235 F.Supp. 183 (S.D.Ind. 1964), EV 64-C-29, International Union, United Auto., Aerospace and Agr. Implement Workers of America, UAW-AFL-CIO v. Hoosier Cardinal Corp.

Docket Nº:EV 64-C-29.
Citation:235 F.Supp. 183
Party Name:INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE & AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA, UAW-AFL-CIO, Plaintiff, v. HOOSIER CARDINAL CORPORATION, an Indiana Corporation, Defendant.
Case Date:November 12, 1964
Court:United States District Courts, 7th Circuit, Southern District of Indiana

Page 183

235 F.Supp. 183 (S.D.Ind. 1964)

INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE & AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA, UAW-AFL-CIO, Plaintiff,

v.

HOOSIER CARDINAL CORPORATION, an Indiana Corporation, Defendant.

No. EV 64-C-29.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana

Nov. 12, 1964

Lynville G. Miles, Indianapolis, Ind., for plaintiff.

Harry P. Dees, of Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, Evansville, Ind., for defendant.

STECKLER, Chief Judge.

This cause comes on before the court on the motion of the defendant, Hoosier Cardinal Corporation, to dismiss the above entitled cause of action on two grounds:

The first ground is that the complaint herein shows on its face that there is no federal jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action.

Page 184

In support of this part of its motion, the defendant claims that Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, Title 29 U.S.C. § 185, confers no jurisdiction upon this court, or federal courts generally, to entertain an action brought by the plaintiff labor union for and on behalf of certain of its individual members to enforce such individual member's personal rights or action for alleged vacation pay claimed to be due by reason of the collective bargaining agreement between the plaintiff union and the defendant company; that the court does not have jurisdiction because the plaintiff labor union is an unincorporated labor association and as such has no capacity under Indiana law to bring an action as a party plaintiff; and that the complaint shows on its face that the plaintiff union has not suffered any damages, as such, and that the matter in controversy does not exceed, exclusive of interest and costs, the sum of $10,000.00, as required by Title 28 U.S.C. § 1332, as amended.

The second ground of defendant's motion to dismiss is that the complaint fails to state a claim against the defendant upon which relief can be granted.

In support of this ground of its motion, the defendant asserts that the complaint shows on its face that the plaintiff union is seeking to recover vacation pay on behalf of and for certain individuals who are former employees of the defendant. A list of such former employees is attached to the complaint as Exhibit B. It also seeks to recover on behalf of said employees double damages and attorney fees. The alleged vacation pay is alleged to have been earned according to a collective bargaining agreement entered into between the defendant and plaintiff's Local Union No. 145 on or about September 1, 1955, a copy of which agreement is attached to plaintiff's complaint as Exhibit A. The motion to dismiss is supported by the affidavit of an official of the defendant which shows that each individual former employee was employed by the defendant under an oral employment contract. This action, therefore, is an attempt by the union to recover on behalf of certain individuals alleged vacation pay on each said individual former employee's alleged separate cause of action under each employee's oral employment contract with the defendant. The defendant further alleges that the complaint on its face shows that the breach, if any, on the part of the defendant of the verbal employment contracts with the individual former employees occurred on or about the first day of June, 1957, when the defendant corporation discontinued employment of all of the former employees named in the complaint and since said date has refused to pay any such employee alleged accumulated vacation pay. Finally, the defendant, in support of its motion to dismiss under this part, states that the complaint shows that the alleged cause of action of the individual former employees which the plaintiff is seeking to enforce on their behalf arose more than six years prior to the commencement of this action. Further, that such claims for alleged vacation pay would result from an alleged breach of an oral employment contract of each employee and would, therefore, be barred by the statute of limitations of the State of Indiana. Burns' Indiana Statutes, 1946 Replacement, Section 2-601 (Supp.), which provides that no action shall be brought on a contract not in writing after six years. The plaintiff's complaint in this case was filed on April 8, 1964, which would be more than six years from June 1, 1957, when the alleged breach, if any, of employment contract with the individual employees occurred.

As noted above, the defendant filed the affidavit of the president of the defendant corporation in support of its motion to dismiss, in which it is stated that each individual former employee was originally and at all times since the date of employment continuously employed by the defendant solely under an oral or verbal employment contract, and that none of said employees prior to their discharge on June 1, 1957, was ever employed under any written employment contract. Rule 12 of the Federal Rules

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of Civil Procedure provides that a motion to dismiss supported by matters outside the pleading, if not excluded by the court, shall be treated as a motion for summary judgment. In this case the same results would obtain whether the motion was considered as a motion to dismiss or as a motion for summary judgment because this cause can be, and is, disposed of without the necessity of the affidavit in support of said motion to dismiss and on matters appearing on the face of the complaint unsupported thereby. Further, this cause was fully briefed by both plaintiff and defendant and oral argument and hearing thereon was held before the court after due notice to both parties and no counteraffidavits to said motion were filed by the plaintiff herein.

And the court having examined the plaintiff's complaint, defendant's motion to dismiss, the briefs in support thereof and in opposition thereto, and having taken the matter under advisement, and now being duly advised in the premises overrules said defendant's motion to dismiss as to the first ground thereof, that there is no federal jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, but now sustains said defendant's motion to dismiss said complaint on the second ground of said motion, namely, that the complaint fails to state a claim against the defendant upon which relief can be granted.

If the defendant's motion, by reason of the affidavit attached, is considered a motion for summary judgment of the defendant as to the second ground of said motion to dismiss, then in the alternative such motion for summary judgment is hereby sustained.

The court in reaching its decision herein in the disposition of defendant's motion to dismiss has given serious consideration to the briefs and arguments of the parties.

The defendant in support of the first ground of its motion to dismiss, that the complaint shows no federal jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, argues that Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, Title 29 U.S.C. § 185, confers no jurisdiction on this or any other federal court to entertain this action by the plaintiff labor union for and on behalf of its individual members to enforce the alleged uniquely personal rights of the individual former employees of the defendant to recover alleged vacation pay, inasmuch as these rights flow directly to the former individual employees under their individual verbal employment contracts with the defendant and did not flow to or inure to the benefit of the plaintiff union. The defendant argues that the complaint shows on its face that the vacation pay sought to be recovered is a uniquely personal right of the defendant's former individual employees and that this brings this case squarely within the decision and authority of Local Lodge 2040, International Association of Machinists v. Servel, Inc., 268 F.2d 692 (7th Cir.1959), and in the holding of the Supreme Court of the United States in Association of Westinghouse Salaried Employees v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 348 U.S. 437, 75 S.Ct. 489, 99 L.Ed. 510 (1954). The facts in the Servel case were almost identical with the facts in this case, in which the court held that a labor union seeking to recover...

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