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CONNOR v. BROTHERHOOD OF RY.

August 12, 1980

James A. CONNOR and William C. Warner, Plaintiffs,
v.
BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY, AIRLINE AND STEAMSHIP CLERKS, AFL-CIO; BRAC Local Lodge# 703; BRAC Local Lodge # 265; BRAC Local Lodge # 949; BRAC Local Lodge # 206; BRAC System Board of Adjustment No. 86; Al Archual and Fred J. Kroll, Consolidated Rail Corporation, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONABOY

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This action arose as a result of the reorganization and consolidation of the railroad system under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973.

 The Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss, which has been fully briefed by both parties.

 The basic facts which underly the present controversy are not in dispute. The Defendants herein are officers and local branches of the Brotherhood of Railway, Airline and Steamship Clerks (AFL-CIO), hereinafter referred to as BRAC, and the Consolidated Rail Corporation. Plaintiffs are Conrail employees whose employment rights are affected by the seniority rosters challenged here. The individuals whose seniority status is the crux of the dispute here were formerly employed by Central of New Jersey on the part of that operation which was located in eastern Pennsylvania.

 Central Railroad of New Jersey (hereinafter referred to as CNJ) ceased its operations within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on or about April 4, 1972. As of that date, the forty-five CNJ employees who had worked for that line in Pennsylvania accepted employment with the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Pursuant to an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission, these employees were placed on the Lehigh Valley Seniority Roster with a seniority date of April 1, 1972, but they retained their original seniority dates on the CNJ Roster.

 In 1976, the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) acquired the Erie Lackawanna, the Lehigh Valley, the Reading, the Lehigh and New England and the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroads. In January and February of 1976, BRAC and Conrail entered into individual implementing agreements pursuant to 45 U.S.C. ยง 774(b), which were to govern employer-employee relations from the time of the conveyances to Conrail until new collective bargaining agreements could be negotiated between Conrail and the various representatives of each craft. The first matter addressed by the individual implementing agreements signed by Al Archual and the Conrail representative was the consolidation of seniority rosters.

 Section III. A. provided for the establishment of new seniority district rosters in the following manner:

 
A. All employees accepting employment with the Corporation who appear on the seniority rosters consolidated under Article I and other existing rosters on the day prior to conveyance which are located within the territory of a new seniority district shall be dovetailed into the new seniority district rosters on the basis of their earliest seniority date on such rosters.

 The new Conrail Seniority District 8 consolidated the lists of the former Lehigh Valley, Erie Lackawanna, Reading and Lehigh and New England lines. When the first consolidated seniority roster came out in October of 1976, the forty-five Lehigh Valley employees who had formerly been employees of CNJ appeared on the District 8 roster with their prior CNJ dates rather than their Lehigh Valley date of April 1, 1972. This listing was strongly objected to by several other BRAC members in District 8. Their position is that CNJ was no longer in existence in Pennsylvania at the time the District 8 roster was posted, and the proper date for determining these employees' seniority date is their Lehigh Valley date of April 1, 1972.

 William Warner, a Conrail employee and member of BRAC submitted a protest of the roster to Robert O'Neill, Conrail Manager for Labor Relations on February 19, 1978. This protest was denied, on the basis that the roster was proper. Warner pursued his intra-union remedies. He submitted a claim to his local union representative which was denied. He then followed the union appeal procedure, and his claim was finally denied after several hearings, by the BRAC International Executive Council in December of 1978.

 Plaintiff Connor instituted his roster protest by bringing it to the Conrail representative as provided in the Interim Rules Agreement. This was denied.

 Warner and Connor, on behalf of themselves and the over four hundred other Conrail employees that they claim are adversely affected by the allegedly improper roster, brought this action in the district court on December 10, 1979.

 Plaintiffs seek to recover from both Conrail and the union. They claim that Conrail's action in adopting the current roster is a denial of their seniority rights under the Interim Agreements, and is therefore a breach of these agreements. *fn1" They seek to enjoin Conrail from continuing to list these employees on the seniority roster with their prior CNJ dates, and to require Conrail to list them with the April 1, ...


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