Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Price, 10741.

Decision Date01 March 1939
Docket NumberNo. 10741.,10741.
Citation126 S.W.2d 74
PartiesBROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN et al. v. PRICE et al.
CourtTexas Court of Appeals

Appeal from District Court, Galveston County; Charles G. Dibrell, Judge.

Suit by W. L. Price and others to mandatorily enjoin the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and others to cancel a bulletin or order dated October 13, 1937, and to restrain issuance of any other orders which would deprive plaintiffs of their alleged prior rights to man all trains over the trackage of the G. H. & H. Railway Company between Galveston and Houston. From a judgment granting a temporary writ of injunction, defendants appeal.

Judgment reversed and injunction dissolved.

Charles Murphy, of Houston, and Tom J. McGrath and W. A. Endle, both of Cleveland, Ohio, for appellants.

Bernard A. Golding, of Houston, for appellees.

MONTEITH, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from a temporary writ of injunction issued by the Judge of the 56th District Court of Galveston County, commanding appellants, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and other parties defendant, not necessary to be here mentioned, to cancel or annul a bulletin or order dated October 13, 1937, and restraining appellants from issuing any other orders by the terms of which appellees, W. L. Price, P. H. Waters, F. A. Llewellyn, and R. H. Martin, would be deprived of their alleged prior rights to man all trains over the trackage of the G. H. & H. Railway Company between Galveston and Houston.

This is the second appeal of this case from judgments rendered by the 56th District Court of Galveston County. The first appeal, which is reported in 108 S.W.2d 239, writ of error dismissed, was from an order granting a permanent injunction. The case was reversed and remanded by a majority opinion of this court for the purpose of making other train service employees, who would be adversely affected by a judgment favorable to appellees, parties to the suit.

Shortly after the dismissal of the writ of error in the first appeal, the appellees instituted this suit making the necessary parties parties-defendant, and secured a temporary injunction, from which order appellants, defendants below, have appealed.

By agreement of the parties the transcript of the evidence and all exhibits introduced at the former trial are made a part of the record in this appeal.

The appellees, W. L. Price, P. H. Waters, and R. H. Martin, are members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. F. A. Llewellyn was a member of the Brotherhood up to the year 1931, when his membership was dropped. He was not a member at the time of the filing of either of the suits involved in this appeal. Price has been a member since 1906, Waters since 1908, Llewellyn since 1906, and Martin since 1911. Under the rules of the Brotherhood each had acquired rights to man trains over the G. H. & H. Trackage.

Appellant Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen is an unincorporated voluntary association of Railway trainmen, organized for the purpose of promoting the welfare and advancing the interests of its members as Railway employees. As such, it makes contracts with Railway Companies for and on behalf of its members, providing for rates of pay, terms and conditions of employment, and determines the rights of its members to man various trains operated by the companies with whom it contracts, and regulates and protects their seniority rights.

There is little controversy as to the material facts proved on either appeal. In the first appeal the trial court filed findings of fact. In the present appeal certain fact findings are embodied in the judgment rendered.

Briefly stated, the facts necessary for an understanding of this appeal are substantially as follows: The trackage of the G. H. & H. Ry. Co. extends only between Galveston and Houston. Its stock is owned by the I. & G. N. and M. K. & T. Railway Companies in equal shares. Up to the time of Government operation of railroads, each of said three railroads use the G. H. & H. trackages. On March 1, 1920, the G. H. & H. Ry. Co. discontinued the active operation of trains and advised its engine and train service employees that from that date its trackage would be used exclusively by the M. K. & T. and I. & G. N. Railroads. An appeal was immediately made to the Transportation Brotherhoods, of which they were members, by the engine and train service employees of the three railroads, including appellees, for a ruling as to their respective seniority rights under said new arrangement. After an exhaustive investigation a ruling was handed down by the Chief Executives of the four Transportation Brotherhoods on November 18, 1920, which provided, in substance, that the train service employees of the G. H. & H. Ry. Co., including appellees, should have prior rights, in accordance with their seniority in the G. H. & H. Railway Company, to any service operated exclusively between Galveston and Houston, which was then being operated in alternate years by the I. & G. N. and M. K. & T. Railroads, two of appellees being placed on the roster of the I. & G. N. and two on the roster of the M. K. & T., to begin accumulating seniority rights as of March 1, 1920.

