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MAMULA v. USW

February 15, 1962

Nicholas MAMULA, Plaintiff,
v.
LOCAL 1211, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA and Louis E. Biega, Vice-President and Louis DeSena, Financial Secretary, Michael J. Zarorsky, Recording Secretary, and Dominic Iacabucci, Treasurer, and United Steelworkers of America, an International Union, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

In this proceeding arising under the provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act, defendants' motion for summary judgment poses two questions which require the Court's determination:

1. Whether, under the Landrum-Griffin Act, jurisdiction exists in the Federal District Court to review the removal from office of a local union officer for actions taken by him as a union officer.

 2. Whether, under the Landrum-Griffin Act, jurisdiction exists in the Federal District Court to review the action of an international union in deciding that, because of misconduct in office for which a local union officer has been removed, such officer shall be disqualified from holding any further union office for a period of five years from the date of his removal.

 HISTORY

 Plaintiff was, prior to July 20, 1961, the President of Local Union 1211. On February 16, 1961, charges were submitted to the Local Union by a local union official, accusing plaintiff of alleged instances of misconduct as an officer and member of the union.

 A trial committee, after hearing the charges, recommended that plaintiff be removed from office, fined $ 2,000.00 and suspended from membership in the union until the fine was paid, which recommendations were ratified by a membership meeting of Local Union 1211 on July 20, 1961.

 After the plaintiff had filed an appeal with the International Executive Board on August 14, 1961, Local 1211 scheduled an election to fill the vacancy created by the removal of the plaintiff from office.

 At this juncture plaintiff filed the instant law suit, alleging that the procedures used by the local union in reaching its decision are contrary to law, in particular Sec. 101(a)(5) of the Landrum-Griffin Act, 29 U.S.C.A. ยง 411(a)(5), and asks that the decision be set aside.

 In addition, plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction against the holding of an election to fill the vacancy. On September 15, 1961, the parties stipulated that the election could proceed but that if plaintiff were successful on his appeal within the union, or in this action, the results of the election would be vacated and plaintiff would be returned to office.

 On January 10, 1962, the International Executive Board reversed the local union's imposition of a fine and suspension. It further ruled that the plaintiff be barred from holding office in the union for five years, except that upon a showing that he had cleansed himself, such five-year period could be reduced and that subsequent thereto he would be required as a condition for running for office, to restore $ 1,087.00 to the local's treasury which had allegedly been improperly wasted through misconduct as an officer.

 It would appear, based upon the actions of the International Union, that denying plaintiff the opportunity to run for public office for a period of five years would, in effect, thwart the purposes and objectives enunciated in the opinion of an associate member of this Court, assuming of course that his views are affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. For the action of the International Union, even though required to comply with the provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act as they relate to nomination and election of officers, would deny the plaintiff the opportunity of taking office for a period of five years, even though nominated and elected.

 I -- JURISDICTION AS TO UNION OFFICER

 I am constrained to conclude that the procedural safeguards established by the Landrum-Griffin Act as prerequisites to disciplining of members do not apply to removing officers from union office. *fn1" By its terms, the applicable section adverts only to when a member has been 'fined, suspended, expelled, or otherwise ...


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