Cement Union were to vote for its vice president. The Boilermakers, however, asserted that the vice president was to be elected by a vote from the entire membership at large. As a result of a decision against restricting eligible voters to the Cement Division of the Boilermakers, the former Cement Union President, Richard Northrip was not elected to a vice presidency of the Boilermakers. Northrip and those who supported him then formed the Independent Workers of North America (IWNA).
On or about December 26, 1986, defendants Szoke and Martin, after a decision to change their affiliation from Boilermakers to IWNA, and without Boilermakers' knowledge, executed a deed transferring title to the Northhampton property from themselves as trustees for District Council No. 1, United Cement, Lime, Gypsum and Allied Workers International Union to themselves as "Trustees for Independent Workers of North America, an unincorporated association," without consideration. IWNA thereafter recorded the deed in Northhampton County, Pennsylvania. On March 16, 1987, representatives of Boilermakers were locked out of and denied access to the premises and records contained therein by defendants.
Plaintiffs, Boilermakers and various members of its Board of Trustees, filed suit seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. On May 14, 1987, after a hearing to consider plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, the court issued a preliminary injunction compelling the defendants to return the property and records of the Boilermakers. See International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO v. Alexander Szoke, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14208, No. 87-2147, slip op. (E.D. Pa. May 29, 1987) (LEXIS, Genfed library, Dist file).
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment may be granted when "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). For a dispute to be "genuine," the evidence must be such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). To establish a genuine issue of material fact, the non-moving party must introduce evidence beyond the mere pleadings to create an issue of material fact on "an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). The evidence presented must be considered in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, Baker v. Lukens Steel Co., 793 F.2d 509, 511 (3d Cir. 1986), and that party must receive the benefit of all reasonable inferences arising from that evidence. Gans v. Mundy, 762 F.2d 338, 341 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1010, 88 L. Ed. 2d 467, 106 S. Ct. 537 (1985).
This case essentially involves a contract dispute between two labor organizations. The two contracts which together form the basis of the dispute are the merger agreement between the Boilermakers and the Cement Union
and the Boilermakers' constitution.
Article XXXIII, Section 3 of the merger agreement provides, in pertinent part:
Transfer and Title of Assets. On the effective date of the merger all property, real, personal, and mixed; and all rights, titles and interest; either legal or equitable; and any monies, funds, or property; tangible or intangible, of [Cement] and affiliated District Councils shall, by virtue of the merger, be transferred to and vested in the merged organization in accordance with the Constitution.
Article XXXVI, section 2 of the Boilermakers' constitution, provides, in pertinent part:
The fund and properties of a subordinate body are trust funds for the benefit of its members and shall not be divided in any manner among the members of the subordinate body. Upon the surrender, forfeiture or revocation of its charter other than through consolidation, all funds belonging to such subordinate body shall be forwarded promptly to the International Secretary-Treasurer and all real estate and other property owned or held by such body shall be immediately transferred and conveyed by the proper legal instrument to the International Board of Trustees of the International Brotherhood.