Mundy employees, alleging, in effect, that the Mundy employees had been improperly placed at the bottom of the Jones seniority list. Owing to certain postponements and delays, not material for present purposes, the grievance had not been processed when this action was instituted, on February 19, 1964, nor at the time of the first hearing herein, on February 28.
The grievance hearing was held on March 6, 1964, before a panel of the Change of Operations Committee of the Tri-Area Joint Area Committee. There were no representatives from either Local 107 or Jones on this panel. After a full hearing, during which all interested parties were given an opportunity to present evidence and to be heard, the Committee rendered the following decision:
'1. That on February 11, 1963, Mundy motor Lines ceased doing business in the Philadelphia area for all intents and purposes and that the date of February 11, 1963 is the decisive date for purposes of this hearing;
'2. That the seniority of the affected employees as of February 11, 1963, could only be determined under the provisions of Article 5, Section 5 of the January 1, 1960 Master Agreement between the Motor Transport Labor Relations, Inc. and Teamsters Local 107, since that agreement had remained in effect until June 10, 1963 for purposes of determining seniority in such cases;
'3. That the past practice under the provisions of Article 5, Section 5 of the January 1, 1960 Master Agreement between the Motor Transport Labor Relations, Inc. and Teamsters Local 107 had been to place the employees of the purchased employer at the bottom of the seniority list;
'4. That Jones Motor Company, Inc. and the union adhered to this practice when they placed the employees of Mundy Motor Lines at the bottom of the Jones Motor Company, Inc. seniority list; and
'5. That, therefore, the seniority list is correct in all respects and should be continued.'
Article 7, § 4(b), of the Tri-Area Agreement provides: 'Where the Joint Area Committee by majority vote settles a dispute, such decision shall be final and binding on both parties with no further appeal.'
Plaintiffs claim that the placement of plaintiffs at the foot of the combined seniority list 'was a direct and specific violation of the collective bargaining agreement'; and, further, that Local 107 'has breached the duty of fair representation which, as exclusive bargaining agent, it owed and still owes to plaintiffs herein.'
Defendants vigorously contend that this Court is without subject-matter jurisdiction. We think that, under the allegations of the complaint, this Court has jurisdiction, and that defendants have confused the question of jurisdiction with the question whether the complaint states a cause of action. The complaint charges a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, gives this Court jurisdiction in such cases. Whether or not the claim is well founded, is another and distinct question. As stated in Romero v. International Term. Co., 358 U.S. 354 at 359, 79 S. Ct. 468 at 473, 3 L. Ed. 2d 368 (1959):
'The District Court dismissed petitioner's Jones Act claims for lack of jurisdiction. 'As frequently happens where jurisdiction depends on subject matter, the question whether jurisdiction exists has been confused with the question whether the complaint states a cause of action.' Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. v. Northwestern Public Service Co., 341 U.S. 246, 249 (71 S. Ct. 692, 694, 95 L. Ed. 912). Petitioner asserts a substantial claim that the Jones Act affords him a right of recovery for the negligence of his employer. Such assertion alone is sufficient to empower the District Court to assume jurisdiction over the case and determine whether, in fact, the Act does provide the claimed rights. 'A cause of action under our law was asserted here, and the court had power to determine whether it was or was not well founded in law and in fact.' Lauritzen v. Larsen, 345 U.S. 571, 575 (73 S. Ct. 921, 924, 97 L. Ed. 1254).'
In Roadway Express, Inc. v. General Teamsters, Etc. Local 249, 330 F.2d 859 p. 861 (3rd Cir. 1964), the Court stated:
'The complaint properly averred a cause of action under § 301 of the Act. Atkinson v. Sinclair Refining Co., 370 U.S. 238, 241, 82 S. Ct. 1318, 8 L. Ed. 2d 462 (1962). Hence the District Court had jurisdiction over the claim. Whether such averments have merit or not is immaterial on the question of jurisdiction since that is determined from the face of the complaint. Hall v. Sperry Gyroscope Co., etc., 183 F.Supp. 891 (D.C.N.Y.1960).'
We conclude that this Court has jurisdiction, but that the motion for preliminary injunction should, nonetheless, be denied for the reasons hereafter stated.
Ordinarily, the object of a preliminary injunction is either to preserve an existing status during pendency of the litigation, or to restore, during such pendency, a status which has been disturbed by the conduct complained of. The granting of the present motion would do neither. To the contrary, it would reverse the implementation of the decision of the Joint Area Committee and so, during the pendency of this action, change the existing status by ousting the present seniority of the original Jones drivers to what ever extent the dovetailing would produce. Such a reversal of the existing status does not appear appropriate to us until warranted, after final hearing, by a determination, favorable to plaintiffs, of the manifold problems involved in this controversy.
A motion for preliminary injunction requires, too, a consideration of the balancing of the interests of the parties affected. Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co. v. Shelley Knitting Mills, 268 F.2d 569 (3rd Cir. 1959). Here, the real parties in interest are the two groups of drivers contesting for seniority. The twelve plaintiffs, if dovetailed by a preliminary injunction, would supplant a minimum of twelve of the original Jones drivers, and the consequent 'bumping' caused by their displacement would undoubtedly effect a change in the seniority status of a number far higher than twelve. Balancing the interests of the competing groups of drivers, and considering, among other things, the number in each affected group, is does not appear to us that the balancing of interests indicates either the necessity or the desirability of entry of the preliminary injunction here sought.
Moreover, plaintiffs have made no showing of irreparable harm. Such a showing is a sine qua non for the issuance of a preliminary injunction. 'The basis of injunctive relief in the federal courts has always been irreparable harm and inadequacy of legal remedies.' Beacon Theatres v. Westover, 359 U.S. 500, 506, 79 S. Ct. 948, 954, 3 L. Ed. 2d 988 (1959).
All of the plaintiffs save one are employed by Jones, and appear to be working regularly. Plaintiff Burns, the low man on the terminal seniority list at Jones, is only on a 'call-in' status, with the result that he must call the terminal on a daily basis to determine whether there is any work for him on that day. He testified that in the three weeks preceding the hearing, he had worked for Jones only one or two days per week, but that he did obtain work from the Local 107 'hiring hall'. The loss sustained by Burns, regrettable as it may be, and any loss or inconvenience suffered by the other plaintiffs, due to their positions on the seniority list, do not, in our view, afford sufficient legal basis for the granting of the preliminary relief sought. There is neither allegation nor proof that any defendant is financially irresponsible, and any injury suffered by plaintiffs, should they prevail upon final hearing, can be adequately compensated by a monetary award.
Accordingly, in our view, a decision on the claim for injunctive relief should abide a final hearing, when all evidence has been produced and all legal positions adequately explored and presented.
Now, August 12th, 1964, plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.