under Title TV because Title IV does not apply, a plaintiff is not precluded from bringing an otherwise legitimate claim under Title I. They do not stand for the proposition that because an election does not fall within Title IV, a plaintiff necessarily possesses a claim under Title I. In this case, the plaintiffs have failed to show the likely existence of a claim under Title I. Therefore, Knisley and Sytsma do not establish such a claim. In Black, discussed above, the court reached a similar conclusion. Finding no discrimination by the union against the plaintiffs in the exercise of their right to vote on a collective bargaining agreement, the court held that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under Title I of the LMRDA. 454 F. Supp. at 824. The court expressly rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the fact that the vote was not covered by Title IV should influence its interpretation of the parameters of Title I. Id. at 822. The court stated that in Calhoon, the Supreme Court had "clearly implied that § 101 must be read narrowly whether or not the actions complained of were remediable under Title IV." Id.
Finally, the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that the balance of the equities tips decidedly in their favor. The cases on which the plaintiffs primarily rely to support their claim of unreasonableness are Title IV cases; however, because Title TV does not apply, the plaintiffs are not required to adhere to the detailed procedures required under Title IV. Because the plaintiffs could not enjoin this election if Title TV applied and because they would be required to pursue a post-election challenge by the Secretary of Labor in that case, the equities require that they not be permitted to enjoin the election. A contrary conclusion would permit the plaintiffs to borrow only the portions of Title IV jurisprudence that support their position, while ignoring the procedural requirements that otherwise would apply and would prevent their obtaining an injunction.
While the plaintiffs could not pursue all of the remedies under Title IV because this election is not governed by Title IV, they should at least be required to exhaust the union's internal remedial procedure in this case. Section 101 of Title I provides that a union member "may be required to exhaust reasonable hearing procedures (but not to exceed a four-month lapse of time) within such organization, before instituting legal or administrative proceedings against such organizations or any officer thereof[.]" 29 U.S.C. § 411(a)(4) (1985). Requiring exhaustion would be appropriate in this case, particularly since the plaintiffs need only wait for four months and they would have been required to exhaust union administrative remedies if the election were covered by Title IV.
The plaintiffs argue that, given the criteria courts consult in deciding whether the exhaustion requirement should apply, they should not be required to exhaust internal union procedures. They note that the major elements that courts consider are whether the violations of federal law are clear and undisputed, whether the internal remedy is adequate and whether resort to internal union remedies would be futile. See, e.g., Detroy v. American Guild of Variety Artists, 286 F.2d 75, 81 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 366 U.S. 929, 6 L. Ed. 2d 388, 81 S. Ct. 1650 (1961); Bee v. Local 719, United Auto Workers, 744 F. Supp. 835, 837 (N.D. Ill. 1990); Zaloga v. Ruggiero, 529 F. Supp. 443, 444 (E.D.N.Y. 1982); Cefalo v. International Union of District 50 United Mine Workers of America, 311 F. Supp. 946, 953-54 (D.D.C. 1970).
As discussed above, the plaintiffs have not established a clear violation of federal law. And, while there is a vigorous dispute between the parties as to whether the ICA can consider the issue of whether the meeting attendance requirement is unlawful, another union member has appealed that issue to the ICA in a different case, (Letter from Schermerhorn to Kerrigan of Jan. 3, 1995 at 2), and the union maintains that the ICA has the capacity to consider the issue on appeal, (Kerrigan Aff. P 10). Moreover, the ICA acted with great speed in the Johnson appeal and the plaintiffs should also be able to obtain a decision quickly on any appeal concerning the meeting attendance requirement. In any event, Title I would only require a delay of no more than four months. Balancing the equities, the Court concludes that the union should have the same opportunity to consider the validity of its own rule -- before the Court intervenes -- that it would have if this case were governed by Title IV.
For all of the foregoing reasons, the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction is denied. The parties are directed to contact the Deputy Clerk to set up a status conference at which a schedule for further proceedings will be established.
JOHN G. KOELTL
United States District Judge
Dated: New York, New York
January 5, 1995