Later, by reason of falling off of business, the management of said two railroads ordered the freight service between Galveston and Houston cut to one train a day, which train would handle all local and through freight business between Galveston and Houston. A controversy again arose between the former G. H. & H. employees, appellees herein, and the train service employees of said two railroads, members of the subordinate lodges of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, as to who should man this train. In December, 1934, the President of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen ruled that appellees should be given the right to man the train one-half of each year, and that the employees of the other two railroads should be given the right to man the train the other half of the year. Appellees immediately thereafter secured an injunction restraining the Brotherhood and its officers from carrying said ruling into effect.

On reversal of the judgment in said first appeal, appellants on October 13, 1937, caused an order to be issued which would have reduced appellees' terms of employment to a period of six months each year. Appellees contended that under the ruling and agreement of November 18, 1920, they were entitled to exclusive rights to man all trains over the G. H. & H. trackage for the entire year, and immediately, on October 28, 1937, entered their protest to said order in the form of a telegram to A. F. Whitney, President of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and received an immediate reply from him by letter, dated October 29, 1937, suggesting that they file their complaint with the Grievance Committee. He assured them that their complaint would be given merited attention.

Appellees took no further action toward securing an investigation of their claim or a ruling thereon, and took no action toward perfecting an appeal of their grievance through the machinery set up therefor under the rules of the Brotherhood, but immediately instituted this action and secured the temporary injunction above referred to, which has prevented further action being taken by appellants to man said trains up to this time. Appellants, defendants below, have appealed from the order of the court granting said temporary injunction.

Appellees contend that the order or ruling made on November 18, 1920, by the Chief Executives of the four Transportation Brotherhoods, was a binding contract and agreement between themselves and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, giving them, so far as their number permitted, exclusive right to man all train service over the G. H. & H. trackage, and that said right was a vested property right over which appellants had no control and had no legal right to disturb. They further contend that they did all that they could reasonably have been expected to do toward exhausting the remedies provided by the association.

We are unable to sustain either of these contentions. In its final analysis, the decisive question involved in this appeal is whether, since the rights given appellees under the ruling of November 18, 1920, were accorded appellees by virtue of their membership in the Brotherhood, the Brotherhood had the right, under changed conditions, to readjust the status of appellees' employment under what the duly constituted authorities of the Brotherhood considered to be an equitable basis, subject to the rights of appellees to appeal from such decision through the agency set up for that purpose by the Brotherhood.

It is held in the case of Grand International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Marshall, Tex.Civ.App., 119 S. W.2d 908, 910, writ refused, under a state of...

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7 cases
  • Samuelson v. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • 5 Septiembre 1944
    ...549; Harris v. Missouri Pacific R. Co., 1 F.Supp. 946, 949; Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, v. Price (Tex. Civ. App.) 108 S.W.2d 239; 126 S.W.2d 74; Capra v. No. 273 of Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, 102 Colo. 63, 76 P.2d 738. Another legal principle not to be overlooked......
  • Williams v. Atchison, T. & S. F. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 8 Septiembre 1947
    ... ... brotherhood. Baron v. Kurn, 349 Mo. 1202, 164 S.W.2d ... 310; Yazoo & ... Bro ... Clerks, 277 N.W. 885; B.R.T. v. Price, 126 ... S.W.2d 74; Webb v. C., R.I. & P., 136 S.W.2d 245; ... claim to the National Railroad Adjustment Board; the Board ... has twice considered the ... ...
  • Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Martin
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • 26 Marzo 1942
    ...reported, respectively, as Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Price, Tex.Civ.App., 108 S. W.2d 239, and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Price et al., Tex.Civ.App., 126 S.W.2d 74. They further appear to misconstrue the quoted injunctive order issued herein against them, wherein they int......
  • Pait v. International Broth. of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • 19 Febrero 1959
    ...255, no writ history; Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v Luckie, Tex.Civ.App., 286 S.W.2d 712, n. r. e.; Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Price, Tex.Civ.App., 126 S.W.2d 74, ref. We are not unaware that in these cases, with the exception of the Luckie case, the court refused to intervene......
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