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MEYERSON v. CONTRACTING PLUMBERS ASSN. OF BROOKLYN

March 21, 1985

LEONARD MEYERSON and WILLIAM GROSS, as Chairman and Co-Chairman, respectively, and Trustees of the Joint Plumbing Industry Board and Funds Administered by the Joint Plumbing Industry Board, Plaintiffs, and JOHN DALY, PETER SALZARULO, STRAT SCARLATOS and MICHAEL EUSTACE, individually, and as Officers and Members of Local Union No. 2 United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, Plaintiffs-Intervenors,
v.
THE CONTRACTING PLUMBERS ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN & QUEENS, INC., Defendants. vs. LEONARD MEYERSON, LAWRENCE FELDER, WILLIAM GREENBLATT, and HERBERT GREENBERG, individually, and as Trustees of the Joint Plumbing Industry Board of the City of New York and all Trust Funds Administered by the Joint Plumbing Industry Board of the City of New York, and the Association of Contracting Plumbers of the city of New York, Inc., Additional Defendants on Counterclaims. LOCAL UNION #2, UNITED ASSOCIATION OF JOURNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES OF THE PLUMBING AND PIPEFITTING INDUSTRY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, Plaintiff, vs. THE CONTRACTING PLUMBERS ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN & QUEENS, INC., ALUMNI PLUMBING & HEATING CORP., JODINAN PLUMBING & HEATING CORP., and RICHARD PLUMBING & HEATING CORP., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SWEET

SWEET

The parties in this consolidated action, before the court on crossing motions for summary judgment and motions to dismiss, seek to determine the status of various contractual obligations between differing plumbing contractor organizations and Local #2. The dispute in its present form centers on the validity of the collective bargaining agreement between the "Brooklyn Association" and Local #2. I conclude that this contract is void.

 Prior Proceedings and Parties

 Plaintiffs, Joint Plumbing Industry Board *fn1" ("PIB") and Local Union #2 United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada ("Local #2") and its officers, moved for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 against defendant, the Contracting Plumbers Association of Brooklyn & Queens, Inc., (the "Brooklyn Association").

 Local #2 is the plumbers local union with jurisdiction in Manhattan and the Bronx. The Joint Plumbing Industry Board is a collection agent for plumbing industry funds and day-to-day administrator of certain Local #2 trusts pursuant to 29 U.S.C. ยง 186. The Association of Contracting Plumbers of the City of New York, Inc. (the "New York Association") is a plumbing contractor trade association has been the management collective bargaining agent with Local #2 for the Local #2 jurisdiction, Manhattan and the Bronx. The Brooklyn Association is a plumbing contractor trade association and has been the management bargaining agent with plumbers Local #1, which has jurisdiction in Brooklyn and Queens. Local #1 is not a party to this action.

 PIB and Local #2 seek a declaration that there is no collective bargaining agreement between Local #2 and the Brooklyn Association and that the purported agreement of January 11, 1984 between Local #2 and the Brooklyn Association is null and void and the dissolution of a temporary stay, issued by the Honorable Eugene Nickerson in Local Union #2 v. The Contracting Plumbers Association of Brooklyn & Queens, Inc., and Alumni Plumbing and Heating Corp., Jodinan Plumbing & Heating Corp., and Richard Plumbing & Heating Corp., 84 Civ. 7239 (RWS), as follows:

 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

 
a) All arbitration proceedings commenced, or to be commenced, by the plaintiff against the defendants, or against any member of the defendant, The Contracting Plumbers Association of Brooklyn & Queens, Inc. (the "Brooklyn Association"), based upon alleged violations of the New York Agreement, including the notice arbitration procedure against Saf-Tee Plumbing Corp. are stayed; until further order of this court; and . . .

 Order of Judge Nickerson in Local #2 v. Brooklyn Association, 84 Civ. 7239 (RWS), Cv-84-3848(EHN). This action was by the consent of all concerned transferred to this court and consolidated with the action pending here.

