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AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION v. PORT AUTHORITY ALLEGHENY COUNTY (03/16/65)

decided: March 16, 1965.

AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION, DIVISION 85
v.
PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLANT



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1965, No. 2708, in case of Division 85, Amalgamated Transit Union v. Port Authority of Allegheny County.

COUNSEL

Edward L. Springer, with him Sidney M. Ruffin, Ralph Lynch, Jr., Louis M. Tarasi, Jr., and Burgwin, Ruffin, Perry & Pohl, for appellant.

Herman Sternstein, of the Washington, D.C. Bar, with him Frank R. Bolte, I. J. Gromfine, William B. Peer, and Zimring, Gromfine and Sternstein, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.

Author: Roberts

[ 417 Pa. Page 301]

This appeal is from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County directing appellant, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, to comply with arbitration provisions of the Second Class County Port Authority Act.*fn1 The decree directs the Port Authority to submit to arbitration its labor dispute with appellee union, the recognized bargaining agent for appellant's employees.

Neither the complaint in mandamus nor the answer raise any factual issues and appellee's motion for judgment on the pleadings was granted by the court below.

The facts are not disputed. The Port Authority and the union are parties to a collective bargaining contract which provides that a party desiring any changes shall notify the other party in writing before a certain date. Both parties duly notified each other of their desire to make changes, but subsequent collective bargaining did not result in an agreement. Thereafter appellant refused to submit the dispute to arbitration and appellee sought mandamus.

The legal questions presented involve the interpretation and constitutionality of Section 13.2 of the Port

[ 417 Pa. Page 302]

Authority Act.*fn2 This section provides: "In case of any labor dispute where collective bargaining does not result in agreement, the authority shall offer to submit such dispute to arbitration by a board composed of three persons . . . ."

Appellant's first contention is that the language of Section 13.2 leaves to the Port Authority sole discretion to decide whether a labor dispute shall be submitted to arbitration. The word shall is, however, generally regarded as imperative. National Transit Co. v. Boardman, 328 Pa. 450, 197 Atl. 239 (1938); Kuzmen v. Kamien, 139 Pa. Superior Ct. 538, 12 A.2d 471 (1940). We look to the intention and purpose of the statute in determining whether the word shall is to be given a permissive or imperative meaning. National Transit Co. v. Boardman, supra, and we see no evidence in Section 13.2 of any legislative intention to give this word a permissive meaning only. In fact, a study of the statute indicates that an imperative meaning was clearly intended.

The first sentence of Section 13.2 states that the Port Authority " shall deal with and enter into written contracts with the employes of the authority through accredited representatives of such employes or representatives of any labor organization authorized to act for such employes concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, and pension or retirement provisions." (Emphasis supplied.) The next sentence of the same section provides that where collective bargaining does not result in agreement with respect to any labor dispute the ...


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