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BAKERY & CONFECTIONERY WORKERS INTL. UNION LOCAL U
February 26, 1974
BAKERY AND CONFECTIONERY WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF AMERICA LOCAL UNION NO. 12-B, Affiliated with Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America
The GREAT ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC TEA COMPANY, INC.
Snyder, District Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SNYDER
Defendant has moved for Summary Judgment under Rule 56
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and for the reasons set forth herein, the Motion will be granted.
The Union's Complaint claims monetary damages under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. § 185, for severance pay on behalf of Joseph Ventrone, Business Agent of the Union, Michael Mastandrea, International Representative of the Union, and three female employees and members of the Union, Beatrice Rothwell, Clara Russmann and Dorothy Zamiske. It is admitted that there was a valid Collective Bargaining Agreement between the parties executed on May 3, 1970 and effective from May 4, 1970 until May 5, 1973.
Upon termination of the Pittsburgh Bakery operation, the Union brought an action in this Court (Civil Action 72-783) claiming monetary damages for termination of employment of its members caused by the closing of the Bakery. In that action it was claimed that the discontinuance of the Bakery violated a provision of the Agreement which guaranteed a scheduled work-week of five days (40 hours). Judge Gerald Weber granted the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment holding that the contract was not violated by the cessation of operations since there was no provision in the Contract that limited the right of the Defendant Company to discontinue operations at the Pittsburgh Bakery. ( Bakery & Confectionery Workers v. Great A & P Tea Co., 357 F. Supp. 1322 (W.D. Pa. 1973), affirmed 430 F.2d 721 (3rd Cir. Jan. 22, 1974)).
The Defendant asks that Summary Judgment be entered on its behalf in this proceeding because: (1) Section 301 of the Act did not confer jurisdiction on Federal Courts over the suit brought by the Union to enforce employee rights characterized as "uniquely personal"; (2) the subject individuals are not eligible for severance pay under the express language of the Agreement.
We glean from the admissions in the pleadings and the affidavits filed that on and prior to October 8, 1972, The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (A & P) owned and operated a bakery located in the City of Pittsburgh ("Pittsburgh Bakery") where A & P was engaged in the production and distribution of baked products to its stores located in Western Pennsylvania and certain parts of Eastern Ohio.
Employees of A & P at its Pittsburgh Bakery were represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the Plaintiff herein and the Collective Bargaining Agreement contained the following provisions with respect to severance pay:
"ARTICLE XVI -- SEVERANCE PAY
(a) The Company agrees that it will not build a new bakery to produce the Pittsburgh production during the life of this Agreement.
(a) In the event an eligible employee wishes to remain on the plant seniority list, for the purpose of possible recall, he may elect to defer acceptance of his severance pay for a period of twelve (12) months. At any time during such period, however, he may request his severance pay and his right of recall and seniority shall terminate as of that date.
(b) If such employee has not been recalled by the end of such period, he shall be paid his severance pay and his right of recall and ...
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