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FULLER v. HIGHWAY TRUCK DRIVERS LOCAL 107

June 3, 1969

August Fuller et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Highway Truck Drivers And Helpers Local 107, affiliated with International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America et al., Defendants


Lord, III, District Judge


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, III

I. INTRODUCTION

 The controversy in this case concerns a seniority dispute between employes of two merged interstate carriers. The plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction on February 21, 1964. Judge C. William Kraft, Jr., denied that motion. Fuller v. Drivers Local 107 228 F. Supp. 287 (E.D. Pa. 1964). The case is now before us on plaintiffs' motion for a permanent injunction. The parties have agreed to have the case decided on the record established on February 27 and 28, 1964, at the hearing on the preliminary injunction.

 II. FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Plaintiffs are truck drivers and helpers employed by the defendant Novick Transfer Co., Inc., ("Novick") before January 13, 1964, at Novick's Motor Freight Terminal in Philadelphia, Pa.

 2. Sometime in 1963, an agreement was entered into between Novick and Hemingway Transport, Inc., ("Hemingway") under the provisions of which the motor freight business of Novick and Hemingway were consolidated into one operation under the Hemingway name.

 3. Hemingway, Novick and Highway Truck Drivers and Helpers Local 107, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, ("Local 107") were parties to a multi-employer, multi-union Master Collective Bargaining Agreement ("Master Agreement") adopted sometime in 1963 and effective until December 31, 1965.

 4. At all times relevant to this seniority dispute the Philadelphia employes of both Hemingway and Novick were represented by Local 107.

 6. The acquisition of Novick by Hemingway became effective January 13, 1964. At that time 18 Novick drivers were transferred to the Philadelphia terminal of Hemingway.

 7. Before the proposed transfer of the Novick drivers to the Hemingway terminal, a dispute arose concerning the relative seniority of the Novick drivers at the Hemingway terminal. The Novick drivers desired to keep their Novick seniority dates (date of first employment with Novick), while the Hemingway drivers sought to require the former Novick men to accept a new seniority date as of the first day they began employment at the Hemingway terminal. The solution the Novick drivers desired is called "dovetail", while the Hemingway drivers sought "endtail" or "foot of the list."

 8. Both the Hemingway drivers and the Novick drivers took the seniority dispute to Local 107. The business agent of Local 107 who had the responsibility of representing both groups of drivers was Joseph Westenberg, to whom both groups of drivers turned.

 9. The initial meeting between the stewards from Hemingway and Novick and agent Westenberg was held on December 27, 1963, at the office of the Union. The Novick drivers were represented by their steward, Joseph Morris, and the Hemingway drivers by their steward, Joseph Mautz. At that meeting, agent Westenberg decided that the two seniority lists would be separately maintained until the dispute over seniority was resolved.

 10. On January 10, 1964, a second meeting was held at Local 107's offices. Present at this meeting were Westenberg, two other officers of the union and an attorney representing the union, Hemingway's district manager, three stewards from Hemingway (including Mautz) and two stewards from Novick (including Morris).

 11. At this meeting, Hemingway's district manager stated that Novick had some outstanding unpaid bills but that it was not insolvent. Morris took a position in favor of dovetailing the two seniority lists, and the Hemingway stewards opposed him. Westenberg then suggested calling the Teamster International Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for their recommendation on the dispute. Westenberg spoke to James Harding, special representative of the General President of the International, James Hoffa. Westenberg told the parties then present that the International favored dovetailing the two lists. Westenberg then stated that the Hemingway stewards had the right to file a grievance objecting to the International's proposed solution, and that both he and Al Berman, another business agent of Local 107, would sign the grievance.

 12. On January 14 or 15, agent Westenberg and Hemingway steward Mautz made a trip to Teamster Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Westenberg and Mautz visited James Harding, the same International representative who advised Westenberg by telephone on January 10 that the International favored dovetailing the Novick drivers. Mautz ...


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