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SHULTZ v. LOCAL 1291

April 17, 1969

George P. SHULTZ, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor
v.
LOCAL 1291, INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BODY

 BODY, District Judge.

 I.

 This action was instituted by the Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, under Title IV of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (L.M.R.D.A.) (Act of September 14, 1959, 73 Stat. 519, 29 U.S.C. § 481 et seq., Landrum-Griffin Act). It seeks to have an election of officers held by the defendant local union on December 10, 1963 declared null and void and to require a new election conducted under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor. Jurisdiction is conferred upon this Court by Section 482(b) of the L.M.R.D.A.

 The procedural history of this case is fairly long. The action was brought on May 25, 1964. Trial was held on November 22, 23, and 24, 1965 before the late Honorable Allan K. Grim, Senior Judge. On December 23, 1965, following the passing of Judge Grim, this case was assigned to this Court. On June 3, 1966, the parties stipulated that the testimony given before Judge Grim and the stipulations of the parties entered into at the pretrial hearing became the record in this proceeding.

 On December 22, 1966, the Court on the basis of Wirtz v. Local 153, Glass Bottle Blowers Association, 372 F.2d 86 (3rd Cir., 1966) decided this case was moot because of the subsequent 1965 election and dismissed the complaint. Because of the Supreme Court's reversal *fn1" in the Wirtz v. Local 153 case, supra, on March 14, 1968, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the order of this Court which dismissed the action as moot, and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with Wirtz v. Local 153, supra.

 On March 6, 1969 this Court heard oral arguments in this case.

 Because of this Court's ruling with respect to the issue of exhaustion of internal union remedies, the subsequent findings of fact will concern mainly that issue.

 The subject of this suit is Rule 3(c)(3) of Local 1291's By-laws which states:

 
"In accordance with tradition heretofore observed, the President shall be of the colored race, Vice President, white, Recording Secretary, white, Financial Secretary, colored, Asst. Financial Secretary, white, 4 Business Agents, equally proportioned, 3 Trustees (Auditors) 1 white & 2 colored, 2 Sergeant at Arms, 1 colored and 1 white."

 Local 1291, International Longshoremen's Association (I.L.A.) from the time of its inception in 1932 to the present has had approximately a 50-50 split in membership between blacks and whites.

 On December 10, 1963 Abdullah Ahmad Bey, who had been nominated for President, was defeated in a union election. Prior to this date Bey had neither formally complained about Rule 3(c)(3) nor had he attempted to nominate any black for a white designated office, or a white for a black designated office, at the nominations which took place on November 19, 1963.

 On December 16, 1963, Bey complained of Rule 3(c)(3) of the By-laws to the President of Local 1291, Richard L. Askew. On December 30, 1963, Bey was given a hearing before the Local's Executive Board, where he appeared with witnesses and testified. Two weeks later, he received a decision against him. The Executive Board itself then referred the matter to the membership of the Local. Bey appeared before the entire body, and the membership voted to sustain the Executive Board.

 On February 8, 1964, Bey sent a letter intended as an "appeal" to the President of the Philadelphia District Council, I.L.A., Mr. Bailey. Mr. Bey testified he sent copies to Joseph M. Kane, Corresponding Secretary of the Local, to the Atlantic Coast District, and to the International President. Mr. Kane denied receiving the copy.

 Mr. Bey testified that he did not send his appeal to the District Council's secretary, Joseph S. Kane, because Mr. Kane was also a member of the Local Executive Board which had ruled against him on his first appeal. Mr. Bey testified that he received no response from the District Council or Mr. Bailey, and went immediately to the Department of Labor on March 26, 1964 with a complaint. On April 10, 1964, Mr. Bey received a letter from Joseph S. Kane, the District Council's Secretary, stating that he had been unaware of ...


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