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BAILER v. LOCAL 470 (06/03/60)

June 3, 1960

BAILER, APPELLANT,
v.
LOCAL 470, INTERNATIONAL TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS.



Appeal, No. 237, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1958, No. 2511, in case of Charles Bailer v. Local 470, International Teamster, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers et al. Decree reversed. Equity.

COUNSEL

Theodore R. Mann, with him Maximillian J. Klinger, and Klinger & Mann, for appellant.

Alan R. Howe, with him Edward Davis, for appellees.

Before Jones, C. J., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and McBRIDE, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 400 Pa. Page 189]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN.

This is an appeal from the order of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County sustaining preliminary objections to appellant's complaint in equity against Local 470, International Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers (Local), its President, Peter Schultz, and its Secretary-Treasurer, Thomas McDonnell. In his complaint, appellant pleads the following facts:

Appellant was at all times relevant herein, and still is, a member in good standing in the appellee Local. At a meeting of the Local in September, 1957, the appellant seconded a motion that the Local oppose the election of James Hoffa as President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union (International). Defendant Schultz refused to permit the membership of the Local to vote on the motion, and advised the moving party that regardless of the wishes of the membership, the Local's vote would be for James Hoffa. Shortly thereafter, appellant and other members of the Local circulated a petition which embodied a request to Joint Council No. 53 of the International Brotherhood, a body with apparently some supervisory power over the Local's officers, that it direct the appellee officers to administer the affairs and meetings of the

[ 400 Pa. Page 190]

    appellee Local in a democratic fashion. On October 24, 1957, the day James Hoffa was elected President of the International, the appellant was fired from his job at the Connelly Container Corporation (Corporation), where he had been employed for seven years, on the ground that he had obtained signatures for the above petition during company hours. Thereafter, appellant requested the appellee Local to protect his rights and take the necessary steps to help him regain his job. While the steward of appellant's shop made no effort to aid appellant's cause, the appellee Local submitted the case to arbitration. The appellant's request to have his own counsel represent him at the arbitration proceedings was refused by the appellee Local. On June 24, 1958, the arbitrator handed down a decision to the effect that appellant had been lawfully discharged.

The complaint further alleges that since October 5, 1957, the day following the firing, appellant has regularly gone to the Union Hall of the appellee Local for the purpose of obtaining employment, temporary or permanent. Although since that time large numbers of members of the appellee Local have found temporary or permanent employment through the efforts of the Local, the appellant has obtained only two weeks of work thereby.

Appellant avers that the Local has breached its duty as bargaining agent for the appellant in that the Local failed to afford appellant the protection and service owed to him in resecuring his job, and in addition, has breached its fiduciary obligation of good faith toward the appellant by its discrimination in wilfully and maliciously favoring other members of the Local over him in its efforts to find employment for its members. Appellant claims that in effect the Local has blacklisted him solely because of the ...


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