Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

YEAGER v. C. SCHMIDT & SONS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


May 16, 1972

Harry Yeager
v.
C. Schmidt & Sons, Inc. et al.

Hannum, D. J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: HANNUM

Memorandum and Order

HANNUM, D. J.:

 Presently before the Court is the defendant International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local Union 830, and Louis Lanni, individually and Secretary-Treasurer of said Local Union 830 Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, 28 U.S.C. (hereinafter referred to as Local 830, and Lanni). The defendants contend that the plaintiff has failed to exhaust the remedies available to him under the appeals procedure of the Constitution of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America (hereinafter referred to as the International). The plaintiff has moved to strike this defense from the defendants' answer.

 Plaintiff brought suit against his employer, C. Schmidt & Sons, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as Schmidt), for breach of contract after Schmidt's refusal to reinstate him following an accident in the course of his employment and his subsequent recovery. Suit was also instituted against Local 830 and Lanni for failure to properly process plaintiff's claim. *fn1"

 Contrary to Local 830's claim that there is no material issue of fact at issue, plaintiff avers that they never had any notice of any internal appeal procedures, and that the provisions relied upon by Local 830 are insufficient as a matter of law to support either its motion or defense.

 Local 830 contends that:

 

"The Constitution of the International in Article XIX establishes a procedure by which members of local unions may make complaints, file charges, seek redress or challenge any action, decision or penalty of a local union or local union official. Plaintiff in this action could have charged that the defendant Local No. 830 improperly failed to pursue his claim further. Article XIX, Section 3(a), International Constitution. Under Article XIX, Section 4, plaintiff could also have requested the General Executive Board to assume original jurisdiction over his claim."

 Article XIX, Section 1(a) provides:

 

"Trials and Appeals Trials of Local Union Officers and Members -- Procedure.

 

Section 1(a). A member or officer of the Local Union charged by any other member of the Local Union with any offense constituting violation of this Constitution, shall unless otherwise provided in the Constitution be tried by the Local Union Executive Board."

 Article XIX, Section 3(a) provides:

 

Trials and Appeals of Local Unions, Other Subordinate Bodies and Elective International Union Officers

 

Section 3(a). Whenever charges are preferred against a Local Union or against a Joint Council, of other subordinate body, such charges shall be filed in writing in duplicate with the Secretary of the trial body, and shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail on the Secretary-Treasurer of the Local Union, or the Joint Council or other subordinate body so charged. If the charges are against the Local Union the trial shall be by the Executive Board of the Joint Council, provided that if a Local Union is not affiliated with a Joint Council due to the fact that no Joint Council exists with which such Local Union can affiliate, the trial shall be by the General Executive Board. If the charges are against a Joint Council or other subordinate body, the trial shall be before the General Executive Board. The provisions of this Section shall also be applicable when the Executive Board of the subordinate body is charged or is the charging party."

 Article XIX, Section 4(a) provides:

 

"Original Jurisdiction of General Executive Board to Try Offenses Against International Union

 

Section 4(a). Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, the General Executive Board shall have jurisdiction to try individual members, officers, Local Unions . . . for all offenses committed against the officers of the International Union or the International Union."

 It has been the general rule, and the rule of this circuit, that before a suit against a Union for breach of its duty of fair representation may be brought in the courts, the member must first exhaust the available internal union remedies, or show an adequate reason for failing to do so. This rule forestalls judicial interference with the internal affairs of a labor organization until it has had at least some opportunity to resolve disputes concerning its own legitimate affairs. *fn2" Brady v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 401 F.2d 87 (3d Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 393 U.S. 1048, 89 S. Ct. 680, 21 L. Ed. 2d 691 (1969). This is so, in the absence of a showing that it would be futile or that the remedy would be inadequate. *fn3" Frederickson v. System Fed. 114 of Railway Emp. Dept., 436 F.2d 764 (9th Cir. 1970). The union must show that there is a procedure available to the members within the union structure reasonably calculated to redress the particular grievance complained of. Fruit and Vegetable Packers & Ware. Local 760 v. Morley, 378 F.2d 738 (9th Cir. 1967). Where a union moves to dismiss the Complaint, it should place before the court facts establishing that union remedies are available to the plaintiff and that plaintiff has neglected to use them. Forline v. Helpers Local No. 42, 211 F. Supp. 315, 317 (E.D. Pa. 1962).

 Neither party has placed sufficient facts before the Court in support of their respective motions. The union must, specifically and in detail specify the following:

 1. The specific procedures presently available to the plaintiff to redress the particular grievance complained of.

 2. Facts showing that the procedure would not be dilatory, biased, or futile.

  3. Facts showing that the procedure is adequate.

 4. Facts showing that the International Constitution is applicable to this case.

 5. Facts showing that the procedures are generally known to the union membership, and readily available.

 6. Facts showing that the procedures are simply and easily initiated and processed.

 7. Facts showing that the procedures are not inordinately lengthy or complicated.

 8. Facts showing that the procedures afford the member a fair and impartial hearing of his grievance.

 The plaintiff must place facts in the record which would excuse his failure to resort to union procedures.

 The issue of exhaustion of intra-union remedies should be decided as early as possible, however, the Court must be satisfied that before dismissing the claim the purported remedy is real and not illusory.

 Order

 And now, this 15th day of May, 1972, it is hereby ordered that:

 1. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is denied.

 2. Plaintiff's motion to strike is denied without prejudice.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.