These charges were in writing and signed by the 13 defendants and several others, and on March 16, 1971 at a regular meeting of the delegates and prior to the receipt of Defendants' Exhibit 8, (the telegram notifying the said defendants of the impending hearing on their removal) Irwin Swartzbaugh, the Recording Secretary, served the charges along with a notice that a public hearing would be had thereon on April 18th, by handing the papers to Bievenour and McEachern personally, or laying them on their desks in front of them at the meeting.
This brings us to the facts surrounding the meeting of April 18, 1971 where the alleged violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which purportedly gave rise to this action, is said to have occurred.
On March 29, 1971 the 13 delegates and 3 officers who are said to have been removed on March 26, 1971
sought permission from management to post on bulletin boards throughout the plant a notice (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 1) of the hearing to be held on April 18th. This permission was granted and on April 9th the notices were posted.
A fair reading of the testimony shows that on April 18th about 100 persons including officers, delegates and Union members appeared at the meeting (hearing) and Swartzbaugh, Rider, and Raub were on the stage of the auditorium with Attorney Blackmon,
and Swartzbaugh and others appointed Rider, the Financial Secretary, chairman of the meeting. At this point Bievenour and McEachern came up to the stage and forcibly took the microphone from Rider and a chair from Blackmon and an argument began, and utter confusion resulted. The Mayor tried to get order and Swartzbaugh, Rider, and Raub, and many (perhaps close to half) of the assembled delegates and members left the stage and went at the suggestion of the Mayor to a foyer just outside the auditorium and separated therefrom by only an open doorway. In the foyer this group which may have numbered 50 held their hearing, and according to the minutes (Defendants' Exhibit 3) the aforementioned charges were read, testimony was heard and a vote taken. The 3 officers and 13 delegates, the within defendants, were among those present and 4 or 5 persons testified. Bievenour and McEachern remained with approximately 60 members and delegates in the main auditorium and took no part in the meeting in the foyer.
All of the plaintiffs were present in the auditorium but none of them followed the 50-odd who went to the foyer. John Piho, one of the plaintiffs, did not testify at either of the hearings in this court on the matter but the other 4 plaintiffs did and the best that can be said for their testimony is that, if believed, they were deprived of their right as delegates to vote on the motions to remove the President and Vice President at a hearing which they deny occurred, or if it did occur, was illegal or completely without any validity at all.
This court has jurisdiction of the matter under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 73 Stat. 519, 29 U.S.C. § 401, et seq. (1959), as amended, and the complaint sets forth the jurisdictional requisites. "The well established * * * practice * * * has been that the assertion of a substantial claim under a federal statute gives a United States court jurisdiction of that claim even though that court may determine ultimately that no cause of action on which relief could have been granted was alleged. . . ." Sheridan v. United Bhd. of Carpenters, Etc., 306 F.2d 152, 156 (3d Cir. 1962); Lewis v. American Fed. of State, County & Mun. Emp., 407 F.2d 1185 (3d Cir. 1969) n.3; Axelrod v. Stoltz, 391 F.2d 549 (3d Cir. 1968); Depew v. Edmiston, 386 F.2d 710 (3d Cir. 1967). However, it has been held in this Circuit that "This title [Title I of the Act], captioned 'Bill of Rights of Members of Labor Organizations', and particularly Section 101, are designed to protect the rights of union members. The rights are repeatedly described as the rights of 'any member' or 'every member'. No mention is made of the rights of union officers or employees. It is of particular interest to note that the right-to-sue provision of the bill that was originally passed by the Senate provided that a labor organization shall not limit 'the right of any member or officer thereof to institute an action in any court. * * * The corresponding provision of the bill that was subsequently passed by the House did not contain the word 'officer'. In commenting on this difference between the Senate and House bills, a document prepared by Senator Goldwater's staff and inserted at his request in the Congressional Record states that 'the Senate bill extends protection of the right to sue expressly to union officers.' 105 Cong. Rec. 16487 (1959). The Conference Committee adopted the House version, and accordingly Section 101(a)(4) as finally enacted by Congress speaks only of the right of members, thus conforming to the terminology used in the other provisions of Section 101." Sheridan v. United Bhd. of Carpenters, supra, 306 F.2d at 156-57; See also, Lewis v. American Fed. of State, County & Mun. Emp., supra.
It seems to us that if plaintiffs' concern is really to protect or redress rights in themselves, then the rights they seek to protect are rights as delegates and not rights as members of the Union. Article III, Section 8(A)
of the Constitution and By-Laws provides a manner for the removal of officers of the Union by the delegates. And it is the purported removal of the President and Vice President about which they complain. But even if a breach of this alleged right is actionable under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, we must conclude that plaintiffs have not met their burden of proof that such a right was violated.
They were all present at the meeting in the auditorium when nearly half of those in attendance, after the fracas described previously, including, of course, those who called the meeting, or hearing, went in a body to the foyer. Plaintiffs were at perfect liberty to follow and to take part in any proceedings conducted there. The court is convinced that they elected not to go and take part in what they describe as an illegal assembly.
While we make no determination on the legality of this meeting, or hearing, we note that Borg-Warner, the employer, and National Central Bank, the depository of the Union funds, recognized the validity of the action taken at that meeting which removed both the President and Vice President from office.
After a careful consideration of the evidence taken at two hearings in this matter, and an examination of all the exhibits, we conclude that plaintiffs are not really complaining about any deprivation of their individual rights but are actually complaining about purported rights of Bievenour and McEachern and this they cannot do for a plaintiff has no standing to enforce the rights of others. Mamula v. United Steelworkers of America, 304 F.2d 108, 113 (3d Cir. 1962), citing other cases; Johnson v. Stevenson, 170 F.2d 108 (5th Cir. 1948), cert. denied, 336 U.S. 904, 69 S. Ct. 491, 93 L. Ed. 1069.
As previously noted, it has been brought to our attention since the hearing in this matter that in an election held on August 13, 1971, in which Bievenour was a candidate for the presidency of the Union, one Van Abel was elected with 622 votes and Bievenour polled 528, and for Vice President James Moul was elected with a vote of 520. Neither of these two officers are parties in this suit.
Two days before the election Bievenour and McEachern, through their attorney, filed a complaint with the Secretary of Labor, and under Title IV, 29 U.S.C. § 482 this appears to be the proper procedure to contest an election once it has been held.
In the light of what we have said here, we conclude that the plaintiffs have not met their burden of proof and have failed to prove a violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 and that the complaint should be dismissed, and the permanent injunction denied. We will enter an order accordingly.
And Now, this 24th day of September 1971, for the reasons stated in the Memorandum Opinion herewith, the complaint be and it hereby is dismissed and the permanent injunction denied.