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LARRY v. PENN TRUCK AIDS

July 21, 1983

JOSEPH LARRY
v.
PENN TRUCK AIDS, INC., STANLEY TAMAVICH, ROBERT LINK, TEAMSTERS LOCAL NO. 312, DOMENICK MAGGI



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

 LUONGO, Ch.J.

 The amended complaint in this civil action was filed by plaintiff Joseph Larry against his employer, Penn Truck Aids, Inc. (PTA), his union, Teamsters Local No. 312 (Local 312), and certain individuals, and alleges (1) that PTA violated the collective bargaining agreement between it and Local 312 by laying Larry off in violation of his seniority rights under the agreement; (2) that Local 312 breached its duty of fair representation by failing to adequately represent Larry's interests in grievance proceedings before a "Special Joint Committee" of labor and management; and (3) that the individual defendants, Stanley Tamavich, Robert Link and Domenick Maggi, tortiously interfered with Larry's seniority rights under the collective bargaining agreement. Jurisdiction exists under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185.

 On July 12, 1982, I issued an opinion and order denying the motion of defendants PTA, Link and Tamavich for summary judgment. Larry v. Penn Truck Aids, Inc., 94 F.R.D. 708 (E.D. Pa. 1982). I did so, however, without prejudice to their right to resubmit the motion after further development of the factual record. Their renewed motion for summary judgment is now before the court. For reasons hereafter stated, defendants' motion for summary judgment will be granted.

 Background

 The record on this motion consists of the affidavits of Larry, Tamavich and Joseph Benson, the alternate shop steward for Local 312 at the time of the events in dispute; the deposition of Larry; and the authenticated transcripts of the grievance hearings held before the Penn Truck Aids Special Joint Committee on June 2, 1980 and July 7, 1980. These materials establish the absence of a dispute as to the following facts. PTA is a labor broker; it supplies truck drivers to businesses that do not employ their own drivers. Relations between PTA and its employees are governed by the collective bargaining agreement between PTA and Local 312. Larry, a member of Local 312 was hired by PTA on July 21, 1977, and was assigned to PTA's casual work list. This list was made up of those PTA employees who had not received assignments to work regularly with a PTA customer.

 Defendant Domenick Maggi was hired by PTA on September 8, 1977 and, like Larry, was initially assigned to PTA's casual work list. On September 11, 1978, Maggi received a permanent assignment with Eaton Corporation (Eaton). Three months later, Larry was awarded a permanent assignment, also with Eaton. Because Larry was hired before Maggi, Larry should have been awarded a permanent assignment prior to Maggi. Nevertheless, for reasons neither certain nor material to this motion, Maggi was assigned to Eaton ahead of Larry.

 Under the collective bargaining agreement between Local 312 and PTA, layoffs are made in reverse order of seniority. Seniority is measured in terms of length of service with a specific PTA customer:

 
Customer seniority as measured by length of service with such customer at the same location shall prevail except in those instances where the Employer and Union involved agree to the contrary. Controversies regarding seniority shall be settled by the Employer and the Union. Failing settlement by these parties, the matter shall be processed under the grievance procedure set out in . . . this Agreement.

 (Collective Bargaining Agreement, Art. 5, Section 2). Thus, as a result of receiving the earlier permanent assignment, Maggi had more customer seniority at Eaton than Larry.

 In the summer of 1979, Larry discovered that Maggi's assignment to Eaton predated his own and that he was subordinate to Maggi in terms of customer seniority. Immediately upon learning of this fact, Larry complained to representatives of Local 312 and PTA. He did not file a grievance at that time.

 In early 1980, Larry learned that there was to be a reduction in the workforce assigned to Eaton and that he would be laid off. Consequently, Larry decided to grieve his subordination to Maggi on the Eaton seniority list. In February 1980, Local 312 filed a grievance on his behalf contending that Larry's seniority rights had been violated when Maggi was given a permanent assignment ahead of Larry. A grievance was then filed on Maggi's behalf to protect his rights. In or about March 1980, an informal grievance meeting was held between Tamavich of PTA and John DiLuzio, the business agent of Local 312. Larry and Maggi were also present. The meeting concluded with PTA determining that Larry should have been offered the assignment with Eaton before Maggi. Accordingly, Larry was reinstated to a position of seniority over Maggi, and Maggi was laid off.

 On June 2, 1980, the Special Joint Committee met in Arlington, Virginia to hear Maggi's grievance. Edward Burke, the President of Local 312, presented Maggi's case in the absence of DiLuzio who was attending to other union matters. Maggi was also present and testified as a witness in his own behalf. PTA's position was presented by ...


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