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MORRISSEY v. CURRAN
March 20, 1973
James M. Morrissey et al., Plaintiffs,
Joseph Curran as President of National Maritime Union of America et al., Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CARTER
Plaintiffs seek, by order to show cause, certain relief in connection with the forthcoming election of officers of the National Maritime Union (NMU). They ask that defendants Curran and Wall, officers of the NMU, be directed to:
(a) publish the Pilot monthly in the period preceding the forthcoming election in the same format as it was published in the six month period preceding the last election and to devote one-half of the Pilot each month to plaintiff Morrissey's candidacy;
(b) conduct the balloting by mail and under the supervision of the American Arbitration Association and limit the electorate to include only sea-going members of the union;
(c) have votes broken down on a port by port basis and published on the same basis; and
(d) publish a complete and factual account of a lawsuit entitled Morrissey, et al. v. Curran, et al., 69 Civ. 442 in the next issue of the Pilot, such account to be edited by plaintiffs.
Jurisdiction of this court is invoked pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 481 which provides that a labor organization and its officers shall be under duty, enforceable at the suit of bona fide candidates for office, to comply with reasonable requests to distribute campaign literature by mail or otherwise at the candidate's expense and to refrain from discriminating against any candidate with respect of use of its membership list.
The right to nondiscriminatory treatment in the use of membership lists and in the distribution of campaign literature encompasses the right to nondiscriminatory coverage in a union newspaper. Yablonski v. United Mine Workers of America, 305 F. Supp. 868 (D.D.C. 1969).
29 U.S.C. § 483 provides that "[existing] rights and remedies to enforce the constitution and bylaws of a labor organization with respect to elections prior to the conduct thereof" remain in force and effect. 29 U.S.C. § 482 provides for a challenge to an election already held by filing of a complaint with the Secretary of Labor.
It is clear therefore, and has been so held, that 29 U.S.C. § 481 et seq. does not affect existing rights and remedies in respect of any forthcoming election. On the other hand "the remedy provided by § 482, shall be exclusive" in respect of an election already held. Trbovich v. United Mine Workers of America, 404 U.S. 528, 92 S. Ct. 630 at 633, 30 L. Ed. 2d 686 (1972).
In Libutti v. Di Brizzi, 343 F.2d 460 at 461 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1965), a case involving a federal claim under § 101 of the Labor and Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (29 U.S.C. § 411), the Second Circuit held that
"Under New York law a union member may enforce in the courts the rights granted to him by the union constitution and bylaws . . .
Jurisdiction over state law claim exists under the principle of pendent ...
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