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ABC v. AMERICAN FEDN. OF TV & RADIO ARTISTS

April 30, 1976

AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLACK

OPINION AND FINDINGS

 POLLACK, District Judge.

 Plaintiff, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (ABC hereafter) sues to enjoin AFTRA Washington-Baltimore Local (the Local hereafter) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA hereafter) from proceeding with an attempted arbitration sought by the Local of a dispute concerning the termination of the employment of Charles R. Hughes, a Washington staff announcer of ABC and a member of the Local. *fn1" The Local counterclaims for a decree compelling the arbitration sought.

 Jurisdiction is based on Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1337, 2201, et seq. The counterclaim seeks an order compelling arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 4.

 Pursuant to Rule 65(a)(2), Fed.R.Civ.P., and with the consent of the parties, the Court ordered that the trial of the action on the merits be advanced and consolidated with the hearing of the plaintiff's application for preliminary relief.

 For the reason that the parties made no agreement, oral or in writing, to arbitrate any dispute pertaining to the employment of Mr. Hughes, the injunction sought by plaintiff must be granted and the Local's counterclaim dismissed. The facts follow.

 The plaintiff, ABC, is a New York corporation engaged in the radio and television broadcasting business throughout the United States.

 The former defendant, American Federation and Radio Artists (the International), is an international labor union representing employees in the broadcasting industry. It has been a party to a number of collective bargaining agreements with ABC covering staff announcers performing services in the City of New York. The current agreement between ABC and the International is dated September 22, 1974 (the 1973-76 New York Staff Announcers' Agreement).

 The Local is an affiliate of the International having its principal place of business in Washington, D.C. It is an unincorporated association representing employees in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185.

 Charles R. Hughes was employed by ABC as a Washington staff announcer from February 4, 1963 until February 7, 1975 when he was laid off. He was not and has never been employed by ABC as a New York staff announcer. There is no collective bargaining agreement between ABC and the Washington Local and it is not a party to the collective bargaining agreement between the International and ABC relating to New York staff announcers. The terms of employment of Hughes were agreed to from time to time between the vice-president of ABC and Evelyn Freyman, business agent for the Washington Local. Under those terms, subsequent to May 9, 1968 Hughes was to receive the base salary, salary guaranty, vacation, holiday, sick leave, severance and pension benefits set forth in each New York staff announcers' agreement.

 Although the 1973-1976 New York Staff Announcers' Agreement provides for arbitration

 
(b) On the request of either AFTRA [the International] or the Company, [of] any controversy or dispute between a staff announcer who is a member of AFTRA and the Company arising out of or connected with his contract or the employment by the Company of a member pursuant hereto, . . .

 the parties at no time agreed orally or in writing that the arbitration provision would become part of the Hughes employment agreement.

 The 1973-1976 New York Staff Announcers' Agreement contains the following limitations:

 
1. This agreement applies, and is limited in its application, to staff announcers employed by the New York office of the Company as of the date of this agreement, . . . .
 
The Company agrees that the limitation of the scope of this agreement to announcers in New York City is without prejudice to any claim by AFTRA hereafter asserted against the Company or others to the effect that the bargaining unit be wider in scope or larger in extent, but no such claim shall affect the validity of ...

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