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BUDGET DRESS CORP. v. JOINT BD. OF DRESS & WAISTMA

November 20, 1959

BUDGET DRESS CORP., Plaintiff,
v.
JOINT BOARD OF DRESS AND WAIST-MAKERS' UNION OF GREATER NEW YORK and its Constituent Locals, and Charles S. Zimmerman, Nathanial M. Minkoff, and Leon Namenwirth, individually, and as General Manager, Secretary-Treasurer, and President, respectively, of the Joint Board of Dress and Waistmakers' Union of Greater New York; The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, AFL-CIO; and The Popular Priced Dress Manufacturers' Group, Inc., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RYAN

Plaintiff seeks to stay the enforcement of the collection of a money judgment, entered in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, which confirmed an award in arbitration rendered against the plaintiff by Harry Uviller, Esquire, Impartial Chairman of the Dress Industry.

Plaintiff moves specifically for an injunction pendente lite pursuant to Section 186(e) of Title 29 United States Code Annotated (Section 302(e) of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947), staying the defendants from receiving, accepting or demanding any monies or any things of value from the plaintiff or its surety upon a supersedeas bond posted by it and staying that surety, the Public Service Mutual Insurance Company, from making such payment. Plaintiff contends that such demand is rendered unlawful by Section 186(b) of Title 29 of the United States Code Annotated (Section 302(b) of the Labor Management Relations Act) and that such payment would be in violation of Section 186(a) thereof.

 So that we may properly appreciate and consider this motion, it is necessary for us to first examine and review the events which culminated in the entry of this State court judgment.

 Plaintiff is a jobber *fn1" in the dress industry and was a member of the defendant Popular Priced Dress Manufacturers' Group, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as 'Group') from January, 1937 to January, 1958. One of the functions of Group is to bargain collectively on behalf of its members with the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (hereinafter referred to as 'International') and the Joint Board of Dress and Waistmakers' Union of Greater New York (hereinafter referred to as 'Joint Board'), defendants in this action.

 Such collective agreements have been entered into among these parties since 1936. Plaintiff had been bound by each of these agreements from the date it became a member of Group until and including January 31, 1958.

 By collective agreement, dated March 25, 1944, entered into by International and Joint Board with Group, a health fund (later expanded into a health and welfare fund) was created. By another collective agreement of these parties, dated March 29, 1947, a retirement fund was created. Each of these funds has been continued by subsequent collective agreements. The last such agreement by which plaintiff was bound was dated March 1, 1955 and expired on January 31, 1958.

 Under the provisions of the collective agreements, the funds were financed solely by contributions made by employers, 'such payments to be computed, reported and made in the manner to be promulgated by Harry Uviller, Esq., as Impartial Chairman, which promulgation, when made, shall be deemed incorporated herein, made part hereof, and binding upon each member of the Association (Group).' Pursuant to this provision, various promulgations were made by the Impartial Chairman, requiring that payments be made to the funds based upon a stipulated percentage of total payments made by members of Group to their contractors.

 Joint Board alleged that in the latter part of 1956, it discovered that plaintiff was violating the collective agreements by having its garments made up in the shops of non-union contractors and by failing to pay to the funds the payments required to be made under the promulgations of the Impartial Chairman. The collective agreements provided that Joint Board could examine plaintiff's books and records. However, plaintiff refused to permit Joint Board to do so.

 Subsequently, Joint Board filed a complaint against plaintiff under the arbitration clause of the collective agreements, which resulted in an award directing plaintiff to submit its books and records for examination by a representative of Joint Board.

 Plaintiff refused to comply with the award and Joint Board moved for its confirmation in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Plaintiff cross-moved to vacate the award, alleging, inter alia, that the collective agreements violated the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 1-7, 15 note.

 By judgment dated May 10, 1957, the award was confirmed and the cross-motion to vacate was denied. Plaintiff then appealed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, and moved in that Court for a stay of the examination of its books and records pending determination of its appeal. When the Appellate Division denied the plaintiff's motion, 8 A.D.2d 695, 188 N.Y.S.2d 929, it abandoned its appeal and submitted its books and records for examination.

 Following this examination, Joint Board filed four complaints against plaintiff, three of which charged it with failing to make payments aggregating $ 74,548.22, which Joint Board alleged was due to the funds, and one of which charged the plaintiff with violating the collective agreements by having its garments made up in the shops of non-union contractors.

 While the hearings were still in progress, plaintiff and Joint Board entered into two separate stipulations. One dealt with the three complaints charging plaintiff with failing to make proper payments to the funds and recognized the jurisdiction of the Impartial Chairman in the premises, and authorized him to render an award in connection therewith. The second stipulation fixed damages of $ 5,000 to be paid by plaintiff to Joint Board for violations by plaintiff of the collective agreement in having its garments made up in the shops of non-union contractors, and authorized the Impartial Chairman to render an award requiring plaintiff to cease and desist from violating the collective agreement in the respects therein specified.

 Pursuant to these two stipulations, the Impartial Chairman rendered two awards. One found that plaintiff was indebted to the funds in the sum of $ 49,000 and directed an immediate payment of $ 20,000 be made by plaintiff to the funds; that $ 24,000 be paid in equal monthly installments, and that, if all these payments were properly made, the balance of $ 5,000 would be forgiven. Plaintiff has ...


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