International Longshoremen's Ass'n v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., No. 208

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtCLARK, SMITH and HAYS, Circuit
Citation326 F.2d 916
PartiesINTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SEATRAIN LINES, INC., and Sea Land Services, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date27 January 1964
Docket NumberNo. 208,Docket 28471.

326 F.2d 916 (1964)

INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SEATRAIN LINES, INC., and Sea Land Services, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 208, Docket 28471.

United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit.

Argued December 11, 1963.

Decided January 27, 1964.


326 F.2d 917

Thomas W. Gleason, New York City (Julius Miller, New York City, on the brief), for paintiff-appellant.

Constantine P. Lambos of Lorenz, Finn & Giardino, New York City (Luis M. Neco, New York City, on the brief), for defendant Seatrain Lines, Inc.

Herbert Burstein, of Zelby & Burstein, New York City, for defendant Sea Land Services, Inc.

Before CLARK,* SMITH and HAYS, Circuit Judges.

326 F.2d 918

HAYS, Circuit Judge.

The International Longshoremen's Association appeals from the dismissal of its complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that it may lawfully receive certain moneys from the defendants under an agreement between the ILA and the defendants. The ILA is a labor organization which represents the employees of the defendants within the meaning of Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 186, 61 Stat. 157 (1948), as amended, 73 Stat. 537 (1959), 29 U.S.C. § 186 (Supp. IV, 1959-62).1 The employers resist payment to the ILA on the ground that performance of the agreement would violate Section 302 which, with certain exceptions, prohibits payments by an employer to a labor organization that represents any of its employees. On the ILA's motion for summary judgment, the district court determined ex motu suo that the dispute was only a friendly difference of opinion concerning the interpretation of Section 302, that it would be improvident to adjudicate the scope of this penal statute in a suit to which the government was not a party, and that the controversy was therefore nonjusticiable. We hold that a justiciable controversy is presented and we resolve that controversy in favor of the defendants.

The facts are not in dispute. During the course of collective bargaining negotiations in 1959, the ILA objected to the employers' use of pre-loaded cargo containers, a form of automation, in the Port of New York. The use of containers reduced the employment of ILA members and thereby adversely affected that portion of the ILA's income that is derived from a dues check-off based on the hours worked by each employee. After extensive discussions the employers agreed to pay 28 cents per gross ton of "containerized' freight handled through the Port of New York into a fund to be administered by trustees appointed by the ILA and the employers. The ILA, however, demanded that part of the fund be paid to it as compensation for its loss of revenue. This demand was rejected by the employers on the ground that such a payment would violate Section 302. In an effort to avoid labor strife over the issue the parties stipulated that 10% of the moneys paid to the trustees would be put in escrow pending a determination by a federal court or the United States Attorney General of the legality of payment to the ILA. The parties agreed that if payment was declared illegal, they would renegotiate the disposition of the escrow fund. The Attorney General refused to render an opinion, and the union instituted this suit for a declaratory judgment.

I.

A claim for declaratory relief must present a dispute that is "definite and concrete, touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests." Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227, 240-241, 57 S.Ct. 461, 464, 81 L.Ed. 617 (1937). We think the present controversy satisfies that standard. The parties have a bona fide controversy concerning the application of Section 302 to a particular, definite agreement. They stand in a legal relationship in which their legal interests are adverse. Resolution of the controversy will determine the ILA's legal right to secure the 10% payment which it claims. "Such a dispute is manifestly susceptible of judicial determination. It calls, not for an advisory opinion upon a hypothetical basis, but for an adjudication of present right upon established facts." Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, supra, 300 U.S. at 242, 57 S.Ct. at 465, 81 L.Ed. 617. The fact that the dispute is a "friendly" one in the sense that the

326 F.2d 919
parties have agreed to submit it to the courts for resolution is, of course, not a valid objection to rendering a declaratory judgment

Nor can it be improper to adjudicate the scope of Section 302 in a suit between private parties since the Section itself provides for just such adjudication. While it is true that violation of the Section subjects the violator to penal sanctions, the Section is also enforceable by a civil action at the instance of private persons. Under Section 302(e) an action may be brought to enjoin the performance of an agreement that violates Section 302. Actions under this provision have been brought by union members, Carroll v. Associated Muscians of Greater New York, 284 F.2d 91 (2d Cir. 1960); Local No. 2, Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Intern. Ass'n v. Paramount Plastering, Inc., 310 F.2d 179 (9th...

