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ASSOCIATION OF WESTINGHOUSE SALARIED EMPLES. v. WE

October 2, 1952

ASSOCIATION OF WESTINGHOUSE SALARIED EMPLOYEES et al.
v.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORP



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

Plaintiff is an unincorporated association and the collective bargaining representative for certain salaried employees of Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the defendant, at the latter's East Pittsburgh and Homewood, Pennsylvania, plants.

On November 19, 1951, plaintiff association filed a complaint to which was attached the collective bargaining agreement effective between the parties as of November 1, 1950. The complaint alleges that under the terms of this agreement the defendant is obligated 'to pay all of the employees [represented by the plaintiff] * * * their full monthly salary for the month of April, 1951, regardless of whether or not such employees missed a day's work during said month, * * *'; that the defendant refused to pay not less than 4,000 of said employees their full monthly salaries 'having deducted therefrom a proportionate amount attributable to absence from work on April 3, 1951'; and that the aggregate amount due and unpaid is not less than $ 45,000. Plaintiff prayed for judgment against the defendant corporation in that amount with interest and costs.

 Jurisdiction is stated to be under Section 301 of Title III of the Labor Management Relations Act of June 23, 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185.

 The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the following grounds: (1) that the plaintiff is not the real party in interest within the meaning of Rule 17, F.R.C.P., 28 U.S.C.A., and is therefore not a proper party plaintiff; (2) that the court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter; (3) that the complaint fails to state a claim against the defendant upon which relief can be granted.

 On the day fixed for hearing on the motion, the plaintiff filed a 'First Amended Complaint,' and the defendant renewed its motion to dismiss for the same reasons.

 
'* * * against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiff interpreting the aforesaid contract and declaring the rights of the parties thereunder * * *; and to compel the Defendant to make an Accounting setting forth the individual names and amounts of unpaid salaries * * *; and to enter judgment against the Defendant and in favor of the individual employees set forth in paragraph 21 hereof, for the unpaid amount of their salaries, for the month of April 1951, together with interest from April 30, 1951, costs, and a reasonable attorney's fee.'

 The not less than 4,000 employees, allegedly absent from work on April 3, 1951, were not joined as parties plaintiff or named in the complaint.

 The defendant contends that the court does not have jurisdiction because these claims arise from 'the individual employment contract rather than from the Collective Bargaining Contract,' and that Section 301(a) of the Taft-Hartley Law gives jurisdiction to a federal court only in the event that the contract in suit was entered into between the employer and the labor organization as distinguished from an individual contract of hiring entered into between the employer and the individual employee. Defendant cites Milk Wagon Drivers Union, etc. v. Associated Milk Dealers, Inc., D.C.N.D.Ill.1941, 42 F.Supp. 584 and Joint Council Dining Car Employees, etc. v. New York Cent. R. Co., D.C.N.D.Ill.1946, 7 F.R.D. 376, in support of this theory. In the opinion of the court, this contention fails because the complaint under consideration is based exclusively upon the collective bargaining contract between the association and the corporation and not upon the contracts of hiring between the corporation and the individual employees.

 We think that the situation sub judice is ruled by the case of American Federation of Labor v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 6 Cir., 1950, 179 F.2d 535. There the labor organization brought suit against the company upon a collective bargaining agreement which provided that a prior existing company pension plan should remain in full force and effect. The complaint alleged that the company refused to pay one Mae Hart, a retired employee, the pension to which she was entitled by the terms of the pension plan. It was held that the federal court had jurisdiction under the Taft-Hartley Law, § 301(a), and, under the Declaratory Judgment Act, the company could be compelled to pay the pension to Mae Hart and to other retired employees similarly situated. *fn1" The court remanded the case to the district court for trial on the merits. We are unable to distinguish the instant case in principle from that precedent. See also Local 937, etc., v. Royal Typewriter Co., D.C.Conn.1949, 88 F.Supp. 669; *fn2" United Shoe Workers of America v. Le Danne Footwear, Inc., D.C.Mass.1949, 83 F.Supp. 714. Therefore, we are constrained to deny the first two reasons advanced in the motion to dismiss as being without merit.

 We assume, then, in considering the third reason to dismiss, that we have jurisdiction under Section 301(a) of the Taft-Hartley Law to construe the collective bargaining agreement here before us, and under the Declaratory Judgment Act to enforce the rights of the employees as they appear from its terms and provisions. It thus becomes necessary to examine this agreement in order to determine whether the complaint states a claim upon which relief can be granted.

 The bargaining contract itself, which was dated November 1, 1950, and which appears as Exhibit 'A' in both the original complaint and the amended complaint, does not in our opinion contain any covenant on the part of the corporation to pay its employees for voluntary absences. This conclusion might be sufficient to dismiss the complaint on the authority of Bakery & Confectionery Workers I. U. v. National Biscuit Co., 3 Cir., 1949, 177 F.2d 684. *fn3" But plaintiff contends that certain directions and interpretations contained in Exhibit 'F', attached to the amended complaint, were incorporated into the 1950 bargaining contract, and that these directions and interpretations illustrate an intention and purpose of the corporation to pay employees for voluntary absences and were sufficient to impose upon it a contractual obligation to do so.

 Exhibit 'F' is entitled:

 
'Westinghouse Electric Corporation Manual of Accounting and Industrial Relations Manual Part 6 -- Industrial Relations ...

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