGARMAN

On December 20, 1957, the plaintiff National Maritime Union of America, AFL-CIO (hereinafter NMU), filed a complaint in this court against Ivan McLeod, Regional Director of the Second Region of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board (hereinafter McLeod), seeking a permanent injunction for certain relief against defendant.

McLeod now moves to dismiss the complaint; NMU moves for a preliminary injunction. Seafarers International Union of North America, Atlantic and Gulf District, AFL-CIO (hereinafter SIU), was permitted to intervene.

 The complaint sets forth in substance the following facts:

 In January of 1938 the National Labor Relations Board (hereinafter NLRB) certified the National Maritime Union of America, affiliated with the Committee for Industrial Organization, as the collective bargaining representative on all vessels operated out of Atlantic and Gulf ports by Mooremack Gulf Lines, Inc. Prior to May, June and July 1957, the unlicensed personnel employed in the deck, engine and steward's departments, with certain exceptions not here important, on eight vessels then operated by Seas Shipping Company, Inc. (hereinafter Seas Shipping), were represented in collective bargaining by SIU. The eight vessels were part of what was known as the 'Robin Fleet.' During May, June and July 1957 Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. (successor to Mooremack Gulf Lines, Inc.) took possession of the eight 'Robin' vessels which it had purchased from Seas Shipping and they became part of a fleet of 36 vessels operated by Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. (hereinafter Mooremack) out of Atlantic and Gulf ports. These eight vessels were the S.S. Robin Sherwood, the S.S. Robin Trent, the S.S. Robin Hood, the S.S. Robin Locksley, the S.S. Robin Goodfellow, the S.S. Robin Gray, the S.S. Robin Kirk, and the S.S. Robin Mowbray. In August 9, 1957 SIU filed with NLRB eight petitions for certification as bargaining representative on each of the said vessels, or, in the alternative, on all eight vessels as a block. On August 22, 1957, a conference was held between McLeod, SIU and NMU. At that conference NMU opposed the applications of SIU upon the grounds that (a) NMU had a contract with Mooremack covering all of Mooremack's vessels plying out of Atlantic and Gulf ports which would not expire until June 15, 1958, and (b) the eight 'Robin' vessels, either as a unit or individually, were not an appropriate unit for collective bargaining.

 On September 16, 1957, a four-day hearing commenced before a hearing officer of NLRB, at which NMU, having been permitted to intervene, SIU and Mooremack appeared and participated. The sole issue to which the hearing addressed itself was the appropriate unit for collective bargaining on the eight 'Robin' vessels. After the closing of the hearing (which the parties on argument agreed was September 20, 1957), the record of the hearing, which is incorporated in the complaint by reference, was transmitted to the NLRB for decision and briefs were thereafter filed by the parties (which it was agreed at the argument of the motions was about October 17, 1957).

 On November 8, 1957, without according NMU oral argument which it had requested (when it filed its brief with the NLRB, as agreed by the parties upon argument) NLRB issued a Decision and Direction of Elections, wherein it provided for elections to be held on each of the eight vessels.

 After November 8 McLeod conducted elections on the 'Robin' vessels. (It was agreed at the argument that seven of these elections were conducted before the complaint was filed and one after, to wit:

 November 20, 1957, the S.S. Robin Sherwood

 November 22, 1957, the S.S. Robin Gray

 November 26, 1957, the S.S. Robin Kirk

 November 27, 1957, the S.S. Robin Locksley

 December 5, 1957, the S.S. Robin Mowbray

 December 12, 1957, the S.S. Robin Trent

 December 18, 1957, the S.S. Robin ...


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