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GENERAL TEAMSTERS, LOCAL UNION 249 v. CONSOLIDATED

February 1, 1979

GENERAL TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN & HELPERS, LOCAL UNION 249, a/w International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Plaintiff,
v.
CONSOLIDATED FREIGHTWAYS, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DIAMOND

I

 Plaintiff commenced this action pursuant to the provisions of Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, 29 U.S.C., § 185 et seq., seeking to have two separate grievance awards made under a collective bargaining agreement between plaintiff and the defendant "set aside, vacated and declared void." *fn1"

 From the allegations of the complaint as amended, the admissions with regard to those allegations which defendant made in its answer and during the pretrial conference of the parties with the court, and the evidence introduced at the hearing, the following appears.

 Plaintiff is an unincorporated labor organization which represents several thousand drivers and warehousemen in the western Pennsylvania area and has its principal place of business in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

 The defendant is a corporation which maintains trucking terminals located within the Western District of Pennsylvania and is engaged in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended.

 Plaintiff and defendant were parties to a collective bargaining agreement known as the "National Master Freight Agreement Local Cartage Supplemental Agreement" (Agreement) which was in effect at all times pertinent hereto.

 On February 23, 1978, one Regis Frank was a member of the plaintiff union and was employed by the defendant as a driver of one of its tractor-trailer vehicles. On that day Mr. Frank was instructed by a dispatcher employed by the defendant to drive the tractor portion of one of defendant's vehicles on the public highways of Pennsylvania to a place approximately five miles distant. The tractor had no mud flaps, and Mr. Frank protested to the dispatcher that it was dangerous as well as a violation of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (Vehicle Code) to drive a tractor on the public highways without this equipment. However, he was told that the company would pay all fines and that he should do as he had been instructed.

 Mr. Frank drove the tractor as instructed and subsequently filed a grievance in accordance with the grievance procedures of the Agreement aforesaid. The ultimate "arbitrator" of the grievance, the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Joint Area Committee (Joint Area Committee), *fn2" denied the grievance in a decision which stated simply: "The Committee ruled that, based on the facts as presented and that the Company accepts all liability for alleged violations and will pay fines, if any, that may be levied, the claim of the Union is denied."

 The second grievance award which plaintiff seeks to have vacated also has to do with an instruction from the defendant company to one of its union employees to perform an act which the employee believed constituted a violation of the Vehicle Code.

 On March 13, 1978, one James Raible was a member of the plaintiff union and was employed by the defendant as a driver of one of its tractor-trailer vehicles. On that day Mr. Raible was instructed by a dispatcher employed by the defendant to take a trailer on to the public highways of Pennsylvania which did not have a "trailer plate or owner's card on it." Mr. Raible protested that this was in violation of the Vehicle Code and I.C.C. rules and regulations, but he was, nevertheless, instructed to follow orders.

 Mr. Raible did as instructed and later filed a grievance under the Agreement aforesaid. *fn3" In his grievance Raible stated that after he was dispatched with the trailer in question and noticed that there was no trailer plate or owner's card, he reported this to the company, but was told to take the trailer out even though this constituted a violation of the Vehicle Code. The adjustment which he requested in his grievance was not to be asked or forced to break state laws.

 The Joint Area Committee found that the company's position was that the unit in question was properly licensed and had an owner's card, but apparently both the plates and card had been lost, that the company intended to have plates and cards reissued and had agreed in the meantime to assume all responsibility for failure to have plates and owner's card with the trailer. The Joint Area ...


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