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DEBOLES v. TWA

November 1, 1972

Charles Deboles et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Trans World Airlines, Inc. et al., Defendants


VanArtsdalen, J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN

VANARTSDALEN, J.:

 Prior to January 28, 1970, KSC employees acquired seniority only at the KSC plant. Other TWA employees acquired seniority at all TWA plants except KSC. So far as seniority rights were concerned, it was the same as if KSC was an entirely separate corporate employer from TWA. On January 28, 1970, by reason of a collective bargaining agreement between TWA and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO (International), system-wide seniority went into effect, whereby KSC employees started to acquire system-wide seniority effective as of January 28, 1970. TWA employees, other than KSC employees, retained their system-wide seniority theretofore acquired effective as of the date of their original employment by TWA. Thereafter, KSC employees who were forced to accept work at other TWA plants by reason of a reduction of the labor force at KSC obtained seniority at the relocated plant only as of January 28, 1970, irrespective of the date of their original employment by TWA, whereas all other TWA employees held seniority effective from date of employment. As a result, all plaintiffs have potentially less system-wide seniority than persons hired subsequent to them and prior to January 28, 1970, and the individual plaintiffs assert they have been prematurely furloughed because of the unfair seniority classification.

 Plaintiffs assert that the defendants have violated the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq., and challenge the validity of the collective bargaining agreement itself. They seek retroactive system-wide seniority effective as of the date of their original employment, reinstatement of those furloughed who would not have been furloughed had their seniority been established as of the date of their original employment, and damages for those who were thus prematurely furloughed. Plaintiffs contend that Section 2 (Fourth) and (Eleventh) of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 152 (Fourth) and (Eleventh), *fn1" was violated because plaintiffs were required, as a condition of employment, to join a labor Union where membership was not available to all members on the same terms and conditions.

 The Union is additionally accused of breaching its duty of fair representation. Plaintiffs claim that the Union deliberately misrepresented the nature of its collective bargaining efforts for a period of time extending over four years prior to 1970. The Union is alleged to have told the KSC employees that it was actively pursuing retroactive seniority for them and that this benefit could be obtained but for TWA's refusal to alter its seniority system. The plaintiffs allege that in actuality TWA was not only amenable to retroactive system seniority, but both TWA and the Union, as evidenced by a written "sign-off agreement," agreed to extend retroactive seniority to the KSC employees, but this was deleted from the final contract not on the urging of TWA, but rather on the initiative of representatives of the Union. Because of these deliberate misrepresentations, plaintiffs assert that the Union has breached its duty of fair representation, that TWA was a party to the violation, and both are guilty of illegally and hostilely discriminating against the employees at KSC.

 The International and District Lodge 142, IAMAW, AFL-CIO (District Lodge), preliminarily filed a motion to quash service. All parties have filed motions for summary judgment.

 I.

 The International and District Lodge maintain that service of process as to them is ineffective and must be quashed. Service was made upon S.R. Canale, President of the Local Lodge at its offices in Darby, Pennsylvania. The International and District Lodge argue that service was not made upon ". . . an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 4d(3). Furthermore, defendants contend that the International and District Lodge have no place of business or residence in Pennsylvania and engage in no business in the Commonwealth.

 The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide two methods of service upon unincorporated associations. In addition to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4d(3) which specifically provides for service on a proper agent of the unincorporated association, Fed. R. Civ. P. 4d(7) generally provides for service in any manner designated by the state law in which the district court is located. Under both rules, effective service of process upon an out of state "parent" labor union through service upon the local union is determined by the degree of independence of the local union. If the local union exercises sufficient control over its own daily activities and is vested with authority over matters central to its functioning, thereby rendering it a separate and distinct entity from the international and district organizations, the local will be declared autonomous and service upon the local will not be effective service upon the international or district. Krulikowsky v. Metropolitan Dist. Council of Philadelphia, 270 F. Supp. 122 (E.D. Pa. 1967); see also Morgan Drive Away, Inc. v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 268 F.2d 871 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 361 U.S. 896, 4 L. Ed. 2d 152, 80 S. Ct. 199 (1959), construing § 301(d) Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185(d); Keenan v. Metropolitan Dist. Council of Philadelphia, 266 F. Supp. 497 (E.D. Pa. 1966). On the other hand, if the local's power is usurped by the international or district so that the local does not have control over its own affairs and finances, service upon the local will be deemed effective service upon the international or district. See International Bhd. of Teamsters v. United States, 275 F.2d 610 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 362 U.S. 975, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1011, 80 S. Ct. 1060 (1960); Claycraft Co. v. United Mine Workers of America, 204 F.2d 600 (6th Cir. 1953); Kreshtool v. International Longshoremen's Ass'n., 242 F. Supp. 551 (D. Del. 1965).

 The Pennsylvania law has developed along similar lines. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Spica v. International Ladies Garment Workers' Union, 388 Pa. 382, 130 A. 2d 468 (1957), construed Pa. R. Civ. P. 2157(a), 12 P.S. Appendix, and held that service upon the Joint Board, an aggregation of local unions, was valid service upon the International and stated:

 
Looking at the organization as a whole, as the picture emerges from its constitution, we find an association wherein the ultimate power in terms of membership, officers, grievances, disputes and contracts with employers, and finances lies with the General Executive Board, the governing organ of the International, and where a direct supervision is exercised by the General Executive Board over vital contemporary labor functions such as monetary benefits and general strikes. All monies and property ultimately belong to the International.

