140 F.Supp. 273 (N.D.Ohio 1956), Civ. 7493, New York Cent. R. Co. v. Brotherhood of R.R. Trainmen

Docket Nº:Civ. 7493
Citation:140 F.Supp. 273
Party Name:New York Cent. R. Co. v. Brotherhood of R.R. Trainmen
Case Date:May 01, 1956
Court:United States District Courts, 6th Circuit, Northern District of Ohio
 
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Page 273

140 F.Supp. 273 (N.D.Ohio 1956)

The NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff,

v.

BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN, a Voluntary Association, et al., Defendants.

Civ. No. 7493.

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division.

May 1, 1956

        Doyle, Lewis & Warner, Toledo, Ohio, Wesley A. Wilkinson, Cleveland, Ohio, for plaintiff.

        Joseph A. Robie, Toledo, Ohio, James L. Highsaw, Jr., Washington, D.C., for defendants.

        KLOEB, District Judge.

        Plaintiff seeks to enjoin the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen and certain named officers of these Brotherhoods from conducting a strike because of the closing of the North Toledo Interchange Yard, and, in addition, asks for a declaratory judgment

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that such defendants have no right to interfere with the closing of the Yard.

        For many years plaintiff has operated several yards in and around Toledo, and one of these is the North Toledo Yard, where it receives in interchange freight cars from a number of other railroads. Another of these yards is known as the Stanley Yard adjacent to Toledo and located in Wood County, Ohio.

        On June 7, 1955, plaintiff gave notification to its employees that it would close its North Toledo Yard on July 10, 1955, and transfer the interchange point to the Stanley Yard.

        On June 11, 1955, and on July 7, 1955, plaintiff's officials and certain officers of the defendants held meetings at which the closing of the North Toledo Yard and its effect on approximately thirty-five men there employed was discussed.

        On July 7, 1955, defendants sent to the National Mediation Board an application for mediation services under the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq., and stated therein that the specific question in dispute was that management was arbitrarily closing the North Toledo Yard without negotiations. No request was made in the application for a change in any existing working agreements or for a new or supplemental agreement. On the same day, the Mediation Board wired plaintiff that they had received a telegram from defendants, reading as follows:

        'Serious situation existing New York Central Railroad Lines West at Toledo, Ohio as the result of the management arbitrarily closing North Toledo Yard without negotiations request your Board take immediate jurisdiction over this matter and notify carrier to hold the matter status quo pending mediation proceedings. Letter follows.' (Plaintiff's Exhibit 3).

        On July 8, 1955, defendants filed an application for mediation services by way of a telegram (Defendants' Exhibit D), which read in part as follows:

        'Management, The New York Central Railroad Company, Lines West of Buffalo, advised Local Chairmen, representing the B. of L.E., B. of L.F. & E., and various other Organizations of their desire to close North Toledo Yard, effective 11:00 P.M., July 10, 1955; closing this yard seriously affects agreements dated August 3, 1932, and May 1, 1948, by disrupting proper allocation interdivisional service between Michigan Central R.R. and The N.Y.C.R.R. Co., Lines West, as set forth in telegram this date.'

        On July 8, 1955, the Mediation Board wired plaintiff as follows (Plaintiff's Exhibit 4):

        'We are advised that New York Central Management proposes to close the North Toledo Yard effective 11 PM, July 10, 1955. BLE and BLF&E state that service at North Toledo Yard as between Michigan Central and New York Central Lines West engineers is covered by agreement dated August 3, 1932, supplemented by memorandum of understanding effective May 1, 1948 and that closing of North Toledo Yard would seriously affect these agreements by disturbing agreed to allocation of service between the two Committees at Toledo Ohio. Organizations further claim that carrier has not complied with provisions of Section, Railway Labor Act in failing to serve formal Section 6 notice of their intention to close North Toledo Yard and have applied for Board's mediation services. Without passing on propriety of formal docketing of such applications, we have assigned correspondence file C-2386 to this dispute and Board hereby requests carrier to defer contemplated closing of North Toledo Yard until matter can be discussed with representatives of carrier and organizations by a Board representative. Please acknowledge and advise if this request will be complied with. Joint Horning, Brown,

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Gilbert and Kennedy. By direction of National Mediation Board.'

