Kansas City Southern Transport Co., Inc. v. Teamsters Local Union #41, No. 96-3261

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Citation156 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2496,126 F.3d 1059
Docket NumberNo. 96-3261
PartiesPage 1059 126 F.3d 1059 156 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2496, 134 Lab.Cas. P 10,059 KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN TRANSPORT COMPANY, INC.; Kansas City Southern Railway Company, Appellees, v. TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION # 41; Affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Appellant. United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Decision Date02 October 1997

Page 1059

126 F.3d 1059
156 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2496, 134 Lab.Cas. P 10,059
KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN TRANSPORT COMPANY, INC.; Kansas City
Southern Railway Company, Appellees,
v.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION # 41; Affiliated with the
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Appellant.
No. 96-3261.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eighth Circuit.
Submitted March 10, 1997.
Decided Oct. 2, 1997.
Rehearing and Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc Denied Nov. 10, 1997.

Page 1061

Donald R. Aubry, Kansas City, MO, argued (John P. Hurley, Kansas City, MO, on the brief), for appellant.

Leonard Singer, Kansas City, MO, argued (Allan L. Bioff, Jack D. Rowe and Brian N. Woolley, Kansas City, MO, on the brief), for appellees.

Before McMILLIAN and HANSEN, Circuit Judges, and MAGNUSON, * District Judge.

McMILLIAN, Circuit Judge.

Teamsters Local No. 41 (the Union) appeals from a preliminary injunction in favor of Kansas City Southern Transport Company, Inc. (Transport), and the Kansas City Southern Railway Company (Railway) (together, "the plaintiffs") entered in the United States District Court 1 for the Western District of Missouri enjoining the Union's picketing activity at various Railway facilities. Kansas City S. Transp. Co. v. Teamsters Local No. 41, No. 96-0823-CV-W-2 (W.D.Mo. Aug. 19, 1996) (hereinafter, "modified order") (modifying id. (Aug. 9, 1996) (hereinafter, "order" or "original order")). The district court initially issued a preliminary injunction against the Union and ordered arbitration of the underlying dispute, order at 9-10, but it subsequently modified its order, staying the arbitration provisions of the original order pending an evidentiary hearing on the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction. Modified order at 1. For reversal, the Union argues that the district court erred in holding that it had subject matter jurisdiction and, alternatively, that the injunction violates the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 101-115. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the order of the district court.

Jurisdiction was asserted in the district court based upon 29 U.S.C. § 185(a). Jurisdiction on appeal is proper based upon 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a). The notice of appeal was timely filed under Fed. R.App. P. 4(a).

Page 1062

I. Background

The relevant facts are not in dispute and are taken in large part from the district court's original order. Order at 1-3. Transport is a Louisiana corporation engaged in the business of transporting freight to and from railroad cars. Railway is a Missouri corporation engaged in the operation of an interstate railroad with operations in eleven states. Transport and Railway were parties to a contract under which Transport operated the intermodal (piggyback) ramp and provided loading and unloading services for Railway at Kansas City, Missouri, and other locations. The Union represented Transport's hourly paid employees who performed the ramping services at the Kansas City, Missouri, location. Transport and the Union signed a collective bargaining agreement (the CBA) covering Transport's employees from April 1, 1994, through March 31, 1998. Article 40 of the CBA provides that all differences arising between Transport and the Union or any employee are to be settled within the context of a grievance-arbitration process. Railway is not a signatory to the CBA.

In May 1996, Railway notified Transport of its decision to terminate the use of Transport's services at the Kansas City, Missouri, location. Instead, Railway contracted with a non-union entity, In-Terminal Services, Inc., to perform those services. Once Railway terminated its relationship with Transport, Transport did not have any work to perform at the Kansas City, Missouri, location. Accordingly, on May 31, 1996, Transport notified the Union that, due to Railway's decision to terminate Transport's services at the Kansas City, Missouri, location, Transport would discontinue operations in Kansas City. As a result, Transport terminated seventeen employees that were represented by the Union. 2

The Union subsequently filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Transport and Railway are a "single employer" 3 and that

[s]ince on or about May 14, 1996, and continuing thereafter, the Employer has failed and refused to bargain with Teamsters Local 41, affiliated with International Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, a labor organization, by, inter alia, subcontracting all of the bargaining unit work to a non-union firm in order to evade the obligations under its collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 41.

