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INTERNATIONAL ORG. OF MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS v. M

December 10, 1986

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS, Plaintiff,
v.
MARITIME OVERSEAS CORPORATION et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KRAM

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRLEY WOHL KRAM, U.S.D.J.

 This is an action under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (the "LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185, and under New York law, by a maritime union against several industry employers and their designated agent. Plaintiff alleges that the employers repudiated and breached their collective bargaining agreements with the union in violation of Section 301 of the LMRA and the New York law of contracts.

 Defendants move for summary judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(b). In response, plaintiff has cross-moved for summary judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). For the reasons set forth below, both motions are denied as to the federal LMRA portion of plaintiff's claim, and the state law portion is dismissed.

 FACTS

 The specific events giving rise to this litigation are undisputed by the parties. Plaintiff, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (the "Union"), represents Licensed Deck Officers ("LDOs") aboard deep-sea tanker and dry cargo vessels and negotiates collective bargaining agreements in their behalf with vessel operators, including defendants (collectively, the "MOC companies"), either directly or through their trade associations. Defendants are members of the American Maritime Association (the "AMA"), one such trade association, and have authorized the AMA to negotiate their collective bargaining agreements.

 Collective bargaining agreements in this industry typically have a three-year term, expiring on June 15 of the third year. For many years, the MOC companies have had such agreements with the Union, the most recent for the period from June 16, 1981 to June 15, 1984. The triannual contract modifications have not always been consummated by the June 15 expiration date, and, in order to avoid economic confrontation, the parties traditionally have entered into written extension agreements which continue the expired agreements in effect until successor agreements have been negotiated. On occasion, the extension periods have continued into the following year.

 On April 8, 1984, the Union gave written notice to each contracted company, including the MOC companies, of its intention to modify and amend the collective bargaining agreements which were to expire on June 15, 1984. As of June 15, no negotiations on the new agreements had occurred, and extension agreements were executed. Although the extension agreements had been drafted by the Union for execution by the individual companies, they were altered by agreement of all parties, to permit the AMA to sign on behalf of the MOC companies. The extension agreements, the interpretation of which is crucial to the disposition of this case, provide

 The terms and conditions of the present Collective Bargaining Agreement between the parties, effective as of June 16, 1981 shall be extended and continue in full force and effect while the parties are engaged in bargaining, subject to the provisions of the paragraph below.

 The Organization [Union] shall have the right to terminate such extension and this Memorandum by sending the Company a 10 day telegraphic or written Notice of Termination. The sending of such Notice shall effectuate the termination of the said Extension and this Memorandum upon the expiration of the 10 day period following the sending of such Notice.

 All wage, overtime and benefit increases shall be retroactive to June 16, 1984.

 Some negotiations, either by the AMA on behalf of the individual companies or by the member companies themselves, occurred during June and July of 1984. In mid-September, the MOC companies advised the Union that, in light of the Union's continuing delays in responding to their proposals, if a new agreement were not reached by October 1, 1984, the MOC companies would consider bargaining concluded and their contractual relationship with the Union terminated as of that date. During the next two weeks, the parties had several additional bargaining sessions, but agreement was not reached as of October 1, and the MOC companies declared the bargaining at an end and the contracts terminated. The Union commenced this action on October 2 and issued a job action directive to LDOs aboard all MOC companies' vessels on October 3, 1984.

 DISCUSSION

 The Federal LMRA ...


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