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Local 336 v. Bonatz

decided: March 9, 1973.

LOCAL 336, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AFL-CIO, AND DIANE MARTIN, APPELLANTS,
v.
AUGUSTUS BONATZ, T/A AIEBON INN, APPELLEE



(D.C. Civil Action No. 51-71) APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY.

McLaughlin, Gibbons, Circuit Judges, and Weis, District Judge.

Author: Gibbons

Opinion OF THE COURT

GIBBONS, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal by the plaintiffs, Local 336, American Federation of Musicians, AFL-CIO, (the local union) and Diane Martin (the leader) from an order dismissing their complaint in the district court for want of jurisdiction. The defendant Augustus Bonatz t/a Aiebon Inn, (the employer) is the proprietor of a cocktail lounge in Florence, New Jersey where occasionally he provides musical entertainment for his customers. The local union is an unincorporated association functioning as a labor union of musicians, with its principal office in Burlington, New Jersey. The leader is a member of the local union who resides in Willingboro, New Jersey. In the complaint the local union and the leader assert federal jurisdiction solely by virtue of Section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947. 29 U.S.C. ยง 185. They allege that on December 15, 1967, they and the employer entered into a labor contract, a copy of which is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A, pursuant to which the employer engaged the musical services of the leader and two other undesignated members of the local union for two evenings a week for thirteen weeks beginning January 5, 1968; that the labor contract contained a clause providing for binding arbitration of disputes before the International Executive Board of the American Federation of Musicians; that a dispute arose and was submitted to arbitration by the local union and the leader; and that an award was made by the arbitrators in favor of the local union and the leader, to which award the employer refuses to abide. They seek a judgment enforcing the award, with interest and counsel fees. The employer filed an answer which admits the jurisdictional allegation, admits the execution of "a labor contract . . . Exhibit A" and asserts four separate defenses:

" FIRST DEFENSE

The complaint fails to state a claim against defendant upon which relief can be granted.*fn1

SECOND DEFENSE

Plaintiff breached the contract and thereby waived any rights under the contract which she may have had.

THIRD DEFENSE

Defendant is not bound by the arbitration agreement of the American Federation of Musicians in that there was no appearance by defendant.

FOURTH DEFENSE

The arbitration agreement is void as being against public policy in that there is a clear conflict-of-interest in having the defendant judged by that organization of which the plaintiff is a member."

It is clear that the pleadings do not traverse federal jurisdiction. The plaintiffs moved, pursuant to rule 56, Fed. R. Civ. P., for summary judgment. In support of this motion they established by affidavit the execution of Exhibit A, the existence of a dispute, the submission of that dispute to the designated arbitrators, notice to the employer that the arbitration panel would proceed, the default by the employer after such notice and ...


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