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GORDON v. WINPISINGER

January 27, 1984

CARL GORDON, DANIEL HEALY, ROD BOYES and MICHAEL WARFIELD, Plaintiffs, against WILLIAM WINPISINGER, individually and as International President of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

McLAUGHLIN, District Judge

FACTS

 Plaintiffs are present or retired members of the defendant International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ("IAM"). Plaintiff Gordon is also a member of Air Transportation District Lodge 142 ("District 142"), a subordinate body of IAM.

 Plaintiffs published and distributed a newsletter entitled "Hot Line" throughout the Trans World Airlines system. In 1975, District 142 came to suspect the union loyalty of plaintiffs and appointed a committee to investigate their activities. The investigation culminated on March 29, 1978 with internal union disciplinary charges being preferred against plaintiffs and three other members of IAM. The investigation committee recommended that defendant William Winpisinger, IAM's International President ("IP"), appoint a special trial committee to conduct a full hearing on the matter. On April 12, 1978, the IP took jurisdiction and two days later appointed a special trial committee.

 The charges against plaintiffs were: (1) dual unionism, in encouraging District 142 to secede from IAM in favor of "AMFA," a rival labor organization: (2) disclosing or exchanging mailing lists with AMFA in an effort to promote dual unionism; (3) disclosing to AMFA matters of negotiation between Trans World Airlines and District 142; and, (4) activities endangering the good and welfare of the local and district lodges of IAM.

 After a formal hearing, at which plaintiffs presented no defense, the trial committee dismissed the first three more particularized charges, but found plaintiffs guilty of the fourth more generalized charge. Even though AMFA was engaging in activity against District 142 and TWA, there was no evidence to connect plaintiffs with AMFA, notwithstanding that "Hot Line" was being published simultaneously with the AMFA activities.

 Having so found, the trial committee sent its report to the IP, recommending: that all charges be dismissed as to plaintiff Boyes, (since he was charged as an officer or representative, which he is not); that a note be placed in plaintiff Healy's membership record (since he had retired); that plaintiff Gordon be prevented from holding any office within IAM for five years; and, that plaintiff Warfield receive a severe reprimand and a note be placed in his membership record.

 In response to these recommendations, plaintiffs Healy, Boyes and Warfield countered by filing their own charges with the IP against various IAM officials for the infringement of rights provided in the IAM Constitution. The IP, however, dismissed plaintiffs' charges because of their failure to raise these allegations during the formal hearing. The IP adopted in full the recommendation of the trial committee.

 A series of unsuccessful appeals followed. On January 31, 1979 Gordon appealed to the IP by letter. Boyes, Healy and Warfield appealed to the IAM General Secretary-Treasurer on February 1, 1979 and Gordon apealed to the IAM on February 10. The General Secretary-Tresurer informed each plaintiff on April 5, 1979 that the IAM Executive Council had voted to sustain the IP's decision.

 Plaintiffs filed suit in this Court on March 2, 1982 seeking injunctive relief and damages on three claims. First, plaintiffs allege a violation of § 101(a)(2) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA"), 29 U.S.C. § 411(a)(2), *fn1" and base their claim for relief on LMRDA §§ 102 and 609. 29 U.S.C. §§ 412 *fn2" and 529. *fn3" The second and third claims rest on § 301(a) of the Labor-Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), which gives this Court jurisdiction to hear cases involving violation of contracts between an employer and labor organizations or between any such labor organizations. *fn4" Plaintiffs argue that although they are neither a labor organizaton nor an employer, they may nevertheless sue under § 301. In addition, plaintiffs allege that the IAM Constitution is a contract which defendants violated by disciplining plaintiffs for reasons not authorized in Article L, § 3 of the Constitution, *fn5" and by the failure of the IP and General Secretary-Treasurer to act on the plaintiffs' charges against the IAM officials pursuant to Article L, § 15. *fn6"

 Defendants move for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) all three of plaintiffs' claims are time-barred; and (2) this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs' second and third claims. In response, plaintiffs have made cross-motions for partial summary judgment, on their first and second claims. The matter was referred to Magistrate Jordan, before whom the parties argued their motions on December 7, 1982. The Magistrate then submitted his Report and Recommendation to this Court on June 30, 1983. The parties thereafter filed memoranda in support of and in opposition to the Magistrate's Report.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Statute of ...


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