UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
August 19, 1971
Louis A. Antal et al., Plaintiffs,
District 5, United Mine Workers Of America et al., Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: TEITELBAUM
This action is brought under § 201(c) of the Labor Management-Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, 29 U.S.C. § 431(c), which provides, in pertinent part, that,
"Every labor organization required to submit a report under this subchapter shall make available the information required to be contained in such report to all of its members, and every such labor organization and its officers shall be under a duty . . . to permit such member for just cause to examine any books, records, and accounts necessary to verify such report."
Following the filing of the complaint, the plaintiffs, members of the defendant labor organization, both applied for a preliminary injunction and moved for summary judgment. The defendants, in turn, moved to dismiss. A hearing has been held at which all of the evidence which all of the parties intend to introduce in this action was adduced. Therefore, this action is here considered on the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction rather than on the application for a preliminary injunction. Consequently, the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is denied. Further, as § 431(c) expressly provides that the duty of the labor organization shall be,
" . . . enforceable at the suit of any member of such organization . . . in the District Court of the United States for the district in which such labor organization maintains its principal office . . . .",
the defendants' motion to dismiss is denied.
At the hearing on the application for a preliminary injunction, the issue in this action crystallized as whether or not § 431(c) contemplates the removal by an accountant engaged by a member of a labor organization of the notes, computations, and other work papers which he prepares in the course of an examination thereunder from the premises of the labor organization.
To be meaningful, an examination permitted by § 431(c) must assuredly be made by an accountant. Too, the accountant must be free to conduct the examination in accordance with generally accepted accounting procedures and principles consistent with the nature of his retention, including the unrestricted access to and use of his own work papers. See Local 1419, ILA v. Smith, 301 F.2d 791 (C.A. 5, 1962). Moreover, we discern no inconvenience to the labor organization in permitting the removal by an accountant of the work papers which he personally prepares pursuant to an examination. Thus, to best serve the purposes of § 431(c),
we think that the plaintiffs' accountant is entitled to remove the notes, computations, and other work papers which he prepares in the course of a § 431(c) examination from the defendants' premises.
An appropriate Order will be entered.
And Now, to wit, this 19th day of August, 1971, in consideration of the foregoing Opinion, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
1. The hearing on the plaintiffs' application for a preliminary injunction is hereby decreed to be a hearing on the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction, and accordingly this action is treated finally.
2. The defendants are hereby enjoined from interfering with an examination by either the plaintiffs or the plaintiffs' accountants of the books, records, and accounts of District 5, United Mine Workers of America as contemplated by 29 U.S.C. § 431(c).
3. The defendants are hereby enjoined, particularly, from restricting the plaintiffs or the plaintiffs' accountants access to or use of any notes, computations, or other work papers which they prepare in the course of their examination under 29 U.S.C. § 431(c), and from restraining the plaintiffs or the plaintiffs' accountants from removing same from the defendants' premises.
4. The plaintiffs are hereby awarded an attorney's fee of $1,000.00 and costs of the action, to be paid totally by the defendant District 5, United Mine Workers of America.