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ALDRIDGE v. LUDWIG-HONOLD MFG. CO.

November 8, 1974

CHARLES C. ALDRIDGE and ERNESTINE D. ALDRIDGE, h/w
v.
LUDWIG-HONOLD MANUFACTURING COMPANY and INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW) and LOCAL NO. 416, INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW)



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEWCOMER

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in F. Supp.]

 ORDER

 AND NOW, to wit, this 8th day of November, 1974, judgment is hereby entered in favor of defendants and against plaintiff in the above captioned matter.

 AND IT IS SO ORDERED.

 Clarence C. Newcomer, J.

 Newcomer, Judge.

 The plaintiffs, Charles Aldridge and his wife, have sued the husband's employer, Ludwig-Honold Manufacturing Co., for allegedly breaching the collective bargaining agreement under which plaintiff worked by laying plaintiff off without offering him the opportunity to accept a demotion, by allowing him to remain laid off while work was available, and by rehiring him at an inferior grade. Plaintiffs have also sued the local and international unions to which Charles Aldridge belonged, asserting that the unions breached their duty to fairly represent him by failing to carry plaintiff's grievance into arbitration. All defendants have moved for summary judgment on the basis that plaintiff failed to exhaust his internal union remedies, thus depriving this Court of jurisdiction under 29 U.S.C. § 185. For the reasons discussed below we agree with defendants' position and enter judgment in their favor.

 Facts

 The following facts are set forth in the depositions and the affidavits attached to the parties' briefs.

 On July 7, 1972, the day on which he was laid off, plaintiff Aldridge was an experienced tool and die inspector, with more seniority than any other of Ludwig-Honold's employees in a similar job classification. He was told by a Vice-President of the company that he was being laid-off and that he would not be permitted to "bump down" to a lower labor grade since, according to the company official, plaintiff was not qualified to do the lower grade work. Insisting on his right to remain at work in a lower grade, plaintiff called in the acting union shop chairman, Robert Madison. According to plaintiff's deposition, plaintiff asked Madison to contact the union shop chairman, John Wright, for advice and that Madison did so, reporting that Wright stated that "you [plaintiff] just as well take the layoff now because they [the company] will get you later anyhow." (Madison denies that plaintiff asked him to contact Wright, and Wright denies being contacted or making such a statement). At this point plaintiff, purportedly acting on the advice of Madison and Wright, signed a layoff slip and left work.

 Plaintiff was out of work for almost one year before he was informed by colleagues that there was work available at Ludwig-Honold. Plaintiff applied for work and was rehired at labor grade ten, although he was to perform the same work which he had performed before his lay-off at labor grade twelve.

 Just before he recommenced work plaintiff gave John Wright, the union shop chairman, two blank grievance forms for the latter to fill out. Plaintiff testified that Wright told him it would be best to hold the grievances in reserve until they had met with the Company President. These grievances were never filled out or filed by Wright. (Wright admitted that a union representative rather than the grievant customarily fills out the grievance form, but stated that he had no idea what plaintiff wanted to grieve about). Instead plaintiff filed his own grievance on June 11, 1973, two months after he returned to work. This grievance was ultimately ...


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