        Plaintiff wired the Mediation Board on the same day as follows (Plaintiff's Exhibit 5):

        'Receipt acknowledged your telegram requesting we defer contemplated closing of North Toledo Yard until matter can be discussed with representatives of carrier and organizations by Board representative. We will comply with Board's request and hope Board will act promptly in the matter since we do not want to delay the closing of this Yard indefinitely. Our General Manager, R.H. McGraw, in Cleveland and General Manager E.C. Johnson in Detroit will represent carrier and I suggest conferences in Toledo.'

        Thereafter, mediation efforts were carried on by the Board with plaintiff and defendants without success and, on August 1, 1955, the Board wired plaintiff as follows (Plaintiff's Exhibit 6):

        'Re File C-2386 proposed closing of North Yard, Toledo, New York Central Lines. Board has considered position of organizations that carrier has not complied with provisions of Section 6, Railway Labor Act by failing to serve formal notice of intention to close North Toledo Yard, also present status as reported by Mediator. It seems clear that there is no agreement in effect between the carrier and any organization requiring maintenance of yards or other operating facilities and no request for such an agreement. In the absence of a formal notice for a rule covering such operations, Board does not have jurisdiction. Arbitrary changes, if any, in Memorandum Agreements of August 3, 1932 and May 1, 1948 covering allocation of services would constitute violation of those agreements and would be referable to National Railroad Adjustment Board. This Board is therefore unable to docket application of organizations and is closing its file C-2386. By order of the National Mediation Board. Joint Horning, Brown, Gilbert, Kennedy, MacSwan.'

        On August 2, 1955, plaintiff notified its employees that the North Toledo Yard would be closed on August 7, 1955.

        On August 4, 1955, defendants wired the Mediation Board as follows (Defendants' Exhibit F):

        'This is to advise that BLF&E and BRT are setting strike date for 6:00 AM Eastern Standard Time Sunday August 7 1955 New York Central West account management arbitrarily closing North Toledo Yard. BLF&E also setting strike date for same time on Michigan Central. Please accept this wire as usual 72 hour notice in cases of this kind.'

        In reply to the above telegram, the Board wired plaintiff and defendants as follows (Plaintiff's Exhibit 8):

        'We are advised by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen that those organizations have set strike date for six am Eastern Standard Time Sunday August 7 1955 on New York Lines West account management arbitrarily closing North Toledo Yard. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen also set strike date for same time on Michigan Central. Board hereby proffers its mediation services under provisions of Section Five First paragraph (B) under its Docket Case A-4923 and requests organizations to defer strike date pending mediation. Attention of all concerned is directed to status quo provisions of Section Six of Railway Labor Act. Please Acknowledge.'

        On the same day, plaintiff wired the Board as follows (Plaintiff's Exhibit 9):

        'Receipt acknowledged your wire date Case A-4923. We will cooperate with mediation efforts of Board this Case.'

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        Following extended efforts on the part of the Board with representatives of plaintiff and defendants, the Board sent to plaintiff and defendants the following telegram on December 16, 1955 (Plaintiff's Exhibit 17):

        'Reference is made to our Case No. A-4923 which covers a dispute between the New York Central Railroad, Lines West and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen on the subject of proposed closing of the North Toledo Yard of this carrier. Mediation services of the Board were proffered in our telegram of August 4, 1955 based on a strike date set by the organizations for 6 a.m., EST, Sunday, August 7, 1955. This case has been the subject of mediation proceedings by Board Member Francis A. O'Neill, Jr., but it has not been found possible to resolve the dispute in mediation.

        'You are therefore notified that the National Mediation Board is closing its file in Case No. A-4932 as of this date.

        'By direction of the National Mediation Board.'

        On January 17, 1956, plaintiff notified its employees in writing that the North Toledo Yards would be closed at 11:00 p.m., January 21, 1956, and, on January 19, 1956, plaintiff received a telegram from the Board, reading as follows (Plaintiff's Exhibit 13):

        'Following wire received date from Messrs Kennedy and Gilbert Quote Employees of New York Central Lines West as represented by Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen authorized to withdraw from service in a legal strike effective 11:00 PM EST Saturday January 21 1956 account of New York Centrals...

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