On or about May 29, 1996, the Employer terminated the employment of all 17 of the bargaining unit employees at its piggyback ramp operation in Kansas City, [Missouri,] because of their membership in, or support of, Teamsters Local 41.

On August 2, 1996, as a result of the termination, the Union and the terminated Transport employees began picketing at nine Railway facilities in the Kansas City, Missouri, area to protest what the Union characterized as unfair labor practices. 4 Also on August 2, 1996, the plaintiffs petitioned the district court for injunctive relief against the Union asserting that the Union's picketing violated the no-strike pledge contained in the CBA and seeking declaratory judgment that Railway is not a party to, or bound by, the CBA. Later that day, the district court issued a temporary restraining order against the Union. See order at 2.

On August 9, 1996, the district court granted the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the Union and the Transport employees from their picketing activities and ordered that, as a condition of receiving the preliminary injunction, Railway enter into arbitration with the Union regarding the labor dispute. Id. at 9-10. The district court held that Railway failed to provide evidence in support of its position that it is not a single employer with Transport and, accordingly, ordered Railway to arbitrate the

Page 1063

dispute with the Union pursuant to the CBA. Id. at 6, 9-10. However, on August 19, 1996, pursuant to the plaintiffs' motion to modify the order, the district court modified its August 9, 1996, order and stayed the arbitration provisions of the original order pending an evidentiary hearing on the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction, including the issue of single employer status. Modified order at 1. Transport offered to arbitrate the dispute, and Railway agrees to arbitrate the dispute if the district court finds that Transport and Railway are a single employer. However, rather than proceeding with the evidentiary hearing and subsequent arbitration with Transport and possibly Railway, the Union appealed the preliminary injunction.

II. Discussion

It is necessary at the outset to clarify the relationships between the parties and to set forth the Union's seemingly inconsistent position on appeal. As noted earlier, the real dispute in this case is between the Union and Railway. However, the only way that the Union can compel Railway to arbitrate the underlying dispute--i.e. the termination of Transport's employees--is through the CBA, to which Transport is the sole signatory employer. Thus, the Union, in order to enforce the CBA's grievance arbitration clause against Railway, argues that Railway and Transport are a single employer and, therefore, both are bound by the CBA. Alternatively, the Union argues that, if Railway is not bound by the CBA's grievance arbitration clause, then the Union is not bound by the CBA's no-strike clause and, therefore, Railway is not entitled to a preliminary injunction.

"We review an order granting a preliminary injunction for an abuse of discretion, clear legal error, and clearly erroneous fact findings." Hill v. Xyquad, Inc.,939 F.2d 627 (8th Cir.1991); see Dataphase Sys., Inc. v. C.L. Sys., Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 114 n. 8 (8th Cir.1981) (en banc) (Dataphase ) (noting that the grant of preliminary relief is within the discretion of the district court).

A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

The Union argues that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in this case because the essential cause of action was brought by an employer (Railway) who has never been a party to the CBA and who cannot thereby claim any of the benefits or promises incorporated therein--in particular, the mandatory grievance-arbitration procedure and the attendant no-strike pledge. The Union claims that Railway consistently asserted to the district court that it was not bound to arbitrate under the CBA. Therefore, contends the Union, Railway cannot, on the one hand, seek protection from the CBA's no-strike clause and, on the other hand, deny any obligation to arbitrate under the grievance-arbitration provision of the CBA.

