Appeal, No. 341, Jan. T., 1957, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1955, No. 4210, in case of Theresa Rita Zawada v. Pennsylvania System Board of Adjustment, etc. Judgment affirmed; reargument refused april 28, 1958.
Lawrence J. Richette, with him Meehan, Neil & Richette, for appellant.
Allen S. Olmsted, 2nd, with him Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul, for appellee.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Jones and Cohen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES, March 17, 1958:
The instant appeal presents another aspect of a dispute within an international labor union, Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees (herein called Brotherhood), a dispute which was the subject of a previous decision of this Court: Grand Lodge of the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks v. Girard Lodge No. 100, 384 Pa. 248, 120 A.2d 523. In that decision we upheld the Brotherhood's revocation of the charters of four of its local lodges because of what we termed a "rebellion" of the members of those lodges.
The present action in assumpsit*fn1 brought by appellant - the wife and assignee of Joseph P. Zawada, one of the principal participants in the "rebellion" - seeks the recovery of compensation from the Brotherhood for
Zawada's services rendered to the Brotherhood from February 1954 to December 1956.
Article 1 of the "Protective Laws" of the Brotherhood provides, inter alia, that each local lodge shall elect a "Protective Committee" which shall consist of three or more members of the lodge, headed by a Chairman, who shall serve four year terms. Where there are several lodges within one division of a single railroad the Chairmen of the "Protective Committees" of the local lodges in the division shall elect from among their own number a "Division Chairman" whose duty is to represent the entire union membership of the division in all matters concerning grievances at the division level. Only Chairmen of the "Protective Committees" of the local lodges in the division are eligible for election to the post of "Division Chairman".
At the time the present controversy arose there were six lodges of the Brotherhood in the Philadelphia Terminal Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Zawada - appellant's husband and assignor-- was "Division Chairman" of the lodges, having been elected to this position for the four year period, 1952-1956, by the Chairmen of the "Protective Committees" of the six lodges in the division. When elected, Zawada was the "Protective Chairman" of Girard Lodge No. 100.
On February 1, 1954 the Grand President of the Brotherhood declared a forfeiture of the charters of the Girard Lodge and three other lodges in the division because of their deliberate refusal to pay their quarterly per capita tax to the Brotherhood.*fn2 The forfeiture of these charters was upheld by this Court and the four lodges were directed to turn over to the Brotherhood
their charters, supplies, books, records, funds and all other property which, by reason of the forfeiture, became the property ...