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WYOMING RADIO v. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION BROADCAST EMPLOYEES & TECHNICIANS (01/18/60)

January 18, 1960

WYOMING RADIO, INC.
v.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCAST EMPLOYEES & TECHNICIANS, AFL-CIO, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 349, Jan.T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Oct. T., 1959, No. 12, in case of Wyoming Radio, Inc. v. National Association sociation of Broadcast Employees & Technicians, AFL-CIO et al. Order reversed. Equity. Before PINOLA, J. Adjudication filed granting preliminary injunction against defendants upon entry of security, and order entered. Defendants appealed.

COUNSEL

Robert B. Fleming, of the New York Bar, admitted especially for argument, with him James P. Harris, Jr., and James, Harris, McLean, Silverblatt & Miner, for appellants.

Leon H. Kline, with him Murray Mackson, Sol Lubin, and Martin H. Philip, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 398 Pa. Page 185]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On September 1, 1958, the plaintiff, Wyoming Radio, Inc., acquired from Radio Anthracite, Inc., in Nanticoke, radio station WNAK. In doing so, it accepted all obligations under a collective bargaining agreement which had been entered into by Radio Anthracite, Inc. with the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, AFL-CIO. This agreement provided: "The Company agrees to meet with the Union Grievance Committee which shall be composed of employees of the Company and which may be accompanied by a representative or Representatives of the Union, for the purpose of adjusting all disputes, misunderstandings, or interpretations of this Agreement. Such a meeting may be called by either party to this Agreement and shall take place within three (3) business days after such issuance of notice. If any dispute shall not be settled within ten (10) days after such discussion is initiated thereon, the matter may be referred by either party to an Impartial Arbitrator to be selected in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association, whose decision shall be final and binding on both parties. All expenses shall be borne in accordance with the AAA Rules and Regulations."

In the early part of 1959 a dispute arose between Wyoming Radio and the Union as to whether a William Phillips, who was conducting a show on WNAK, and who was not a member of the Union, should be allowed to perform "on-the-air" announcing, which, under the contract, was restricted to staff employees of the station.

On April 22, 1959, the president of the plaintiff company and William Connelly, President of Local No. 23 of the Union, discussed at length this dispute. Subsequently each had a different version as to what was

[ 398 Pa. Page 186]

    said and what, if anything, was agreed upon. The president of Wyoming Radio, Inc., asserted that Connelly agreed that the Union would not require William Phillips to join the Union while Connelly denied that any such agreement was made, and stated that he had no authority to enter into such an understanding.

On July 13, 1959, the Union began to picket the radio station. Three days later it requested, in accordance with a provision in the contract, that the American Arbitration Association take jurisdiction of the dispute between it and the plaintiff radio station. On July 24, 1959, the plaintiff filed a complaint in equity against the national as well as local union, the president of the local union, and the American Arbitration Association, praying that they be enjoined from pursuing arbitration proceedings. The court of common pleas held a hearing on the complaint and on August 7, 1959, issued the preliminary injunction prayed for. The defendants appealed.

The injunction must be dissolved. Arbitration is not a makeshift or a subterfuge. It is not an excuse for delay or a fan for the cooling off of tempers. It is a solemn and serious undertaking for the attainment of justice, and when parties engaged in a common enterprise agree to settle by arbitration all differences which may arise between them they ...


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