LOCAL NO. 1 (ACA), ETC. v. IBT, C., W. & H., Civ. A. No. 75-2684.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Writing for the CourtEDWARD R. BECKER
PartiesLOCAL NO. 1 (ACA), BROADCAST EMPLOYEES OF the INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, et al. v. INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, et al.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 75-2684.
Decision Date12 August 1976

419 F. Supp. 263

LOCAL NO. 1 (ACA), BROADCAST EMPLOYEES OF the INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, et al.
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, et al.

Civ. A. No. 75-2684.

United States District Court, E. D. Pennsylvania.

June 21, 1976.

As Amended August 12, 1976.


419 F. Supp. 264
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419 F. Supp. 265
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419 F. Supp. 266
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419 F. Supp. 267
Harry Lore, Philadelphia, Pa., for plaintiffs

Robert Baptiste, Barry Wm. Levine, Washington, D. C., Edward Davis, Philadelphia, Pa., for IBT, Fitzsimmons and Nangle.

Edward McIntyre, Philadelphia, Pa., for Local 107, Bottone and Smalley.

OPINION AND ORDER

EDWARD R. BECKER, District Judge.

I. Preliminary Statement

The plaintiffs in this action seek to enjoin the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America ("IBT") from implementing an Order of the IBT General Executive Board ("GEB") directing the merger of the plaintiff, Local No. 1 (ACA) Broadcast Employees of the IBT ("Local 1"), into IBT Local 107. William Bender, Local 1's Secretary-Treasurer and principal protagonist, and Morton Borrow, Walter Jost, and Anthony Evasew, members of Local 1's Executive Board, have joined Local 1 as parties plaintiff, and together they have marshaled a potpourri of legal theories to assault the order of merger.

Plaintiffs' first category of attack is in a conventional labor law mold and includes allegations that: (1) the merger was improperly authorized by the GEB, in violation of accepted trade union principles and in breach of the fiduciary duty of the IBT to its local affiliates under § 501(b) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 501(b) (1970); (2) the IBT should have conducted a referendum of the local unions involved before effecting the merger; (3) the merger order was effected arbitrarily, without due process of law and in violation of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 141-187 (1970); (4) the terms of the merger order are onerous to Local 1 and invalid; (5) the IBT constitutional provision authorizing merger of subordinate bodies violates general principles of labor law and the U.S. Constitution; and (6) the order of merger breaches the contract under which Local 1 became an IBT affiliate.

As wide ranging as the foregoing allegations may be, they constitute the lesser part of plaintiffs' arsenal. The principal thrust of their claim lies in the allegation that even if the GEB had possessed and properly exercised the power to order the merger, its employment in the circumstances of this case was an act of unlawful retaliation by the IBT's General President Frank E. Fitzsimmons and the GEB: (1) for plaintiffs' refusal to join with the IBT in its support of President Nixon for re-election in 1972; and (2) for plaintiffs' support of former IBT General President James R. Hoffa evidenced, inter alia, by the joinder of Local 1 as a party plaintiff in the case of Hoffa et al. v. Saxbe et al. in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 378 F.Supp. 1221. The Hoffa v. Saxbe plaintiffs alleged that the commutation restrictions upon Hoffa's release from prison were illegal and the product of a conspiracy,

419 F. Supp. 268
including Fitzsimmons and White House officials, to prevent Hoffa from challenging Fitzsimmons as General President of the IBT. Plaintiff's "retaliation" claims are appended to a variety of legal labels: the Civil Rights Acts, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 (1970); the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution; and the Bill of Rights sections of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. §§ 411-415, 529 (1970)

