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FORD v. KAMMERER

August 14, 1968

Linwood T. Ford et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Edward Kammerer et al., Defendants


Lord, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD

LORD, D.J.:

This is a labor law matter before the Court on an application for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs seek an order enjoining and restraining the individual defendants and all other persons acting in concert with them and under their direction and on their behalf from denying plaintiffs their right to union membership and their right to participate as full members of defendant Local 845, defendant Carpenters' District Council and Defendant Carpenters' National Union.

 Findings of Fact

 The facts, as pertain to plaintiffs Smith, Perkins, Henninger, Kessler, Lowden and Preston, partly as stipulated and partly as found by the Court are as follows:

 As Stipulated by Counsel.

 1. Plaintiffs are individuals residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 2. Defendant Local 845, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (hereinafter referred to as "Local 845") is a labor organization within the meaning of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (hereinafter referred to as "LMRDA"). 29 U.S.C.A. ยงยง 401-531.

 3. Defendant Metropolitan District Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (hereinafter referred to as "District Council") is a joint council of all Philadelphia and vicinity local union affiliates of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

 4. Defendant United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (hereinafter referred to as "Carpenters' National Union") is an International union with which defendant Local 845 and defendant District Council are affiliated and by whose Constitution and laws said defendants are governed.

 5. John J. Crawford was President of Local 845 on July 28, 1965 through February 23, 1966.

 6. Defendant Joseph Seefeldt is a Business Agent for defendant District Council.

 7. Defendant Robert H. Gray is Secretary-Treasurer of defendant District Council.

 8. An applicant for membership in Local 845 presented himself for initiation into membership at the meeting of the Local 845 held on August 25, 1965. In accordance with requirements of the Initiation Ceremony Ritual, President Crawford rapped his gavel three times and requested the members of Local 845 who were present to rise while he initiated the applicant for membership. Plaintiffs, Henninger, Perkins, Kessler, Smith, Preston and Lowden refused to rise. Pursuant to Section 33C of the Constitution and Laws of the Brotherhood (which are set forth below in Finding of Fact 9), President Crawford again requested plaintiffs to rise and when they failed to do so, he told each of them that he was fining him fifty cents. The six plaintiffs still refused to rise and he thereupon told each of them that he was fining him $1.00 and requested them to leave the meeting room. Plaintiffs, nevertheless, remained in their seats. He thereupon told them that he was suspending them from attending meetings of Local 845 for three months.

 9. On or about September 8, 1965, aforesaid plaintiffs were again told that on August 25, 1965, at a regular meeting of Local 845, they had been suspended for a period of three months for the reason that they had failed to stand when instructed to do so by the chairman at the meeting. The suspension was levied pursuant to Section 33C of the Constitution and Laws of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (hereinafter referred to as the "Constitution of the Brotherhood") which states as follows:

 
Any member entering the meeting in a state of intoxication, or who disturbs the harmony thereof, or uses profane or unbecoming language during the meeting shall be admonished by the Chair, and if the member again offends, shall be assessed Fifty Cents (50); for the second offense, One Dollar ($1.00) and excluded from the room; for the third offense the member shall be suspended from attending meetings for three months. A visiting member shall be subject to these Laws, and ...

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