(the "Peoria action"), alleging that his discharge violated the "just cause" provision of the collective bargaining agreement between Consolidated and Local 722. Walker is represented in the Peoria action by Robin Potter, Esq. ("Potter"). Walker's Complaint in the Peoria action alleges that his discharge violated the collective bargaining agreement because: (1) he was not responsible for the accident, Complaint, PP14-16; (2) other workers have suffered less severe discipline than him for the same alleged conduct, Id. at PP12, 19; and (3) Consolidated harbored animus against him because of his election activity, his membership in Teamsters for a Democratic Union ("TDU"), his service as a union steward, and his efforts to enforce the collective bargaining agreement. Id. at PP10-11.
Walker did not sue Local 722 in the Peoria action. He did, however, allege a violation of the union's duty of fair representation. See DeCostello v. Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151, 164-65, 103 S. Ct. 2281, 76 L. Ed. 2d 476 (1983) (an employee can sue his employer alleging a breach of a collective bargaining agreement and/or his union alleging a breach of the union's duty of fair representation, "but the case he must prove is the same whether he sues one, the other, or both."). Walker's claim that Local 722 breached its duty of fair representation is based on allegations of inadequate handling of his collective bargaining grievance, Complaint, P23(a)-(d), and a denial of a fair hearing before the JGC. Id. at P24.
Consolidated then filed this application.
Consolidated's application seeks to "enforce" the Independent Administrator's October 22, 1991 decision. The premise of Consolidated's application is that by filing the Peoria action, Walker seeks to challenge the Independent Administrator's October 22, 1991 decision. Consolidated's Application, P11 at p. 6. Based on this premise, Consolidated argues that Walker violated the Election Rules, the Consent Decree, and this Court's January 17, 1990 injunction entered pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), in United States v. IBT, No. 88 Civ. 4486 (DNE).
Specifically, Consolidated argues that the Peoria action violates Article XI, § 1(a)(8) of the Election Rules because the October 22, 1991 decision of the Independent Administrator has not been stayed or overturned.
Consolidated next states, without articulating an argument, that the Peoria action violates Paragraph K of the Consent Decree, which gives this Court exclusive jurisdiction to decide issues relating to the Independent Administrator's authority.
Finally, Consolidated argues that the Peoria action violates the express provisions of this Court's All Writs Act Injunction, which enjoined the "filing or taking of any legal action that challenges, impedes, seeks review or relief from, or seeks to prevent or delay any of the court officers . . . in any jurisdiction except this Court." January 17, 1990 Opinion & Order, 728 F. Supp. 1032, 1040 n.5 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990). For these violations, Consolidated argues that this Court should order Walker to dismiss the Peoria action and order Walker and Potter to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court.
The fatal flaw in Consolidated's application is not its faulty reasoning, its failure to fully articulate its arguments, or its misinterpretation of the caselaw. While these problems undoubtedly present obstacles to Consolidated's position, they are the product of one fundamental error: Consolidated's premise. The Peoria action does not seek to "challenge" the Independent Administrator's October 22, 1991 decision. Rather, Walker has filed the Peoria action pursuant to § 301(a) of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), which protects a separate and distinct set of rights than those protected by the Election Rules.
The Election Rules create a source of rights that are "'designed to supplement, rather than supplant'" rights of employees. United States v. IBT, 954 F.2d 801, 809 (2d Cir. 1992) (quoting Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 48, (1974)); cf. Barrantine v. Arkansas Best Freight Sys., 450 U.S. 728, 101 S. Ct. 1437, 67 L. Ed. 2d 641 (1981) (an employee who submitted to arbitration under a collective bargaining agreement could still bring an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act in federal district court based on the same facts). Walker's election protest was based on an alleged violation of his rights under the Election Rules; the Peoria action is based an alleged breach of a collective bargaining agreement. See Complaint, P1 (citing Section 301(a) of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a)). While Walker's Election Rules Protest and Peoria lawsuit may involve the same series of events, the Independent Administrator's October 22, 1991 decision merely found that Walker's rights under the Election Rules had not been violated. The Independent Administrator did not determine whether Walker's rights under Section 301(a) of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), or any other federal labor law, had been violated. Thus, the Peoria action in no way challenges the Independent Administrator's finding that Walker's rights under the Election Rules were not violated. See, e.g., October 29, 1991 Opinion & Order, 776 F. Supp. 144 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 954 F.2d 801 (2d Cir. 1992).
Consolidated's arguments are frivolous. The Independent Administrator's October 22, 1992 decision did not order Walker to perform any act or enjoin him from performing any act. Thus, there is no order to "enforce," and no violation of the Election Rule's requirement that decisions of the Independent Administrator "must be followed" unless stayed or overturned by this Court. Consolidated's argument that the Peoria action violates the Consent Decree's provision giving this Court exclusive jurisdiction to decide issues relating to the Independent Administrator's authority can best be understood as an argument that Walker has violated this Court's All Writs Act Injunction. The Peoria action does not challenge, impede, or seek review or relief from the Independent Administrator's decision on Walker's Election Protest, nor does it seek to prevent or delay any act of the Court Officers. The Peoria action simply seeks to vindicate rights that exist in addition to and independent from the Consent Decree and the Election Rules.
Consolidated's application is denied.
Dated: July 16, 1992, New York, New York.