This opinion principally addresses plaintiffs' application for a preliminary injunction and follows an extensive hearing thereon (lasting four days). However, the opinion also explicates the bases for our rulings upon a number of prehearing motions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12. These rulings resulted in (1) the dismissal as parties defendant of Local 107, Louis J. Bottone and John E. Smalley, president and business agent respectively of Local 107, and IBT General President Fitzsimmons and IBT Vice President Edward Nangle; (2) the dismissal of the substantive counts alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments for failure to implicate state action; and (3) the rejection of defendants' contention that the present suit was barred under the doctrine of res judicata because of the dismissal of a prior state court action brought by Local 1 seeking to enjoin an IBT-ordered merger of Local 1 with IBT Local 115. (As will be seen, the merger with Local 115 was never implemented, and, in due course, Local 107 was substituted for Local 115 by order of the GEB.) We withheld (and still withhold) judgment on defendant's motion to dismiss the back salary claim of plaintiff Bender (Count Five) as failing to state a federal cause of action or to fall within the pendent jurisdiction of this Court. A separate motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) to dismiss Count Two, the § 1985 claim, was filed later, and we also discuss that motion below.

The grounds upon which we dismissed the case against Bottone, Smalley, Nangle and Fitzsimmons, and dismissed all claims except Count Five against Local 107 were rudimentary and require but brief comment. There was no allegation in the complaint1 that Local 107, Bottone or Smalley acted except in furtherance of the order of the GEB of IBT and as the IBT's agents, and it appeared that any relief sought against those parties would be subsumed within the ambit of Fed.R.Civ.P. 65, which authorizes the issuance of injunctive relief not only against parties defendant but also against their agents and those acting in concert with them.2 Concomitantly, it appeared from the complaint that Fitzsimmons and Nangle3 acted only in representative capacities for IBT and not individually.4 Of the Rule 12 motions we thus discuss in any detail only the Civil Rights and LMRDA claims and the res judicata claim, after which we turn to the merits of the preliminary injunction hearing and make the required findings of fact and conclusions of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a).

The evidence developed at the hearing on the merits chronicled the history of the Local 1 merger, enabling us to draw conclusions as to its raison d'etre and validity. Helpful to these conclusions was testimony: (1) about the history of the relationship between the IBT and its American Communications Association Broadcast Division, of which Local 1 is a part; (2) about the unsuccessful odyssey of Bender and Local 1 in attempting to persuade the IBT adequately

419 F. Supp. 269
to support its efforts to organize outside of its original area of jurisdiction, radio broadcast technicians, in which it had been singularly unsuccessful in recent years; (3) about Bender's support of the Hoffa cause and its impact vel non upon the merger decisions; and (4) about the IBT's merger policy respecting small local unions such as Local 1 (average membership for the eight year period prior to June 1975, under 53 members)

The preliminary injunction hearing was held in the wake of an expedited discovery period in which depositions of all key witnesses were taken and numerous interrogatories answered and documents produced. However, the parties were unable to stipulate that the matter be submitted to the Court as on final hearing. We assume that more discovery will be taken, and perhaps that discovery will enable plaintiffs to establish their entitlement to permanent relief. We have not hesitated to express to defendants' counsel our doubts as to the wisdom of the policy pursued by the IBT concerning the Local 1 merger. However, a legal not a policy matter is before us, and, on the preliminary injunction record, we find that plaintiffs have not demonstrated the probability of their success on any theory of the case. On the contrary, the preliminary hearing record showed a uniformly and neutrally enforced IBT policy to merge smaller, weaker locals into stronger units. Hence, the application for preliminary relief must be denied.

We came to the conclusion that the plaintiffs' application for preliminary relief had to be denied after review of the parties' proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and post-trial briefs. At that time, however, we were in the midst of an inordinate siege of protracted, specially listed trials (indeed, we were on trial almost continuously for five and one-half months) and did not have the time to prepare this opinion which we knew would have to be long and conceptually somewhat involved. Accordingly, on March 26, 1976, we entered the following order:

AND NOW, this 26th day of March, 1976, after hearing and in consideration of an extensive opinion, incorporating findings of fact and conclusions of law, now in preparation and soon to follow, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction is DENIED.

