plaintiff wilfully violated the "no strike" clause of the collective-bargaining agreement, and charge No. 5 is that he wilfully violated a directive of District Council 33, i.e., that there would be no further work stoppages by Local 403 after May 9.
I am satisfied that the May 18, 1967, incident did not amount to a work-stoppage. In the entire 460-page record there is not an iota of proof that the slight increase in absenteeism on May 18, 1967, caused any interference with the operation of the street department, or caused work not to be done, or resulted in any lessening of the work performed that day.
Moreover, the evidence is overwhelming that the plaintiff neither caused nor encouraged the May 18 "sick day." It surely does not accord with the due process to expel plaintiff from membership because of the actions of others over whom he had no right of control, theoretical or actual.
There remains for discussion only the first charge, namely, that the plaintiff "called and directed" a work-stoppage on May 4. As to this incident (passing the fact that it was adjusted between plaintiff and the District Council on May 9), there was no competent evidence that plaintiff called the alleged stoppage, and there was no evidence at all that he directed anyone else not to work. If he did call or direct a stoppage on that occasion, he was singularly unsuccessful, since there is no evidence that anyone else participated. The most that can be said is that the plaintiff himself, by standing in the driveway, caused a brief interference with normal operations at that yard -- but he is not charged with that offense.
On the whole record, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that the plaintiff has at all times conscientiously sought to advance the interests of the members of his local; that the membership of Local 403 is volatile, and neither easy to control nor easy to convince; and that the plaintiff has on occasion been required to act as a buffer between the Council and the membership. It is also quite clear that in recent years District Council 33 has missed few opportunities to harass Local 403 and its current leadership.
Under the peculiar circumstances of this case, including the suggestion of past racial tensions underlying some of the long history of discord, I believe the Court should be especially vigilant to safeguard the membership rights of every union member. The present record affords no rational basis for expelling plaintiff from membership in Local 403.
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties, and over the subject-matter insofar as plaintiff's expulsion from membership in the union is concerned.
2. Plaintiff has exhausted all remedies available within the union.
3. Defendant's motion to dismiss should be denied.
4. All pending applications for interim relief are rendered moot by the filing of this final adjudication.
5. There is no substantial evidence to support any of the charges against the plaintiff.
6. Plaintiff's expulsion from membership was illegal, arbitrary and unjustified, and in violation of due process of law.
7. Plaintiff is entitled to judgment in his favor, restoring him to full membership in the union and permanently enjoining any further attempts to interfere with his rights as a member on the basis of the matters set forth in the charges filed June 14, 1967.
AND Now, this 9th day of April, 1968, it is ORDERED:
1. That the defendant is hereby permanently enjoined from expelling plaintiff from membership in Local 403 of the defendant union on the basis of the charges filed June 14, 1967.
2. That the defendant shall forthwith restore plaintiff to full membership in said union.
3. That the Court will retain jurisdiction, for the purpose of considering applications for further relief from time to time, as the circumstances may warrant.
4. That the defendant's motion to dismiss is hereby DENIED.
5. That all pending applications for interim relief are hereby DISMISSED, as moot.