845 F.2d 687 (7th Cir. 1988), 87-2244, International Broth. of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers, AFL-CIO v. Local Lodge 714, Intern. Broth. of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers, AFL-CIO

Docket Nº:87-2244.
Citation:845 F.2d 687
Party Name:INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS, IRON SHIP BUILDERS, BLACKSMITHS, FORGERS, AND HELPERS, AFL-CIO, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. LOCAL LODGE 714, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS, IRON SHIP BUILDERS, BLACKSMITHS, FORGERS, and HELPERS, AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:April 22, 1988
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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845 F.2d 687 (7th Cir. 1988)

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS, IRON SHIP

BUILDERS, BLACKSMITHS, FORGERS, AND HELPERS,

AFL-CIO, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

LOCAL LODGE 714, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS,

IRON SHIP BUILDERS, BLACKSMITHS, FORGERS, and

HELPERS, AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

No. 87-2244.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 22, 1988

        Argued Feb. 16, 1988.

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        Richard J. Tupper, Cornfield & Feldman, Chicago, Ill., for defendants-appellants.

        Bernard M. Mamet, Bernard M. Mamet & Assoc., Ltd., Chicago, Ill., for plaintiffs-appellees.

        Before POSNER, EASTERBROOK and MANION, Circuit Judges.

        POSNER, Circuit Judge.

        This appeal from the grant of injunctive relief in a suit between two labor unions requires us to explore the esoteric question of when a parent union may impose a trusteeship on a local under section 302 of the Landrum-Griffin Act (formally, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959), 29 U.S.C. Sec. 462. See generally Bellace, Union Trusteeships: Difficulties in Applying Sections 302 and 304(c) of the Landrum-Griffin Act, 25 Am.U.L.Rev. 337 (1976). The principal plaintiff is the international boilermakers' union, and the defendants are one of its locals, Local Lodge 714, and the local's former officers. Members of the international union who disagreed with the union's leadership over dues and other matters formed a rival union, the Independent Workers of North America, after losing an election for officers of the international. The rival began trying to induce locals of the international to break away and affiliate with it. These efforts succeeded with Local Lodge 714, for 130 of its 135 members signed a petition to disaffiliate from the international boilermakers' union and subsequently voted 112 to 2 to disaffiliate, and to affiliate with the Independent Workers of North America instead. The officers of Local Lodge 714 then formed Local 15 of the Independent Workers of North America. The new local has the same officers as Local Lodge 714, and most of the members of the local lodge followed their leaders into Local 15; the record does not reveal how many (if any) remained in Local Lodge 714. The officers took with them both the books of Local Lodge 714 and its bank account, containing some $6,000 to $8,000, and they used some of this money to pay their salaries and other expenses of the new local.

        Local Lodge 714 had been the exclusive bargaining representative of its members, who are production and maintenance workers employed at a plant owned by Quaker Industries. After the breakaway, Local 15 petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to order a new election for collective bargaining representative. Although the record turns murky at this point, it seems both that the petition was granted and that the workers voted for Local 15; for at argument the defendants told us, without being contradicted by their adversaries, that Local 15 is now the exclusive bargaining representative of the Quaker workers.

        A few days after Local 15 had petitioned the Board for a new election, the international union, having already held a hearing on whether to impose a trusteeship on Local Lodge 714, voted to impose the trusteeship and appointed new officers for the lodge. The officers were brought in from the outside rather than selected from among members of the lodge; it is unclear whether by this time the lodge had any members left. The international union then brought this suit, under section 301 of the Taft-Hartley Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 185, which authorizes suits between labor unions as well as the more familiar suits

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between company and union or between an employee and a company or union. The suit sought an injunction enforcing the trusteeship, specifically by ordering the former officers of Local Lodge 714 to turn over the lodge's books and money to the trustee. The defendants--nominally Local Lodge 714 and its former officers, really Local 15 and its current officers (the same people)--counterclaimed under section 304(a) of the Landrum-Griffin Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 464(a). The district court, noting that section 304(c) provides that a trusteeship established in conformity with the procedural requirements of the union's constitution or bylaws and authorized or ratified after a fair hearing shall be presumed valid for 18 months, during which time it "shall not be subject to attack ... except upon clear and convincing proof that the trusteeship was not established or maintained in good faith for a purpose allowable under section 462," granted a preliminary injunction (since made permanent) authorizing the trustee appointed by the international union to run Local Lodge 714 and directing the individual defendants to hand over the Lodge's books and money to the trustee, which has been done. See 663 F.Supp. 1071 (N.D.Ill.1987).

        There is a small procedural knot to untie before we get to the merits. The basis of the international's suit is unclear. Section 304(a) of the Landrum-Griffin Act does not authorize the parent union to bring suit against a subordinate unit or its members, or against anyone else; it only authorizes suit by a "member or subordinate body of a labor organization," or by the Secretary of Labor. Section 301 of the Taft-Hartley Act does, as we just mentioned, authorize a suit by one labor union against another, but only for breach of contract. The international has not cast its suit in breach of contract terms but merely asks for enforcement of the trusteeship.

        Despite the inartful pleading, the suit is within the jurisdiction conferred by section 301 of the Taft-Hartley Act. The trusteeship provision, section 302 of the Landrum-Griffin Act, provides:

        Trusteeships shall be established and administered by a labor organization over a subordinate body only in accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the organization which has assumed trusteeship over the subordinate body and for the purpose of correcting corruption or financial malpractice, assuring the performance of collective bargaining...

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