and the clear purpose of the Railway Labor Act defeated.
We next come to the contention that the District Court should enter an order restoring the status quo ante by forcing plaintiff to rehire the car inspector until the matter is determined. In the alternative, it is suggested that it be made a condition of granting a restraining order. Under the law and the decided cases, we believe that we have no jurisdiction to pass even preliminary judgment upon the merits of disputes committed by Congress to the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Railroad Adjustment Board or a Board of Adjustment. This was decided by the Supreme Court in Order of Railway Conductors v. Pitney, 326 U.S. 561, 66 S. Ct. 322, 90 L. Ed. 318. In that case, the Order of Railway Conductors petitioned the District Court to enjoin the bankruptcy trustees of a railroad from shifting certain jobs from the conductors to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. The Order of Railway Conductors whose members had operated the trains in question for thirty-five years as a result of negotiations covering rules, rates of pay and working conditions, contended that its contract with the railroad expressly provided that its members would not be replaced without further agreement. The Supreme Court, overruling the District Court, clearly refused to grant equitable relief to maintain the status quo ante pending the decision of the Adjustment Board. It declared that no such action was desirable since the Adjustment Board could grant a money award if it were later decided that the Order of Railway Conductors was entitled to the jobs under the contract.
The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Co. v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, 266 F.2d 335, held that the District Court had no power to order the maintenance of the status quo ante as a condition to granting injunctive relief to a railroad until a minor dispute was decided by the National Railroad Adjustment Board. In that case the railroad changed freight train runs and freight service terminals which resulted in the abolition of position. When the unions protested and threatened to strike, the District Court issued an injunction against the strike but also directed the railroads to maintain the status quo ante by retaining the conditions which existed prior to the effective date of the orders which abolished the positions of the trainmen. Since a minor dispute was involved, the Court held that the District Court had no jurisdiction to maintain the status quo ante because the action constituted preliminary judgment on the merits of a dispute which was committed to the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Railroad Adjustment Board. To the same effect, see In re Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Co., D.C.S.D.N.Y.1959, 172 F.Supp. 329.
The decision of Judge Bryan in Baltimore & Ohio Co. v. United Railroad Workers Division, T.W.U. of America, D.C.S.D.N.Y.1959, 176 F.Supp. 53, so heavily relied on by the defendants, is not controlling. There the Court failed to determine whether the case involved a major or minor dispute. He referred that question back to the National Labor Board for determination. Here, the parties concede that this is a minor dispute.
Besides, Judge Bryan's order restoring the status quo ante was reversed by a divided Court on appeal to the Second Circuit in an opinion filed since the instant matter was presented to this Court. Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co. v. United Railroad Workers Div. of Transport Workers Union of America, 2 Cir., 87 F.2d 271.
Until the processes set up by Congress under the Railway Labor Act are exhausted, a threatened strike or work stoppage is unlawful and should be restrained.
In vindication of the public policy declared by Congress in the Railway Labor Act and the duties enjoined on the defendants thereunder and to prevent irreparable loss and grave ham to the plaintiff and the public, the elief prayed for in the complaint will be granted.
An appropriate order will be entered contemporaneously herewith.