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DUDO v. SCHAFFER

December 1, 1982

WALTER DUDO
v.
CHARLES J. SCHAFFER, JR., RICHARD W. CUTAIAR, WILLIAM LEMON, VINCENT DAGEN, MAURICE R. SCHURR, WILLIAM J. GORMLEY, JOSEPH CIMINO, TEAMSTERS PENSION TRUST FUND OF PHILADELPHIA AND VICINITY, HIGHWAY TRUCK DRIVERS & HELPERS LOCAL NO. 107, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN & HELPERS OF AMERICA 1



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

 LUONGO, Ch.J.

 This is an action brought under § 302(c) (5) of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 186(c) (5). Plaintiff, Walter Dudo, is a former member of the Highway Truck Drivers and Helpers Union, Local 107 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Local 107). He was denied pension benefits from the Teamsters Pension Trust Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity on the ground that he had a break in service with employers participating in the union pension plan. Dudo claims that the break-in-service rule constitutes a structural defect in the pension plan in that it arbitrarily excludes employees from benefits. By way of relief, Dudo seeks to enjoin defendants from applying the break-in-service rule.

 Following the completion of a non-jury trial held on October 21-22, 1982, the parties submitted requests for findings of fact and conclusions of law. On pleadings, proof, and the written submissions of the parties, I make the following

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 The Parties

 1. Plaintiff, Walter Dudo, is a former member of the Highway Truck Drivers and Helpers Union, Local No. 107, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America. (P-4, pp. 5-7).

 2. Defendant Teamsters Pension Trust Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity (the Fund) was established by agreement and declaration of trust dated December 30, 1957. (P-8, para. 3).

 3. Defendant Charles J. Schaffer, Jr. is the administrator of the Fund. (P-8, para. 1).

 4. Defendants William Lemon, Vincent Dagen, Maurice R. Schurr, William J. Gormley and Joseph Cimino are Trustees of the Fund. Defendant Richard Cutaiar ceased to be an employer-designated Trustee of the Fund as of January 31, 1978. (P-8, para. 2).

 5. Defendant Highway Truck Drivers and Helpers Union, Local No. 107, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America (Local 107) is a labor union with its office at 107 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Local 107 is subject to the constitution of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America (Teamsters). (P-8, para. 4).

 The Fund and The Plan

 6. The Fund was established pursuant to § 302(c) (5) of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 29 U.S.C. § 186(c) (5), to administer the Teamsters Pension Plan of Philadelphia and Vicinity (the Plan).

 7. The agreement and declaration of trust, as amended, provides that the Fund and the Plan shall be administered and operated by six trustees (three union-designated trustees and three employer-designated trustees). (Answer of the Fund, Exh. 1).

 8. Under the agreement and declaration of trust establishing the Fund, the Trustees are empowered, inter alia:

 
* * *
 
(b) To formulate, adopt, amend and administer a PENSION PLAN for the benefit of covered and eligible employes in order to provide retirement benefits for such employes;
 
(c) In connection with the administration and operation of the PENSION PLAN and in order to effectuate the purpose thereof, to formulate and establish the conditions of eligibility with respect to age and length of service; to formulate provisions for the amount and payment of benefits; . . .
 
* * *

 (Answer of the Fund, Exh. 1, ...


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