The opinion of the court was delivered by: KNAPP
Plaintiff JSP Agency, Inc. ("JSPA") has brought this action pursuant to § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, to hold the various defendants liable for payments pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Plaintiff and defendants
have now cross-moved for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, we grant defendants' motions.
In 1977, the ILA, to protect its fringe benefit programs from the effects of declining employer contributions, entered into a collectively-bargained agreement -- the JSP, or Job Security Program, Agreement ("Agreement") -- with some 200 "steamship carriers" utilizing ILA labor in 34 designated ports, including the port of New York. Pursuant to the Agreement, the carrier signatories agreed to pay tonnage assessments on cargo handled by ILA dockworkers in the designated ports. The Agreement is part of the Master Contract between the ILA and various port associations, including the New York Shipping Association; however, the Agreement and the Master Contract are separately negotiated and subscribed to, with the result that parties to one are not necessarily parties to the other.
The Agreement was to be administered by JSPA, a non-stock, not-for-profit organization, all of whose 83 members -- owners, charterers and operators of cargo-carrying vessels -- were among the signatories to the Agreement.
Liability for the tonnage assessments, at issue in this action, is set forth by Paragraph 9 of the Agreement:
Each Carrier, private and governmental, which utilizes or contracts for employees covered by this agreement shall be required to execute this agreement and to furnish any undertaking required for faithful performance of the requirements of this agreement, provided, however, that no Carrier shall be required to furnish such an undertaking to any local port association unless such association subscribes to this agreement and agrees to be bound by its terms and conditions. If any Carrier does not subscribe to the JSP Agreement, the ILA shall have the right not to work on the loading or discharging of its ships or any work ancillary thereto.
The Agreement was filed in the Federal Register on December 5, 1977, at 42 F.R. 61516, and approved on December 16, 1977, at 42 F.R. 61516, and approved on December 16, 1977 by the Federal Maritime Commission ("FMC"), under § 15 of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. § 814. The FMC held that the Agreement was not
. . . unjustly discriminatory or unfair as between carriers, shippers, exporters, importers, or ports or between exporters from the United States and their foreign competitors; detrimental to the commerce of the United States; contrary to the public interest, or in violation of the Shipping Act, 1916.
On June 3, 1982, the ILA and JSPA "on behalf of its members" entered into an amendment to the Agreement ("Amendment"). The Amendment, which was designed to combat the difficulties faced by JSPA in its attempts to collect the tonnage assessments, added the following provisions to P9 of the Agreement:
Every stevedore and terminal operator employing ILA labor subject to the JSP Agreement shall first procure a subscription agreement from the Carrier requesting the services of ILA labor in the loading or unloading of its (vessels). . . .
Stevedores and terminal operator who fail to get a subscription agreement from Carriers utilizing ILA labor in the ports subject to the JSP Agreement shall be jointly liable with the nonsubscribing Carrier in the amount of any unpaid JSP tonage assessment. Such subscription agreement shall not be necessary where the Carrier has directly subscribed to the master agreement and the JSP Agreement.
Plaintiff seeks to hold defendants liable, pursuant to the above-quoted provisions of the Agreement and the Amendment, for tonnage assessments on ...