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PENNSYLVANIA TIDEWATER DOCK CO. v. NATIONAL MARITI

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


June 29, 1962

The PENNSYLVANIA TIDEWATER DOCK COMPANY
v.
NATIONAL MARITIME UNION OF AMERICA, Seafarers International Union of North America, International Longshoremen's Association, Local 1291, International Longshoremen's Association, International Maritime Workers' Union, Richard Askew, Louis Parise, Steve Cardullo, Shannon J. Wall

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUSEN

The Complaint in this case is divided into two causes of action. The first cause of action is one brought against the defendant unions under 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C.A. 187) for alleged violation of 8(b) (4) of the Act (29 U.S.C.A. 158(b)(4)). *fn1" The second cause of action is directed only against the individual defendants, is based on alleged violation of the common law of Pennsylvania, and is before this court under the provisions of 28 U.S.C.A. 1332. Diversity of citizenship is alleged, as is the requisite jurisdictional amount. A Motion To Dismiss The Second Cause of Action has been filed by the Seafarers International Union of North America (hereinafter called 'SIU') and Steve Cardullo, one of the individual defendants. This Motion is presently before the court.

The individual defendants are identified in the Complaint as officers *fn2" and responsible representatives of four of the unions which are sued under the first cause of action. *fn3" The Complaint alleges that plaintiff has a valid contract with Local 1291, International Longshoremen's Association, and that the individuals, individually and in collusion with each other caused plaintiff's employees (members of Local 1291) not to perform said contract to work for plaintiff in the unloading of ore vessels at Pier 122 or to enter into or continue their employment relations with Tidewater for the purpose of unloading such vessels. It also alleges that they caused and procured the placing of pickets at the entrance to Pier 122 for the aforementioned purposes. The individual defendants are also charged with inducing others not to enter into business relations with Tidewater. Tidewater alleges that, because of the unlawful and improper acts of the individual defendants stated above, it was deprived of payment of its regular charges for the performance of services and has suffered damages in the amount of $ 40,000.00. Judgment is demanded against each of the individual defendants, jointly and severally, in the amount of $ 40,000.00 with interest, costs and counsel fees.

 The allegations contained in the second cause of action, if proved, constitute a tort under the applicable state law. *fn4" However, it is the contention of the defendants making this Motion that this court has no jurisdiction to entertain this cause of action because the activities complained of are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board.

 In San Diego Bldg. Trades Council, Millmens' Union, Local 2020 v. Gramon, 359 U.S. 236, 79 S. Ct. 773, 3 L. Ed. 2d 775 (1959), the Supreme Court held that a state court may not award damages against a union for activities which were at least arguably subject to 7 or 8 of the National Labor Relations Act and that exclusive primary jurisdiction in the case rested with the National Labor Relations Board. *fn5" This case was used as authority by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in refusing to entertain an injunction action based on the same controversy as is involved here. *fn6"

 The activities set forth in the second cause of action are arguably subject to 8 of the Labor Management Relations Act if the activities were performed by a union or its agents. *fn7" Therefore, in spite of the fact that there is diversity between plaintiff and the individual defendants and that the same activities might also form a basis for a tort action under Pennsylvania law, the rationale of the Garmon case makes it necessary to decide that there is no jurisdiction in this court to entertain this second cause of action if brought against defendants as agents of SIU.

 Plaintiff's argument that the individual defendants are charged with the commission of a tort in their individual or private capacity and that their status as union members is immaterial has not been overlooked. However, in view of the allegation in paragraph 20 of the Complaint that Cardullo is an 'officer and the responsible representative of Defendant, SIU,' this argument, as a basis for jurisdiction over the subject matter, must be rejected in view of Atkinson v. Sinclair Refining Co., 82 S. Ct. 1318. Count II will be dismissed as to Cardullo, without prejudice to the right of plaintiff to file an amendment to the Complaint, making a claim against him as an individual only and not as a representative of a labor organization if the facts permit such amendment.


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