The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEALON
This action is brought pursuant to Section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 29 U.S.C. § 185(a).
Plaintiff contends that defendant has dispatched drivers out of their assigned regions in violation of the collective bargaining agreement currently in effect between the parties. Plaintiff requests a preliminary injunction restraining defendant from making such dispatches pending resolution of the matter through the grievance machinery set up under the collective bargaining agreement. Defendant argues that this Court does not have jurisdiction to grant the requested relief or, alternatively, that plaintiff is not entitled to a preliminary injunction under the circumstances. The evidentiary hearings required by the applicable statute
have been held and the requisite findings of fact
have been made. I conclude that this Court has jurisdiction to grant the requested relief but that plaintiff has not proven that its members will suffer irreparable harm as a result of being dispatched outside the region to which they have been assigned. Therefore, plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction will be denied.
1. Plaintiff, Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers Local Union No. 764, is a labor organization within the meaning of the LMRA, as amended, and particularly Sections 2(5) and 301 thereof, 29 U.S.C. §§ 152(5) and 185.
2. Plaintiff has its principal office at 450 Beaver Street, Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
3. Defendant, Branch Motor Express Company, is a motor carrier headquartered in New York City, and doing business in Pennsylvania by maintaining a trucking terminal at Milton, Pennsylvania.
5. Plaintiff is the duly recognized bargaining representative for the truck drivers at defendant's Milton terminal.
6. Plaintiff and defendant are parties to a national collective bargaining agreement, the "National Master Freight Agreement," and a local collective bargaining agreement, the "Central Pennsylvania Over-the-Road and Local Cartage Supplemental Agreement." These agreements are effective for the period April 1, 1976 through March 31, 1979.
7. Article 8, section 6 of the National Master Freight Agreement provides in pertinent part as follows:
(a) Present terminals, breaking points or domiciles shall not be transferred or changed without the approval of an appropriate Change of Operations Committee. Such Committee shall be appointed in each of the Conference Areas, equally composed of Employer and Union representatives.
(b) * * * The Employer shall notify all affected Local Unions of (any) proposed change of operations at least twenty (20) calendar days prior to the hearing at the Joint Area Conference Committee . . ..
8. Defendant last received approval for a proposed change of operations from the Change of Operations Committee on July 29, 1974. The defendant's request for a change of operations at that time resulted from the acquisition by defendant of Motor Freight Company of Indiana on July 31, 1972.
9. Under the Change of Operations approved on July 29, 1974, the geographic area within which defendant operates is divided into three (3) regions. On April 1 of each year the truck drivers represented by plaintiff at the Milton terminal bid for assignments as either Region 1, Region 2 or Common Board drivers. Such assignments are made on the basis of seniority. The July 29, 1974 Change of Operations provides with respect to the assignments made to the Milton, Pennsylvania drivers as follows:
Milton, Pennsylvania drivers assigned to Region 1 will operate wholly within the perimeter of Region 1.
Milton, Pennsylvania drivers assigned to Region 2 will operate wholly within the perimeter of Region 2.
35% Of the road drivers domiciled at Milton, Pennsylvania will be assigned as common board drivers and may operate within Region 1 or Region 2. A common board driver dispatched into a region must operate wholly within that region until returning to his home domicile. He may then be dispatched into another region. Milton domiciled common board drivers may operate only in Regions 1 and 2.
10. Drivers assigned to Region 2 enjoy a greater likelihood of returning home every other night than do Region 1 and common board drivers. On occasion, however, Region 2 drivers have spent three and sometimes four nights away from home while remaining wholly within the perimeters of Region 2. In addition, drivers are told when hired by defendant that they may have to remain away from home several nights a week.
11. On or about February 12, 1977, defendant acquired and began operating the Great Lakes Express Company under temporary authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission. As a result of this acquisition, defendant has proposed a change of operations which will be presented to the Change of Operations Committee on October 25, 1978.
13. Defendant has dispatched drivers outside their assigned regions in order to determine what will be the most efficient allocation of available manpower over defendant's operating area as expanded by its acquisition of the Great Lakes Express Company. Defendant intends to continue dispatching drivers outside their assigned regions until its proposed change of operations is acted upon by the Change of Operations Committee.
14. Plaintiff contends that such dispatches are in violation of the "Maintenance of Standards" provision of the National Master Freight Agreement, Article 6, ...