In a footnote to the order we noted our inability to file an opinion containing findings of fact and conclusions of law by that time and added:

This order recites the end result of the opinion in process. We file this order at this time because we find that further delay of this order to accommodate preparation of the findings and conclusions required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a) would unduly burden the parties, aggravate uncertainty as to legal rights and positions, and generally disserve the ends of justice in this case.5

This opinion constitutes those findings of fact and conclusions of law.6

II. Res Judicata

The defendants strongly asserted from the very beginning of this case that we should grant them summary judgment on the ground that the action was precluded as res judicata. In support of this motion, IBT filed a certified copy of the...

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49 practice notes
  • Great American Federal Savings Loan Association v. Novotny, No. 78-753
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 11, 1979
    ...Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act cognizable under § 1985(3)); Local No. 1, ACA v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 419 F.Supp. 263, 276 (ED Pa.1976) (same). I would take advantage of the present opportunity to make clear that this Civil War Era statute was intended to pr......
  • Chocallo v. Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, SSA, Civ. A. No. 77-2310.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 8, 1982
    ...462 F.2d 111, 113 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1042, 93 S.Ct. 529, 34 L.Ed.2d 492 (1972); Local No. 1 (ACA) v. I.B.T., C., W. & H., 419 F.Supp. 263, 275-77 (E.D.Pa.1976). "`Section 1985(3) provides no substantive right itself; it merely provides a remedy for violation of rights it desi......
  • Scott v. Moore, No. 870
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 1, 1982
    ...447 F.Supp. 804 (D.Md.1978) (claims based on § 3 of the Equal Pay Act); Broadcast Employees v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 419 F.Supp. 263 (E.D.Pa.1976) (conspiracy to violate Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act), aff'd in part and reversed in part on other grounds, 614 F.2d ......
  • Intern. Longshoremen v. Spear, Wilderman, et al., No. CIV.A. 97-2438.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • February 20, 1998
    ...individual union members, as well as with the language of § 501(b). In Local No.1. Broadcast Employees of the IBT et al. v. IBT et al., 419 F.Supp. 263 (E.D.Pa.1976)(denial of preliminary injunction), 461 F.Supp. 961 (E.D.Pa.1978)(final judgment), affirmed in relevant part, 614 F.2d 846 (3d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • Great American Federal Savings Loan Association v. Novotny, No. 78-753
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 11, 1979
    ...Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act cognizable under § 1985(3)); Local No. 1, ACA v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 419 F.Supp. 263, 276 (ED Pa.1976) (same). I would take advantage of the present opportunity to make clear that this Civil War Era statute was intended to pr......
  • Chocallo v. Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, SSA, Civ. A. No. 77-2310.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 8, 1982
    ...462 F.2d 111, 113 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1042, 93 S.Ct. 529, 34 L.Ed.2d 492 (1972); Local No. 1 (ACA) v. I.B.T., C., W. & H., 419 F.Supp. 263, 275-77 (E.D.Pa.1976). "`Section 1985(3) provides no substantive right itself; it merely provides a remedy for violation of rights it desi......
  • Scott v. Moore, No. 870
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 1, 1982
    ...447 F.Supp. 804 (D.Md.1978) (claims based on § 3 of the Equal Pay Act); Broadcast Employees v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 419 F.Supp. 263 (E.D.Pa.1976) (conspiracy to violate Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act), aff'd in part and reversed in part on other grounds, 614 F.2d ......
  • Intern. Longshoremen v. Spear, Wilderman, et al., No. CIV.A. 97-2438.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • February 20, 1998
    ...individual union members, as well as with the language of § 501(b). In Local No.1. Broadcast Employees of the IBT et al. v. IBT et al., 419 F.Supp. 263 (E.D.Pa.1976)(denial of preliminary injunction), 461 F.Supp. 961 (E.D.Pa.1978)(final judgment), affirmed in relevant part, 614 F.2d 846 (3d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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