The opinion of the court was delivered by: MANSMANN
Plaintiffs were employed as painters by Defendant Stuart Painting Company, Inc. ("Stuart Painting") at its Shippingport, Pennsylvania job site from an unknown date until late May 1982. On May 28 and June 1, 1982, Plaintiffs were "laid off" as a result of various labor disputes. The disputes were resolved in June and work resumed at the Shippingport site, including the work performed by the painters. Stuart Painting recalled and hired a number of painters from different locals, including Local 6 and Local 530, but the named Plaintiffs were not among those recalled or hired. According to Defendants' Answer, Plaintiffs were members of Local 6 but were represented by Local 530 while working at the Shippingport job site.
On or about September 20, 1982, several Plaintiffs filed a grievance with Local 6 against Stuart Painting for failing to recall them to the Shippingport job. On the same date, these Plaintiffs also filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"). The NLRB subsequently dismissed the charges.
On or about October 29, 1982, most of the Plaintiffs named in this action filed grievances with both Local 6 and Local 530 concerning Stuart Painting's failure to recall them as well as the Unions' failure to object thereto.
On November 24, 1982, Local 530 denied the grievance that was filed with it and notified Local 6 that it was so doing. There is nothing in the record which indicates whether or not Local 6 also formally denied the grievance that was filed with it but Plaintiffs' allegations strongly indicate that they understood that both Locals denied their grievances. That same day, all of the Plaintiffs named in this action filed a charge against both Locals with the NLRB. The charge alleged, inter alia, that the Unions caused Stuart Painting to refuse to employ them and to discriminate against them. On December 22, 1982, the NLRB dismissed the charge and on January 28, 1983, its Office of Appeals affirmed the dismissal.
Plaintiffs filed the present action on October 6, 1983 pursuant to section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA") of 1947, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs allege conspiracy (Count I), breach of the collective bargaining agreement (Counts II and VI), breach of the International's constitution and the by-laws of Local 6 (Count III), discrimination (Count IV) and breach of the Unions' duty of fair representation (Count V).
Defendants Williams, Local 6 and the International have moved for summary judgment contending, inter alia, that the applicable statute of limitations bars Plaintiffs' action.
Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment may be entered only "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has made clear that any doubts as to the existence of genuine issues of fact are to be resolved against the moving parties. Continental Ins. Co. v. Bodie, 682 F.2d 436, 438 (3d Cir. 1982); Hollinger v. Wagner Mining Equipment Co., 667 F.2d 402, 405 (3d Cir. 1981). Further, the facts and inferences to be drawn from the facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Continental Ins. Co. v. Bodie, supra at 438; Betz Laboratories, Inc. v. Hines, 647 F.2d 402, 404 (3d Cir. 1981).
As a general rule, courts do not favor the summary disposition of cases on their merits. Nevertheless, in an appropriate case, an early disposition may save the parties needless and often considerable time and expense which otherwise would be incurred during trial. Thus, summary judgment is a useful tool when the record reflects that there is no genuine dispute over the ...