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FULLER v. HIGHWAY TRUCK DRIVERS LOCAL 107

September 3, 1964

August FULLER et al.
v.
HIGHWAY TRUCK DRIVERS AND HELPERS LOCAL 107, an unincorporated association, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America and Hemingway Transport, Inc. and Novick Transfer Co., Inc.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KRAFT

The plaintiffs in this action seek damages and injunctive relief against the implementation of the decision of a joint employer-employee committee purporting to settle certain grievances in accordance with the terms of a collective bargaining contract.

On March 18, 1964, we filed an opinion and order denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Presently before us is the Union defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint.

 Prior to January 13, 1964, the defendants, Hemingway Transport, Inc. (Hemingway), and Novick Transfer Co., Inc. (Novick), were motor freight companies engaged in interstate commerce. Both companies maintained terminals in Philadelphia.

 Both Hemingway and Novick were parties to the same multi-employer, multi-local union collective bargaining agreement in the Philadelphia area, known as the 'Motor Transport Labor Relations, Inc., and Teamsters' Locals City Cartage Agreement' (Master Agreement). The Philadelphia employees of both Hemingway and Novick were represented, for the purposes of collective bargaining, by the defendant Highway Truck Drivers and Helpers, Local 107 (Local 107), affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America (International).

 On January 13, 1964, Novick ceased doing business as a separate concern. Its business was absorbed by Hemingway, and Novick's drivers, among whom were the plaintiffs became employees of Hemingway at its Philadelphia terminal.

 Article 5, Section 1, of the contract provides:

 'Section 1. -- Seniority rights for employees shall prevail. Seniority shall be broken only by discharge, voluntary quit, or more than a two (2) year layoff. Any employee on the seniority list who is absent because of illness or injury shall accumulate seniority for the purpose of determining his place on the seniority list. * * * A list of employees arranged in the order of their seniority shall be posted in a conspicuous place at their place of employment and a copy to the Union. There may be (at the Union's discretion) one road driver steward and one city driver steward and, in addition, one dock steward per shift in each terminal or operation. Such stewards shall be granted superseniority for all purposes, including layoff, rehire, bidding and job preference. Any controversy over the seniority standing of any employee on the seniority list shall be submitted to the Joint Grievance Procedure. (Article 7).'

 Article 5, Section 4, of the contract provides:

 'Section 4. -- (a) The uniform rules as to application of seniority in the case of mergers, purchases, acquisitions and sales, etc. shall be those adopted by the Central States Joint Area Committee.'

 The seniority rules adopted by the Central States Joint Area Committee, in relevant part, provide:

 'APPLICATION OF SENIORITY RULES IN CASES OF MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, SALES, ETC. UNDER CENTRAL STATES ROAD AND CARTAGE AGREEMENTS 'Merger, purchase, acquisition, sale, etc.

 '1. If both carriers involved are solvent then the seniority lists of the two companies should be dovetailed so as to create a Master Seniority List based upon total years of service with either Company. This is known as dovetailing in accordance with years of seniority * * *

 On January 20, 1964, the Joint Area Committee held a hearing on a grievance, filed by Hemingway employees, involving the relative seniority of the original Hemingway and the former Novick truck drivers at the consolidated Hemingway terminal. Plaintiffs allege that 'all three defendants (Local 107, Hemingway, Novick) breached the terms of the collective bargaining agreement,' and that Local 107 breached as well 'its duty of fair representation, by failing to dovetail the two seniority lists as the collective bargaining agreement specifically requires'; that 'as a direct result of these breaches. * * * the decision of the Joint Area Committee was adverse to the class of plaintiffs herein, and ordered that all of Novick's drivers be placed at the foot of the ...


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