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COULON v. CAREY CADILLAC RENTING CO.

August 2, 1962

John G. COULON, as Chairman of the Grievance Committee of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen -- C. W. Jones Lodge 835, an unincorporated association, in its own right and as representative of operating employees of Carey Cadillac Renting Company, Inc., and H. J. Metzner and James Hennessey, as President and Secretary respectively of C. W. Jones Lodge 835 of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, an unincorporated association, in its own right and as representative of operating employees of Carey Cadillac Renting Company, Inc., Plaintiffs,
v.
CAREY CADILLAC RENTING COMPANY, Inc., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CASHIN

Defendant has moved to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The present motion for dismissal arises from an action brought by plaintiffs under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 61 Stat. 156, 29 U.S.C. § 185. Plaintiffs' complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-2202 seeks declaratory relief, alleging a violation of a collective bargaining agreement between an employer engaged in interstate commerce and a labor organization as defined in Section 2(5) of the Labor Management Relations Act.

Plaintiffs (hereinafter referred to as the 'Union'), are the Chairman of the Grievance Committee and officials of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, C. W. Jones Lodge 835, which is suing in its own right and as representative of the operating employees of the defendant Company.

 The defendant, Carey Cadillac Renting Company, Inc., is a corporation having its principal office in the Southern District of New York, and is engaged in the business of leasing chauffeur-driven limousines for the transportation of persons in interstate and intrastate commerce.

 On December 1, 1960, the Union and the Company entered into a Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article VI, Section 1 of which reads as follows:

 'ARTICLE VI

 'BROTHERHOOD

 'SECTION 1. The Company agrees that during the term of this contract, all operations of any and all vehicles used in the Company's business for the production of revenue shall be under the jurisdiction of the Brotherhood. * * *'

 Both parties to the action agree that in effect the labor contract provides for a 'union shop'. The plaintiff Union has jurisdiction of the operation of any and all vehicles used in the Company's business for the production or revenue. The agreement further provides that after sixty days' service all chauffeurs shall be considered to have qualified and may apply for union membership.

 The complaint alleges that on or about and after February 1, 1962, the Company violated and continues to violate the contract in that it has followed a pattern of 'farming out' part of its business to competitive enterprises, some of which employ non-union operators. In return, the Company receives revenue in the form of a percentage of the profits collected by those enterprises. As a consequence of this 'farming out' procedure, about fifteen members of the Union have been furloughed who would have been able to be employed if this system had not been utilized.

 The Union claims that this procedure is an unfair labor practice, and is a violation of the labor agreement. Plaintiffs claim that it is also a scheme to discredit the Union as a collective bargaining agent. The Company has refused to arbitrate on the ground that the question is not an arbitrable issue. The Union's complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that under the contract of December 1, 1960 the defendant Company cannot, without the consent of the plaintiffs, furlough members of the Brotherhood when there are vehicles to operate and passengers to be transported, with the purpose of transferring customers for revenue purposes to competing enterprises. The Union also seeks an order requiring the defendant to cancel existing furloughs, and to pay money damages.

 The Company moves to dismiss the complaint, questioning the jurisdiction of the court, and the correctness of the plaintiffs as parties. The Company's objections are without merit.

 The court has jurisdiction over the present controversy under Section 301(a) of the Labor Relations Act as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185. The action is not merely a suit to enforce the alleged claim of an individual member of a labor organization, but obviously concerns the enforcement of the right of a labor union 'to maintain the integrity of its contract.' Allied Oil Workers Union v. Ethyl Corp., 301 F.2d 104, 105 (5 Cir. 1962). As such, as was similarly indicated by the learned Judge in the Allied Oil Workers case, the present controversy is ruled not by Association of Westinghouse Salaried Employees v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 348 U.S. 437, 75 S. Ct. 489, 99 L. Ed. 510 (1955), but falls rather within the doctrine of Textile Workers Union v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U.S. 448, 77 S. Ct. 912, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972 (1957); Goodall-Sanford, Inc. v. United Textile Workers of America, 353 U.S. 550, 77 S. Ct. 920, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1031 (1957); and General Electric Co. v. Local 205, 353 U.S. 547, 77 S. Ct. 921, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1028 (1957).

 The crux of the defendant's dismissal motion is that the plaintiffs do not state a claim upon which relief can be granted, in that it is claimed that the interpretation of the collective bargaining contract which the Union seeks is made illegal by operation of the 1959 ...


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