The Union argues that, because Transport is the signatory employer to the CBA and has since ceased all of its operations, Transport has no real or substantive interest in the underlying dispute or in the enforcement of the CBA. The Union therefore contends that Railway is the real party in interest because the picketing could not have affected Transport's already defunct business. The Union maintains that, although Railway is the real party in interest, Railway is unable to enforce the no-strike pledge contained in the CBA because it is not a party to the CBA. While the Union admits that a federal court is not necessarily divested of jurisdiction under 29 U.S.C. § 185 based upon the fact that an employer has not signed the labor agreement, it argues that Railway lacks standing to bring its claim because it denies being bound to the CBA, specifically, to the obligation to arbitrate disputes under the CBA.

We disagree and hold that the district court had subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' petition for injunctive relief against the Union and request for declaratory relief regarding Railway's obligation to arbitrate. The district court's...

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41 practice notes
  • Local 447 of Painters v. Five Seasons Paint, No. 4:04 CV 00683 JEG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • April 3, 2006
    ...Workers v. GKN Aerospace N. Am., Inc., 431 F.3d 624, 627 (8th Cir.2005); Kansas City S. Transport Co. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1064 (8th Cir.1997); Actors' Equity Ass'n v. Am. Dinner Theatre Inst., 802 F.2d 1038, 1044 (8th Cir.1986); see Teamsters Local Union No. 688 ......
  • Brady v. Nat'l Football League, No. 11–1898.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 8, 2011
    ...enjoined does not contest on appeal that the relevant facts are undisputed, Kansas City S. Transp. Co. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1067–68 (8th Cir.1997), the League does contest the facts in this case, and it is entitled to test the credibility of the Players' evidence ......
  • Moriarty v. Svec, No. 98-1849
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 14, 1999
    ...or whether either is guilty of unfair labor practices against the other. See Kansas City Southern Transport Co. v. Teamsters Local 41, 126 F.3d 1059 (8th Cir.1997); Lihli Fashions Corp. v. N.L.R.B., 80 F.3d 743 (2nd Cir.1996); UA Local 343 v. Nor-Cal Plumbing, Inc., 48 F.3d 1465 (9th Cir.19......
  • Calvello v. Yankton Sioux Tribe, No. 20209
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • March 25, 1998
    ...could be compelled and whether there existed any arbitrable issues. See Kansas City S. Transp. Co., Inc. v. Teamsters Local Union # 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1067 (8th [T]he Supreme Court set forth three rules governing a party's duty to arbitrate. First, "arbitration is a matter of contract and a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Local 447 of Painters v. Five Seasons Paint, No. 4:04 CV 00683 JEG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • April 3, 2006
    ...Workers v. GKN Aerospace N. Am., Inc., 431 F.3d 624, 627 (8th Cir.2005); Kansas City S. Transport Co. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1064 (8th Cir.1997); Actors' Equity Ass'n v. Am. Dinner Theatre Inst., 802 F.2d 1038, 1044 (8th Cir.1986); see Teamsters Local Union No. 688 ......
  • Brady v. Nat'l Football League, No. 11–1898.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 8, 2011
    ...enjoined does not contest on appeal that the relevant facts are undisputed, Kansas City S. Transp. Co. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1067–68 (8th Cir.1997), the League does contest the facts in this case, and it is entitled to test the credibility of the Players' evidence ......
  • Moriarty v. Svec, No. 98-1849
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 14, 1999
    ...or whether either is guilty of unfair labor practices against the other. See Kansas City Southern Transport Co. v. Teamsters Local 41, 126 F.3d 1059 (8th Cir.1997); Lihli Fashions Corp. v. N.L.R.B., 80 F.3d 743 (2nd Cir.1996); UA Local 343 v. Nor-Cal Plumbing, Inc., 48 F.3d 1465 (9th Cir.19......
  • Calvello v. Yankton Sioux Tribe, No. 20209
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • March 25, 1998
    ...could be compelled and whether there existed any arbitrable issues. See Kansas City S. Transp. Co., Inc. v. Teamsters Local Union # 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1067 (8th [T]he Supreme Court set forth three rules governing a party's duty to arbitrate. First, "arbitration is a matter of contract and a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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