Both the Railroad and the Unions have moved for summary judgment and the court finds no genuine issue of material fact which prevents the disposition of this case as a matter of law.
The authority of the Unions to make the agreement of 1972 exists under the terms of the Railway Labor Act. The Union was the designated bargaining agent of the plaintiff employees. The authority of the Union representatives to make the 1972 agreement relative to transfer of employees to another seniority district was contained in Rule 3-B-2 of the general collective bargaining agreement of 1970. The Railroad is required by the Act to deal and contract with the duly designated representatives of its employees. Virginian Rwy. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515, 57 S. Ct. 592, 81 L. Ed. 789 .
The duly designated representative of the employees has statutory authority to make agreements binding upon the classes of employees represented with regard to pay rates, rules and working conditions. Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Rwy. Co. v. Burley, 325 U.S. 711, 65 S. Ct. 1282, 89 L. Ed. 1886 , aff'd. on rehearing 327 U.S. 661, 66 S. Ct. 721, 90 L. Ed. 928 .
In Kline v. Florida Airlines, 496 F.2d 919 [5th Cir. 1974] the court sustained an agreement between a union and a carrier which adjusted certain seniority claims of employees and pointed out that the Railway Labor Act imposes a duty on carrier and unions to settle such matter by direct negotiations. The agreement is therefore valid and binding between the Defendant Railroad and the individual plaintiffs as members of the Union. The Complaint fails to state any cause of action against the Defendant Penn Central Transportation System. Any allegations of the complaint as to the failure of the Union to represent plaintiffs fairly are immaterial as to the position of the Railroad.
To the extent that the complaint against the Railroad avers a breach of any of the provisions of the collective bargaining agreements in effect between the parties, this court is without jurisdiction over such claims. All such claims by the terms of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 153(1)(a) fall within the exclusive primary jurisdiction of the National Railroad Adjustment Board. Slocum v. Delaware, L. & W.R.R. Co., 339 U.S. 239, 70 S. Ct. 577, 94 L. Ed. 795 ; Order of Railway Conductors v. Southern Railway Co., 339 U.S. 255, 70 S. Ct. 585, 94 L. Ed. 811 ; Andrews v. Louisville & N.R.R. Co., 406 U.S. 320, 92 S. Ct. 1562, 32 L. Ed. 2d 95 .
The Plaintiffs suggest that their suit is against both the Railroad and the Unions, suggesting that somehow this takes it out of the jurisdiction of the Railroad Adjustment Board, which is to settle "disputes between an employee or a group of employees and a carrier or carriers." 45 U.S.C. § 153, First. (i). But this factor does not oust the primary jurisdiction of the Adjustment Board. ". . . if the resolution of the differences between railroad employees, on one side, and the railroad and the unions, on the other, depends on the interpretation of disputed terms of the collective bargaining agreement, then the dispute must be sent to the National Railroad Retirement Board." Roberts v. Lehigh and New England Railway Co., 323 F.2d 219, 222 [3rd Cir. 1963]. See also Thompson v. New York Central Railroad Co., 361 F.2d 137 [2nd Cir. 1966].
As for the claims of breach of the duty of fair representation made against the Union, these claims cannot involve the Defendant Railroad. "We cannot see how the Railroad's rights or interests will be affected by this action to enforce the duty of the bargaining representative to represent petitioners fairly." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 . See also Czosek v. O'Mara, 397 U.S. 25, 90 S. Ct. 770, 25 L. Ed. 2d 21 , and Frederickson v. Railway Employees Department, 436 F.2d 764 [9th Cir. 1970].
We are convinced that Summary Judgment must be entered for Defendant Railroad both on the grounds that there is no genuine issue of fact as to the validity of the 1972 Agreement, and on the grounds that this court has no jurisdiction over the breach of contract asserted by the Plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs have filed an Amended Complaint to support their claim that the Union arbitrarily and capriciously violated its duty of fair representation by negotiating and executing the 1972 Seniority Agreement. But in describing how this came about the Plaintiffs then allege that their contract rights under the prior agreements were violated. As we have previously shown, the alleged violation of such contract rights are matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Railroad Adjustment Board.
Essentially, the Plaintiffs' charge of unfair representation is grounded on the validity of the Seniority Agreement of 1972 because it was not submitted to the membership for ratification. Their brief states:
"It is not a 'minor dispute' because it does not involve the interpretation or application of an existing collective bargaining agreement. It is in fact a dispute between employees on the one hand and the unions and the carrier together on the other hand over the validity of an agreement entered into by the carrier and the unions. As such, jurisdiction lies only with the court."
"Even if the dispute with the carrier could be referred to the Railroad Adjustment Board, there is no jurisdiction in the said Board to resolve a dispute between employees and the unions."