Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

FISHER SCI. CO. v. CITY OF NEW YORK

January 29, 1993

FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK; NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL; ANDREW STEIN, as President Thereof; CHARLES MILLARD, C. VIRGINIA FIELDS, LAWRENCE A. WARDEN, JOSE RIVERA, RAFAEL CASTANEIRA-COLON, WALTER L. McCAFFREY, KAREN KOSLOWITZ, ANNETTE ROBINSON, SUSAN ALTER, as Council Members Constituting the Committee on Civil Service and Labor of the New York City Council, Defendants.


SOTOMAYOR


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SONIA SOTOMAYOR

SONIA SOTOMAYOR, U.S.D.J.

 Plaintiff Fisher Scientific Company ("Fisher") seeks to enjoin defendants, the City of New York, the New York City Council ("City Council"), the City Council's Committee on Civil Service and Labor (the "Committee") and the members of the City Council (collectively, the "City Defendants"), from holding a hearing on or proposing, endorsing, or ratifying Resolution 910. Resolution 910 expresses a negative opinion about Fisher's labor negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Steel, Metal, Alloys and Hardware Fabricators and Warehousemen, Local 810, AFL-CIO (the "Union"), notes that Fisher's use of replacement workers calls into question the quality of its products, and recommends that City agencies buy medical and laboratory supplies from companies other than Fisher until Fisher rehires its Union workers. The parties agreed to combine the trial on the merits on Fisher's application for a permanent injunction with the preliminary injunction hearing. For the reasons stated below, Fisher's application for injunctive relief is DENIED and the Complaint is dismissed. In addition, Fisher's request for an injunction pending appeal is DENIED.

 I. Background

 A. The Events Giving Rise to This Action

 Fisher manufactures and distributes medical, laboratory, and scientific equipment. Fisher's Eastern Distribution Center ("EDC"), in Springfield, New Jersey, serves as a regional warehouse and distribution point for medical and laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and test tubes.

 Since 1967, Fisher and the Union have been parties to successive collective bargaining agreements covering EDC employees. The most recent collective bargaining agreement expired by its own terms on October 21, 1991 and certain Union employees at the EDC then began to strike. Fisher operated the EDC with a reduced crew of supervisors and temporary replacements until February 1992, when it permanently replaced the economic strikers at the EDC. Since the strike began, negotiations between the parties have been unsuccessful.

 By letter dated November 12, 1992, Yvonne Gonzalez, Assistant Counsel to the Speaker of the City Council, notified Fisher that the City Council's Committee would be holding a hearing on Resolution 910. Resolution 910 observes that Fisher "offered their warehouse employees [at the EDC] the ultimatum of accepting a 450% increase in the employee contribution to the health insurance premium, or going out on strike," and that Fisher rejected a cost-saving proposal by the Union and instead "permanently replaced those 77 long-service, experienced workers." Resolution 910 goes on to note that "the quality of the products now offered by Fisher to medical institutions of the City of New York is compromised by the company's use of inexperienced replacement workers." For those reasons, the City Council would resolve to recommend "that every city agency that buys medical and laboratory supplies from Fisher Scientific seek alternative sources for products," and that the City Council notify Fisher that its action "violates acceptable labor relation standards, and that the City of New York will seek to give preference to alternative suppliers until the [EDC] warehouse employees are rehired and reinsured."

 A Committee hearing was originally scheduled for December 9, 1992. Fisher advised Ms. Gonzales that it believed that the proposed hearing on Resolution 910 constituted an unlawful interference with the collective bargaining process. Two days later, Fisher brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the Committee's and Council's actions on Resolution 910 would violate its federal right to collective bargaining. Fisher sought a Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO"), and preliminary and permanent relief from any actions by the City Defendants on the proposed resolution.

 At this Court's hearing on the application for a TRO, City Defendants announced that the Committee hearing on Resolution 910 was postponed until January, 1993. In addition, the Union entered an appearance, seeking to intervene in this action, as of right or by permission, or, alternatively, to participate in the proceedings as amicus curiae.1 The Court did not grant the temporary injunctive relief that Fisher sought, finding that the adjournment of the hearing removed the immediate threat of irreparable injury, and that a balance of the equities favored affording the City Defendants the opportunity to respond fully to Fisher's application. The City Defendants, however, were ordered to notify the Court at least seven days prior to "any hearing on Resolution 910 or any other resolution or action similar thereto which relates to the labor dispute or the collective bargaining negotiations between [Fisher] and [the Union]."

 A hearing was held in January on Fisher's application for a preliminary injunction. The Court has granted the parties' request that, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a), the preliminary injunction hearing be combined with the trial on the merits on Fisher's request for permanent injunctive relief. Timely notice has now been given that a Committee hearing on Resolution 910 is scheduled for February 1, 1993.

 B. The City Council and Its Resolutions

 A short review of the powers and procedures of the City Council, as well as the path by which a resolution is enacted, and its subsequent effect, illuminates the issues that this case presents.

 The City Council and its committees possess and exercise all of the legislative power of the City of New York. The City Council's powers include the exclusive authority to adopt local laws and to adopt and modify the budget for New York City. In addition, the City Council has the authority to provide an opportunity for discussion of matters of public concern and to provide a forum for public comment on such issues through a public hearing process. Finally, the City Council, or any of its standing or special committees, may investigate any matters within its jurisdiction relating to the "property, affairs or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.