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RINKER v. AMALGAMATED LITHOGRAPHERS

January 26, 1962

Floyd RINKER, Plaintiff,
v.
LOCAL UNION NO. 24 OF AMALGAMATED LITHOGRAPHERS OF AMERICA, an unincorporated labor association, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This is a two-pronged suit under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, naming both the union and employer as joint defendants based upon an alleged conspiracy to secure plaintiff's expulsion from the union and his dismissal from his employment, 29 U.S.C.A. § 401.

Two motions are presently before the Court:

 1. Motion of William G. Johnston Company, defendant, and plaintiff's employer, to dismiss the complaint as it relates to said employer for lack of jurisdiction in the Federal Court.

 2. Motion of Local Union No. 24 of Amalgamated Lithographers of America, the other defendant, for summary judgment as to Count Two of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction in the Federal Court.

 Plaintiff alleged in Count One of his complaint that he was a member of Local Union No. 24 of Amalgamated Lithographers of America and was employed by William G. Johnston Company, having experienced difficulty with said union. He was expelled from membership by the Union for an alleged violation of the Union Constitution. His prayer for reinstatement is the gravaman of Count One.

 In Count Two of the complaint, plaintiff alleges a conspiracy between the Union and his employer to have him dismissed from his employment and seeks damages from the date of his suspension to time of trial.

 MOTION OF WILLIAM G. JOHNSTON COMPANY

 Motion of William G. Johnston Company to dismiss the complaint poses the following question:

 Can a union member bring a claim against his employer to the United States District Court under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (commonly known as the Landrum-Griffin Act) where the union member alleges that the employer was a co-conspirator with the union to violate rights protected under said act?

 Plaintiff argues that his employer's responsibility under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act stems from its official declaration of purpose where it is stated, inter alia, that

 '* * * in order to accomplish the objective of a free flow of commerce it is essential that labor organizations, employers, and their officials adhere to the highest standards of responsibility and ethical conduct in administering the affairs of their organizations, particularly as they affect labor-management relations.' 29 U.S.C.A. § 401(a).

 After a careful examination of the statute upon which plaintiff premises his prayer for relief, I am impelled to dismiss the complaint as it relates to his employer for lack of jurisdiction of the subject matter. To so liberally construe the statute, without a clear and manifest intention on the part of Congress, would preempt Congressional intention and create an unintended avalanche of suits between employee and employer in the Federal Courts.

 There is nothing in the act to indicate jurisdiction in this Court for an action by an employee against an employer to review a justification or non-jurisdiction for a discharge.

 In short, this statute deals with the union-member relationship and in no way supports jurisdiction of a suit involving the employer-employee relationship, Gross v. Kennedy, D.C., 183 F.Supp. 750; Strauss v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, D.C., 179 F.Supp. 297; ...


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