The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN
This is an action by the Brotherhood of Railway, Airline and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees, AFL-CIO (the Union), brought under the Railway Labor Act (the Act), 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq. The defendant is the Philadelphia, Bethlehem & New England Railroad Company (the Railroad), a Pennsylvania corporation engaged in interstate railroad transportation and thus a "carrier" as defined by section 1 First of the Act, 45 U.S.C. § 151 First. The complaint alleges a violation by the Railroad of sections 2 Third and Fourth of the Act, 45 U.S.C. §§ 152 Third, Fourth, and jurisdiction is premised upon 28 U.S.C. § 1337.
It would be appropriate at this stage to briefly set forth the general allegations of the parties.
The complaint alleges that on or about June 17, 1975, a meeting and conversation took place between D. S. Reimer, the Railroad's Director of Labor Relations and Joseph F. Hause, an employee of the Railroad and a member of Lodge 1115, a local affiliate of the Union. The Union further alleges that the meeting and conversation were initiated by Mr. Reimer for the purpose of encouraging Mr. Hause to take steps which would lead to decertification of the Union as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of certain employees of the Railroad. In furtherance of this purpose, Mr. Reimer tendered to Mr. Hause authorization cards of the United Steelworkers of America (another Union) for distribution among the Railroad's employees represented by the Union.
The Union contends that Mr. Reimer's conduct as an agent and officer of the Railroad was in direct violation of sections 2 Third and Fourth of the Act, which provide in pertinent part:
Third. Representatives, for the purposes of this chapter, shall be designated by the respective parties without interference, influence, or coercion by either party over the designation of representatives by the other; and neither party shall in any way interfere with, influence, or coerce the other in its choice of representatives. Representatives of employees for the purposes of this chapter need not be persons in the employ of the carrier, and no carrier shall, by interference, influence, or coercion seek in any manner to prevent the designation by its employees as their representatives of those who or which are not employees of the carrier.
Fourth. Employees shall have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. The majority of any craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this chapter. No carrier, its officers, or agents shall deny or in any way question the right of its employees to join, organize, or assist in organizing the labor organization of their choice, and it shall be unlawful for any carrier to interfere in any way with the organization of its employees, or to use the funds of the carrier in maintaining or assisting or contributing to any labor organization, labor representative, or other agency of collective bargaining, or in performing any work therefor, or to influence or coerce employees in an effort to induce them to join or remain or not to join or remain members of any labor organization, or to deduct from the wages of employees any dues, fees, assessments, or other contributions payable to labor organizations, or to collect or to assist in the collection of any such dues, fees, assessments, or other contributions: Provided, That nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a carrier from permitting an employee, individually, or local representatives of employees from conferring with management during working hours without loss of time, or to prohibit a carrier from furnishing free transportation to its employees while engaged in the business of a labor organization.
The Union's prayer for relief seeks an injunction against further violations of the Act, punitive damages in the amount of $20,000.00, attorneys fees and costs, and an order that the Railroad post a notice at its place of business setting forth the rights of its employees under the Act to join and remain members of the Union and to assist the Union without any interference, influence, or coercion from the Railroad.
The Railroad initially moves to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The motion is premised upon the contention that the Union is suing pursuant to sections 2 Third and Fourth of the Act for which there is no express or implied private cause of action, and thus there would be no jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1337. It is clear from a mere reading of the Act that Congress provided no express private civil remedy for ...