 Id. at 391.

 Like the state court examination in Spica, federal courts also scrutinize the international constitution as a test to determine the extent of the independence of the local union. See International Bhd. of Teamsters v. United States, supra; Claycraft Co., supra; Krulikowsky, supra. A reading of the International constitution (constitution) in this case reveals that Local Lodge 1776, IAMAW (Local Lodge) is not independent of the control of the International or District Lodge. Service of process therefore is effective as to all Union defendants.

 Internal Structure. The constitution specifies the internal structure and organization of the Local Lodge. Before a Local Lodge can be chartered by the International President (President), the District Lodge must first be consulted and its sanction obtained (Art. A, Sec. 3). While the foregoing certainly is not a pervasive intrusion into the organization of the Local, the constitution also delineates the minimum membership requirements of the Local (Art. A, Sec. 1), its membership eligibility (Art. I, Sec. 1), the procedure for applying for membership (Art. I, Sec. 2), the monthly dues of a member (Art. I, Sec. 9), and the duties of a member (Art. K).

 The constitution does not overlook the officers of the Local. It specifically designates what officers a Local will have (Art. B, Sec. 1), the qualifications for office (Art. B, Sec. 3), the nominating and election procedures (Art. B, Sec. 4), the date that these officers are installed (Art. B, Sec. 5), and finally a detailed enumeration of the duties of each of the local officers (Art. C).

 Internal Affairs. The Executive Council of the International (Council) consisting of the President, the General Secretary-Treasurer and the nine General Vice-Presidents, has the power to require reports from the Local or District Lodge officers and also to suspend or remove these officers for justifiable cause (Art. V, Sec. 2).

 The President is vested with supervisory power over all Local and District Lodges. He can suspend any Local or District Lodge or any of their officers charged with incompetency, negligence, insubordination, failure of duty, or any violation of the constitution while such charges are pending final disposition. With the approval of the Council, and pending the filing of charges and their disposition, he can assume direct control over the Local or District Lodge whenever he believes the Local or District Lodge is violating the constitution or jeopardizing the welfare of the membership. Also, with the approval of the Council, the President may revoke the charter of the Local or District Lodge if either of these organizations is found guilty of a constitutional violation (Art. VI, Sec. 5).

 While the trustees of the Local do have charge of its property, the trustees are nonetheless still liable to the Grand Lodge, consisting of the Council and representation of Local Lodges, for all funds and other property under the trustees' control (Art. C, Sec. 13).

 The constitution also provides for control of funds and property by the International in case of a revocation of the Local's charter. If the Local is not reopened within six months from the date of the initial revocation, the Local's property becomes the property of the International (Art. D, Sec. 12).

 To properly serve its members, the Local or District Lodges establish business representatives who are controlled and supervised by the President (Art. XI, Sec. 2). The constitution further requires that these business representatives file financial and activity reports with the President (Art. XI, Sec. 5).

 The constitution also requires the Financial Secretary of the Local to submit a monthly report to the International detailing the number of members of the Local, any additions or subtractions to this membership, a list of individuals expelled and applications rejected, and the reasons therefor. The Financial Secretary must also remit monthly per capita taxes called for in the monthly report (Art. C, Sec. 4).

 Finances. The General Secretary-Treasurer of the Council has the authority to audit the books of any Local or District Lodge whenever he believes an audit is advisable; the refusal to comply with such an audit is punishable by suspension or expulsion. (Art. VII, Sec. 5). The International is additionally involved in the finances of the Local and District Lodge by assuming the cost of the bonding of any officer in these subordinate organizations. (Art. VII, Sec. 6).

 With respect to the management, investment, and disbursement of the Local's funds and property, the constitution dictates to the Local specifically how these functions must be executed. (Art. D, Sec. 9). This section also authorizes the International to undertake protective action in the presence of "expenditures or contemplated expenditures in violation of this Section."

 External Affairs. The most prized collective bargaining cudgel, the strike, is held solely in the hands of the International. Only the President, in certain emergency situations, and the Council at all other times may authorize a strike action. Any violations of this provision will result in the violators being deprived of strike benefits and financial aid during the controversy (Art. XVIII, Sec. 1). Once an authorized strike has begun, it is again only the International, in the form of the Council, that can terminate a strike. (Art. XVIII, Sec. 4).

 Pension Plans. Grand Lodge officers receive a pension that is administered by the President, General Secretary-Treasurer and a General Vice-President (Art. XIV, Sec. 2) and is funded by periodic contributions as the "Council deems appropriate." (Art. XIV, Sec. 9).

 The pension plan for the business representatives is also administered by the above officers (Art. XV, Sec. 2), but is funded not only by the Grand Lodge but also by the Local and District Lodges (Art. XV, Sec. 9).

 Officers of the Local and District Lodges are also covered by a pension plan, again funded by the Local and District Lodges irrespective of whether its officers are eligible for a pension (Art. XVI, Sec. 9), and administered not by Local officials but by the International in the form of the President, General Secretary Treasurer and General Vice-President. (Art. XVI, Sec. 2).

 Disciplinary Action. The constitution not only fully defines what constitutes improper conduct on the part of the Local and District Lodge (Art. L, Sec. 1), the officers and representatives (Art. L, Sec. 2), and the individual members (Art. L, Sec. 3), but also the procedures ...


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