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O'DONNELL v. PHILADELPHIA. (05/21/56)

May 21, 1956

O'DONNELL, APPELLANT,
v.
PHILADELPHIA.



Appeal, No. 67, Jan. T., 1956, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1953, No. 3255, in case of Laurence O'Donnell et al. v. City of Philadelphia. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

William J. O'Brien, for appellants.

Jomes L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitor, with him Jacob J. Siegel and Herbert M. Linsenberg, Assistant City Solicitors and David Berger and Abraham L. Freedman, City Solicitors, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Jones, Bell, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Stern

[ 385 Pa. Page 190]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HORACE STERN

This is a declaratory judgment proceeding instituted by a C.I.O. Local, Philadelphia Civil Service Employees' Association, and five individual employes of the city, allegedly on behalf of all the city employes other than those employed in the Department of Public Works, to recover pay for work performed in excess of 40 hours each week during the year 1952. The court below dismissed the petitioners' prayer for such a judgment, and they now appeal from its order. They rest

[ 385 Pa. Page 191]

    their claim partly upon a city ordinance and partly upon a certain agreement hereinafter referred to.

On December 7, 1944, the Council of the city enacted an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to execute an agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, District Council No. 33, Philadelphia and Vicinity, which is an A.F.L. organization, and certain autonomous local unions included therein, for the purpose of bargaining collectively with regard to wages, hours and working conditions of certain of the city's employes. This agreement was thereupon executed by the city and by the District Council (therein called the "Union"). In it the city agreed to recognize the Union as the only union for the purpose of collective bargaining with the employes of the city working in four designated bureaus of the Department of Public Works. It provided that the regular work week for such employes should consist of 48 hours, six days of eight hours each, overtime to be compensated for at the rate of time and one-half times the regular rate of pay. The recognition of and collective bargaining by the Union was to be on behalf of its own members only. Each employe was to have the right to present his own grievances and there was to be no discrimination between Union and non-Union employes nor more or less favorable treatment given to any employes covered by the contract. This agreement continued in force from year to year, and on October 29, 1951, the city enacted an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to execute an amendment as to hours of work, in pursuance of which, on December 4, 1951, the parties executed such an amendatory agreement, to become effective January 1, 1952; it provided that the regular work week for the employes would be 40 hours consisting of five days of eight hours each, with a provision for overtime payment. The same ordinance

[ 385 Pa. Page 192]

    of October 29, 1951, provided that on and after January 1, 1952, the standard work week of the employes of the city should consist of five work days.

On January 2, 1952, an ordinance was enacted amending the ordinance of October 29, 1951, to provide that on and after January 1, 1952, the standard work week of the ...


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