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43 practice notes
  • Zemel v. Rusk, No. 9549.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • February 20, 1964
    ...transaction." International Longshoremen's Ass'n. v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 212 F.Supp. 653, 656 (S.D.N.Y. 1963), rev'd on other grounds, 326 F.2d 916 (2 Cir., "The court of equity has at times been called upon to enjoin the enforcement of a criminal prosecution. The rule has been firmly est......
  • Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Intern. v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., Nos. 1013
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • August 23, 1983
    ...Corp., 411 U.S. 582, 93 S.Ct. 1736, 36 L.Ed.2d 503 (1973); International Longshoremen's Ass'n, AFL-CIO v. Seatrain Page 956 Lines, Inc., 326 F.2d 916, 921 n. 2 (2d In response to ALPA's contention that summary judgment may not be entered against it because of its status as a union, the ADEA......
  • ASSOCIATED GEN. CON. OF A., INC., OKL., ETC. v. Laborers Int. U., No. 10-2.
    • United States
    • U.S. Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals
    • April 12, 1973
    ...final judgment or decree and shall be reviewable as such." See International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 326 F.2d 916 (2d Cir. 29 468 F.2d at 1403-1406. 30 On the contrary, Executive Order 11588 dated March 15, 1971, Section 5, authorized the immediate imple......
  • Cruden v. Bank of New York, Nos. 1470
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • April 1, 1992
    ...is properly before us with respect to the Cruden plaintiffs. See International Longshoremen's Ass'n, AFL-CIO v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 326 F.2d 916, 920-21 (2d Cir.1964); First Nat. Bank in Yonkers v. Maryland Cas. Co., 290 F.2d 246, 251 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 939, 82 S.Ct. 381, 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
43 cases
  • Zemel v. Rusk, No. 9549.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • February 20, 1964
    ...transaction." International Longshoremen's Ass'n. v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 212 F.Supp. 653, 656 (S.D.N.Y. 1963), rev'd on other grounds, 326 F.2d 916 (2 Cir., "The court of equity has at times been called upon to enjoin the enforcement of a criminal prosecution. The rule has been firmly est......
  • Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Intern. v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., Nos. 1013
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • August 23, 1983
    ...Corp., 411 U.S. 582, 93 S.Ct. 1736, 36 L.Ed.2d 503 (1973); International Longshoremen's Ass'n, AFL-CIO v. Seatrain Page 956 Lines, Inc., 326 F.2d 916, 921 n. 2 (2d In response to ALPA's contention that summary judgment may not be entered against it because of its status as a union, the ADEA......
  • ASSOCIATED GEN. CON. OF A., INC., OKL., ETC. v. Laborers Int. U., No. 10-2.
    • United States
    • U.S. Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals
    • April 12, 1973
    ...final judgment or decree and shall be reviewable as such." See International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 326 F.2d 916 (2d Cir. 29 468 F.2d at 1403-1406. 30 On the contrary, Executive Order 11588 dated March 15, 1971, Section 5, authorized the immediate imple......
  • Cruden v. Bank of New York, Nos. 1470
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • April 1, 1992
    ...is properly before us with respect to the Cruden plaintiffs. See International Longshoremen's Ass'n, AFL-CIO v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 326 F.2d 916, 920-21 (2d Cir.1964); First Nat. Bank in Yonkers v. Maryland Cas. Co., 290 F.2d 246, 251 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 939, 82 S.Ct. 381, 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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