The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN
Plaintiff's complaint seeks equitable relief and money damages against defendant employer for allegedly discharging plaintiff in violation of a collective bargaining agreement. The complaint also seeks money damages against defendant union for allegedly failing to pursue plaintiff's grievance against the employer in violation of the union's duty of fair representation. The equity complaint was originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, but was properly removed to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. The defendants have moved for summary judgment. The motions will be granted.
The material facts are not in dispute. Plaintiff commenced his employment with the Horace T. Potts Company (Potts) in late January, 1973. At that time, plaintiff was required to become a member of the Warehouse Employees' Union Local 169 (the Union), the exclusive bargaining representative at Potts. Under the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, special or "super"-seniority was granted to the Shop Committee, consisting of the shop stewards at Potts. Plaintiff was duly elected shop steward of the Stainless Steel Division of Potts.
Plaintiff learned some three to four weeks later that the grievance had been denied.
Because this sequence of events is crucial to disposition of this case, extensive reference to plaintiff's deposition testimony is necessary.
Mr. Blaszczyk stated at his deposition:
Q. What is the next thing that you heard about your grievance?
A. Three or four weeks later.
Q. What did you hear three or four weeks later?
A. Within the three to four weeks that my grievance was turned in, I called up to find out whether it was answered. A week, two weeks, and there was no answer.
Finally, I called up Joe Thompson, and he told me it was answered, and he had a copy of my grievance. I went down and picked it up.
Q. Did Thompson tell you how it was answered?
Q. Weren't you curious about how it was answered?
A. Well, he did say it was denied. That's common, but I expected that anyway.
Q. Why did you expect that?
A. Why wouldn't I? I mean, from what Sonny Hill told me, I thought to myself, well, this grievance only was a procedure that I had to go through and when I filled it out, like I said, I expected it was going to be denied, and I started taking legal action.
Q. Is that when you consulted Mr. Black?
Q. So, you expected the grievance to be turned down or denied because of what Sonny Hill had already told you?
Q. The reason you filed the grievance was so you could exhaust whatever procedures you had to exhaust before you could take other legal action?
Q. What other legal action were you planning?
A. Well, I felt that I was taken away my stewardship and my position, and I wanted to retain them back.
Q. When did you go to Mr. Thompson to pick up your grievance?
A. I don't know. It was about three or four weeks, when the grievance was answered.
Q. But, eventually, you made a visit to the plant in person?
Q. Did Mr. Thompson give you a copy of this document?
Q. When you got the copy, was this portion of the document filled out under disposition of grievance step B [the words, "no case"]?
Q. But you were certain, in your mind, that the grievance had been denied?
Q. Did you have a conversation with Mr. Thompson on the day that you picked up the grievance?
A. No, not really. We weren't allowed to talk to employees on company time.
Q. Did you make any effort to get ahold of Sonny Hill again?
Q. The day you got his grievance, did you make any ...