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JOINT APPRENTICESHIP & TRAINING COUNCIL OF LOCAL 3

February 3, 1994

JOINT APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING COUNCIL OF LOCAL 363, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AND THE UNITED CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION, Plaintiffs, and JOHN RIZZO & JOSEPH RIZZO, Plaintiff-Intervenors,
v.
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, THOMAS M. HEINS, JOHN F. HUDACS, DONALD J. GRABOWSKI, AND ROBERT ABRAMS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Defendants, and THE JOINT INDUSTRY BOARD OF THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY, Defendant-Intervenor.


Sprizzo


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN E. SPRIZZO

SPRIZZO, D.J.,

 In a previous action brought by the JATC, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Freeh, J.) granted summary judgment for the NYSDOL, rejecting the JATC's argument that Article 23 of the New York State Labor Law, § 810 et seq., which governs the registration and supervision of ATPs, was preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. (1993). The Second Circuit subsequently affirmed. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council of Local 363 v. New York State Dep't of Labor, 984 F.2d 589 (2d Cir. 1993).

 In the present action, plaintiffs present a different argument, contending that Article 23 of the Labor Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder unconstitutionally delegate legislative authority to private parties. Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction, and defendants cross-moved for summary judgment. Since the Court concludes that the present action seeks to relitigate transactions considered in the earlier action i.e. the NYSDOL's right to deregister the JATC's ATP, on a different legal theory, defendants' motion for summary judgment must be granted.

 BACKGROUND

 Because the facts underlying the instant litigation have been the subject of two previous opinions, this Court will set forth only those facts necessary to its discussion.

 In 1937, recognizing the value of ATPs, Congress enacted the National Apprenticeship Act, 29 U.S.C. § 50 (1937), commonly referred to as the Fitzgerald Act. Pursuant to such legislation and the regulations promulgated thereunder, the United States Secretary of Labor may recognize state apprenticeship agencies, which are empowered to administer and supervise local ATPs for state purposes. See 29 U.S.C. § 50 (1937); 29 C.F.R. §§ 29.1 et seq. (1992). In New York, ATPs have long been recognized as a means of training unskilled workers, and since the early 1960's, the NYSDOL has been recognized as a state apprenticeship agency. Grabowski Affidavit dated June 4, 1993 ("Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/93") P 3-4. The voluntary registration of an ATP is governed by Article 23 of the New York State Labor Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder. See 12 NYCRR §§ 601 et seq.1 If registration of an ATP is sought, a sponsor must meet certain minimum "standards" set forth in the statute and regulations, ensuring that the unskilled workers receive the necessary field and classroom training. Id.; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 6.

 In the early 1960's, the JATC's ATP was originally registered with the NYSDOL. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council, 984 F.2d at 592; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 10. In May of 1975, the NYSDOL, after notice and a hearing, ordered the program deregistered for its failure to conform to applicable apprenticeship standards. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council, 984 F.2d at 592; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/93. In the late 1970's, the JATC applied to the NYSDOL for re-registration of its ATP, and in 1981, they submitted proposed standards. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council, 984 F.2d at 592; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 11. After extensive discussions between Mr. Thomas Carlough, director of the JATC, Mr. Donald J. Grabowski, director of employability development for the NYSDOL, and other NYSDOL officials, the proposed standards were reviewed, revised and accepted. Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 11.

 Defendant intervenor Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry ("JIB"), an organization formed to assure the integrity of the electrical industry, is comprised of representatives of labor, management and the public. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council, 984 F.2d at 592. In 1990, JIB filed a complaint with the NYSDOL regarding the operation of the JATC's ATP. Id.; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 14. The complaint alleged that the JATC's ATP should be deregistered for numerous reasons, including that the apprentices were not provided the required classroom or field training, and that the permitted ratio of journeymen to apprentices was consistently violated. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council, 984 F.2d at 592; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 14. Based upon the complaint, the NYSDOL conducted an investigation and scheduled a deregistration hearing. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council, 984 F.2d at 592; Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 15.

 On February 20, 1992, the JATC, along with other parties to the present action, commenced an action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. They argued that Article 23 of the New York State Labor Law, § 810 et seq., which governs the registration and supervision of ATPs, was preempted by ERISA. They sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the scheduled deregistration hearing, but Judge Freeh denied their application. Instead, Judge Freeh granted defendants' motion for summary judgment holding that ERISA did not preempt the deregistration proceedings. The Second Circuit affirmed. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council of Local 363 v. New York State Dep't of Labor, 984 F.2d 589 (2d Cir. 1993).

 Thereafter, a number of deregistration hearings were held from late January through late March of 1993. Grabowski Aff. of 6/4/ 93 P 16. On April 20, 1993, after the deregistration hearings were concluded, plaintiffs commenced the present action to enjoin the impending deregistration of the JATC's ATP. In a memorandum opinion and order, dated August 24, 1993, this Court denied plaintiffs' application for a preliminary injunction. Joint Apprenticeship & Training Council of Local 363 v. New York State Department of Labor, 829 F. Supp. 101 (S.D.N.Y. 1993). On July 19, 1993, this Court permitted plaintiffs John Rizzo and Joseph Rizzo, members of the JATC's ATP, to intervene in this action.

 According to plaintiffs, deregistration is improper because the NYSDOL's method of establishing standards constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to private parties under the unconstitutional delegation doctrine discussed extensively in General Electric Co. v. New York State Dep't of Labor, 936 F.2d 1448, 1454-59 (2d Cir. 1991). More specifically, plaintiffs allege that the NYSDOL, pursuant to the applicable regulations, ...


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