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GRAHAM v. SOLONER

August 27, 1963

Joseph GRAHAM and Margaret Froelich and Beatrice McKeon and George M. Sutherland
v.
Jack SOLONER, President, and Robert C. Brennan, Secretary-Treasurer, and American Bakery & Confectionery Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, Local 492



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, III

Findings of Fact

1. The plaintiffs are employed by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) in the City of Philadelphia.

 2. The defendants are the officers of Local 492, American Bakery & Confectionery Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, which is the Union at Nabisco.

 3. Plaintiffs were not members in good standing, having failed to pay fines imposed for non-attendance at meetings. A member who is not in good standing is ineligible to vote at election for union officers, but may participate in other union affairs.

 4. In November of 1961, local elections were to take place and Robert Gartner, who is a 'spokesman' or 'leader' of a minority group within the Local Union was a candidate for trustee. Plaintiffs are members of that minority group.

 5. Prior to the election, the defendants, Soloner and Brennan, informed the membership that unless a member was 'paid up' both in fines and dues, he would not be permitted to vote in the pending election.

 6. On November 18, 1961, some four days prior to the election, Gartner, who was a paid-up member and eligible to vote, led a group of ineligible members, including all plaintiff except Sutherland, to the vicinity of the offices of the Local and they proceeded to picket the offices of the Local.

 8. Gartner was defeated in the election for the office of trustee.

 9. Gartner and plaintiffs began writing a series of letters to the defendant officers, requesting an 'appeal' of the election and alleging that members of the Local were illegally deprived of voting rights. This 'appeal' was held to be without merit by the Local officers.

 10. Subsequently, the plaintiffs filed a self-styled appeal to the International Union's Secretary-Treasurer in Washington, D.C., which initiated an investigation of the matter.

 11. The appeal was denied by the International because the plaintiffs failed to follow the Union Constitution, which requires specific charges to be made against the accused party.

 12. After this denial, the plaintiffs contacted the Department of Labor and requested an investigation.

 13. The Bureau of Labor-Management Reports conducted an investigation and concluded that no violation occurred which may have ...


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