 The defendants have sought a declaration by summary judgment that the Brooklyn Agreement is valid and the dismissal of PIB. In its answer, the Brooklyn Association also brought counterclaims against certain trustees of the PIB and the New York Association. By stipulation, the Brooklyn Association has agreed to extend the time to answer the counterclaims until twenty days after resolution of the motions currently before the court. All parties recognize that the dispositive issue is the validity of the alleged Brooklyn Association-Local #2 agreement.

 Facts

 Facts sufficient to resolve these motions are undisputed. The New York Association and Local #2 are bound by a sixty-one page collective bargaining agreement, effective June 30, 1982 to June 25, 1985, which details all aspects of the relationship between the parties. Among the terms of this contract were:

 
105. NO OTHER CONTRACTS TO BE MADE: No contracts or understandings inconsistent with or contrary to the term of this Agreement shall be made between the Association and the Union either as individuals or groups.
 
106. NO OTHER AGREEMENTS EXIST: No other understandings or agreements exist between the parties hereto or their members, and this agreement contains the complete understanding between and among them. All prior agreements and understandings, oral or written, shall terminate upon the taking effect of and shall be superseded by this Agreement. No amendments or modifications of this Agreement shall be valid unless it is agreed to by the Association and the Union and reduced to writing.

 The Brooklyn Association contends that Local #2 entered into a Brooklyn Association - Local #2 collective bargaining agreement on January 11, 1984. This agreement states in totality:

 
1. All of the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement between the Union and the Association of Contracting Plumbers of the City of New York, Inc. ("New York Association") (the "Local #2 Agreement") are hereby agreed to and adopted subject to the following provisions.
 
2. References in the Local 2 Agreement to the Association" shall mean the Association defined in this Agreement (i.e. the Contracting plumbers Association of Brooklyn and Queens, Inc.). Any dispute between the Union and a member of the Association shall be resolved in the same manner as provided for in the Local 2 Agreement except that the management (or employer) representatives of the various joint arbitration, executive committees, etc. shall be designated by the Association.
 
3. Reference in the Local 2 Agreement to the Plumbing Industry Promotion Fund of Manhattan and Bronx shall be changed to read the "Metro New York Plumbing Industry Promotion and Education Fund" or other similar fund created by the Association.
 
4. The Union agrees that it has no objection for the Association to arrange to designate such number of the management trustees of the Joint Plumbing Industry Board ("JPIB") approximately proportional to the number of man- hour contributions of the members of the Association to the JPIB.
 
5. This agreement shall be effective immediately and shall remain in effect for the duration of the Local 2 Agreement.

 This agreement was signed by William Gross ("Gross"), president of Local #2; Fred Brenner, President of the Brooklyn Association, President of Saf-Tee Plumbing, and a member of the New York Association from September, 1982 to September 1984; George Whalen, the Managing Officer of the Brooklyn Association; James Whalen, a member of the Executive Board of the Brooklyn Association, and President of Alumni Plumbing & Heating Corp., who was bound by the New York Association - Local #2 agreement (PIB 19-21; O'Donnell Aff. Exhibit D; J. Whalen dep. at 7-11); and Salvatore Gamba, a member of the Executive Board of the Brooklyn Association and President of Olympic Plumbing and Heating Corp., who admits to being bound by the New York-Local #2 agreement (Gamba dep. at 31).

 The Brooklyn - Local #2 agreement was negotiated at two meetings, held on January 5 and 11, 1984. The only representatives of the union with knowledge of the negotiation were Gross and Brian O'Dwyer ("O'Dwyer"), an attorney for Local #2. No union meeting was called immediately subsequent to the signing of the agreement in order to notify the union of the agreement and to vote on ratification of the agreement, and on March 14, 1984, the agreement was voted down by the Local #2 membership. On January 1, 1985, Gross was replaced as president by Peter Salzarulo ("Salzarulo").

 The Local #2 constitution defines the powers and responsibilities of the president and the Arbitration Board as follows:

 
Section 14. President.
 
(A) The duties of the President shall be to preside over the Local Union's interests, affairs and all officers, see that the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of Order, are observed, decide all questions of order, subject to any appeal to the Local.
 
. . .
 
Section 24. ...

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