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PUMA v. BRANDENBURG

March 15, 1971

Michael Puma et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Mortimer Brandenburg et al., Plaintiffs


Pollack, D. J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLACK

Findings of Fact*

POLLACK, D. J.:

 A. Plaintiffs

 1. Plaintiffs, Michael Puma, John Sheridan, Lou Gutin, Michael Sabatino and Al Capolino, at all relevant times were and still are members in good standing of Liquor Salesmen's Union Local 2 of the State of New York ("Local 2"), affiliated with Distillery, Rectifying, Wine and Allied Workers' International Union of America, AFL-CIO ("International").

 2. Plaintiffs are all liquor salesmen, licensed as such by the State of New York, and employed by wholesale distributors of liquors under labor contracts negotiated by said employers and Local 2.

 3. Plaintiffs duly obtained leave of this court to bring this action (see order made and entered herein on September 5, 1969).

 B. Defendants

 4. Local 2 is a "labor organization" under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 ("LMRDA"); and, at all relevant times, defendants are and were officers, agents and representatives of Local 2.

 5. At all relevant times defendant Mortimer Brandenburg ("Brandenburg") was and still is President of Local 2; and, since 1958, he has also been President of the International.

 6. Since April 29, 1957, Joseph Matranga ("Matranga") was and still is Executive Vice President of Local 2; and prior to that date and since 1955 he was a member of the Executive Board or Committee ("Executive Board") of Local 2.

 7. Max Drexler was, for more than 20 years prior to his retirement in 1968, the Executive Secretary of Local 2.

 8. Edward Drexler (son of Max Drexler) was, since January 1964 and until his resignation in 1968, the Second Vice President of Local 2.

 9. Howard Goldstein ("Goldstein") since 1955 was and still is a member of the Executive Board of Local 2; and since April 9, 1957, he has been Treasurer of Local 2.

 10. Joseph Leff ("Leff"), since 1964 and until his resignation in 1968, was a member of the Executive Board of Local 2.

 11. Matthew Levitt ("Levitt"), since 1955 and until his resignation in 1968, was a member of the Executive Board of Local 2.

 12. Defendant Jack Schwartzberg ("Schwartzberg") was a member of the Executive Board of Local 2 from January 1956 to January 9, 1970.

 13. Defendant Norman Joseph ("Joseph") since 1936 was and still is a member of the Executive Board of Local 2.

 14. At all relevant times the individuals named in Findings 5 through 13 hereof, together with Nat Fox ("Fox"), now deceased, constituted a majority of the Executive Board of Local 2.

 15. During his lifetime Fox was at all relevant times the Recording Secretary and a member of the Executive Board of Local 2.

 16. In addition to being President of Local 2 and President of the International, defendant Brandenburg since 1967 or 1968 was and still is Executive Business Manager of the Wholesale Wine Salesmen's Union, Local 18 ("Local 18"), affiliated with the International.

 C. Organic Law of Local 2

 17. (a) The general powers and duties of the officers, agents and representatives of Local 2, for the period beginning some time prior to 1956 and ending November 1959, were set forth in the Constitution of Local 2 (Plaintiffs' Exhibit A-1; "Local 2's Original Constitution"); and, for the period beginning November 1959 and continuing to date, were set forth in the current Constitution of Local 2 (Plaintiffs' Exhibit A-2; *fn1" "Local 2's Current Constitution").

 (b) The general powers and duties of the officers, agents and representatives of Local 2 are to some extent also governed, for the period prior to 1956 and ending in 1960, by the Constitution of the International (Plaintiff's Exhibit B-1; "International's Original Constitution"); and, for the period beginning in 1960 and continuing to date, by the International's Current Constitution (Plaintiff's Exhibit B-2; "International's Current Constitution").

 18. Section 5 of Article XV of Local 2's Original Constitution provides:

 
"They shall have full right and power to fix compensation and award for services or employment rendered the Union and to fix terms and salaries of officers." *fn2"

 19. Section 6 of Article XV of Local 2's Original Constitution provides:

 
"In any event, if it shall be impossible or not feasible to gather the memberships of the Union together expeditiously enough to act upon any situation requiring immediacy of action, it shall have full power to do any act or series of acts in behalf of the Union with the same force and effect as if it acted upon in like manner by the Union sitting as a whole in meeting." *fn3"

 20. Article XXVIII of Local 2's Original Constitution, entitled "Meetings," provides as follows:

 
" Meetings
 
"Section 1. The regular meeting of the Union shall be held monthly on the first Monday of each month, at such place and hour of the day as may be designated by the Executive Committee.
 
"Section 2. The Chairman at the request of the Business Representative or majority vote of the Executive Committee may call a special meeting of the Union at any time or place in order to have the Union consider any emergency situation which the Executive Committee might refuse to determine or act upon within the limits of the time required by such situation, and any and all acts or decisions reached at such special meeting shall have the same force and effect as if acted upon at a regular meeting. Notice of such special meeting shall be sent to all members in good standing, giving sufficient time to accomplish attendance thereat."

 21. Section 1 of Article XXXV of Local 2's Original Constitution and Section 1 of Article XXI of Local 2's Current Constitution provide as follows:

 
"Section 1. All officers, except those holding financial positions, shall have the privilege of resigning at any time, provided, however, that no charges exist against them. All officers not holding a financial position, and desiring to resign shall present their resignation in writing at a regular meeting, and if, at the following meeting, no charges exist against the officer or officers, the resignation may be accepted. Any officer holding a financial position shall present his resignation in writing at a regular meeting, and after his accounts have been audited and found correct, and a full report of same made to the Treasurer and received his approval, the resignation may be accepted at ...

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