383 F.2d 225 (D.C. Cir. 1967), 20718, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Atlantic Coast Line Raiilroad Co.

Docket Nº:20718.
Citation:383 F.2d 225
Party Name:BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN, Appellant, v. ATLANTIC COAST LINE RAILROAD COMPANY et al., Appellees.
Case Date:September 06, 1967
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
 
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Page 225

383 F.2d 225 (D.C. Cir. 1967)

BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN, Appellant,

v.

ATLANTIC COAST LINE RAILROAD COMPANY et al., Appellees.

No. 20718.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

Sept. 6, 1967

Argued May 15, 1967.

Page 226

Mr. Milton Kramer, Washington, D.C., with whom Messrs. Martin W. Fingerhut, Washington, D.C., and John H. Haley, Jr., St. Louis, Mo., were on the brief, for appellant.

Mr. Francis M. Shea, Washington, D.C., with whom Mr. Richard T. Conway, Washington, D.C., was on the brief, for appellees.

Messrs. David G. Bress, U.S. Atty., David L. Rose, Walter H. Fleischer and John C. Eldridge, Attorneys, Department of Justice, filed briefs on behalf of the United States as amicus curiae, urging reversal.

Before BASTIAN, Senior Circuit Judge, TAMM and LEVENTHAL, Circuit judges.

LEVENTHAL, Circuit Judge:

This appeal involves still another phase of the railroad work rules dispute that erupted again in 1959 when the nation's major carriers served notices under Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 156 (1964), to abrogate existing rules regulating the use of conductors and trainmen, or 'crew consist, ' on yard and road crews. We have recently recounted the events that followed this opening round. 1 It suffices here to say that in 1960 the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) served counter notices insisting that not less than one conductor and two trainmen be employed on all road and yard crews, negotiations and mediation proved unsuccessful, and only Congressional intervention and provision for compulsory arbitration forestalled a strike in 1963.

The arbitration award of Board 282 apparently failed to achieve one of its purposes, of guiding the way to a general, long range settlement.

In June and July of 1965 the BRT, anticipating the expiration of the arbitration award in January 1966, served identical notices on some eighty carriers embodying the same proposal they had made in 1960. The carriers responded that these notices were premature in insisting on bargaining during the pendency of the arbitration award, but in December 1965, without waiving their prematurity objection, those eighty carriers plus some twenty others served notices on the BRT proposing the same management-discretion rule they suggested in 1959. No genuine conferences had been held on either group of notices when the carriers obtained injunctions prohibiting a strike over their failure to bargain on the union's allegedly premature notices. We recently reversed the grant of this relief in a decision (see note 1), holding that the union's notices were not in law premature.

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In the meantime, conferences were taking place on the local properties, and some agreements were reached. The carriers had requested that the BRT acquiesce in their suggestion that if local negotiations bore no fruit, the dispute be referred to 'national handling.' From the outset the BRT refused to concur in this request. When local conferences broke down on various roads, the services of the National Mediation Board were invoked. The Board ignored a request by the carriers that mass mediation be scheduled, and instead docketed each dispute separately.

In November 1966, appellees, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the Boston & Maine Corporation, and the Des Moines Union Railway, sued in the District Court for declaratory and injunctive relief against a possible strike on the grounds that the BRT first, had not participated in good faith negotiations at the local...

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