Lodges 743 and 1746, Intern. Ass'n of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO v. United Aircraft Corp.

Citation534 F.2d 422
Decision Date09 September 1975
Docket Number412,Nos. 408,P,I,AFL-CI,D,s. 408
Parties90 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2272, 77 Lab.Cas. P 11,084 LODGES 743 AND 1746, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS,laintiffs-Appellants-Appellees, v. UNITED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee-Appellant. LODGES 743 AND 1746, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACEWORKERS,etitioners, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner, v. UNITED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION, Respondent, and Lodges 734 and 1746, International Association of Machinists and AerospaceWorkers,ntervenors. ockets 72-1936, 72-1937, 72-2072, 72-1935 and 72-2310.
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)

Mozart G. Ratner, Washington, D. C. (Plato E. Papps, Ratner & Driesen, P. C., George Kaufmann, Washington, D. C., Norman Zolot, Hamden, Conn., on the brief), for appellants in Nos. 72-1936 and 72-1937, appellees in No. 72-2072, petitioners in No. 72-1935, and Intervenors in No. 72-2310.

Joseph C. Wells, Washington, D. C. (Michael J. Bartlett, Guy Farmer, John A. McGuinn, Patterson, Belknap, Farmer & Shibley, Washington, D. C., on the brief), for appellee in Nos. 72-1936 and 72-1937, appellant in No. 72-2072, and respondent in No. 72-2310.

Marion Griffin, Atty., NLRB, Washington, D. C. (Peter G. Nash, Gen. Counsel, John S. Irving, Deputy Gen. Counsel, Patrick Hardin, Associate Gen. Counsel, Elliott Moore, Deputy Associate Gen. Counsel, Washington, D. C., on the brief), for petitioner in No. 72-1935, and respondent in No. 72-2310.

Before CLARK, * Associate Justice, and MOORE and TIMBERS, Circuit Judges.

MOORE, Circuit Judge:

This extraordinarily protracted litigation is the unfortunate aftermath of a labor strike that commenced some fifteen years ago. Lodge 743, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, is the collective bargaining agent for employees at the Windsor Locks and Broad Brook plants of the Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation; Lodge 1746 represents workers at the East Hartford and Manchester plants of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division of the same Company. These two Lodges will be referred to collectively as the "Union." Pratt & Whitney engages primarily in the manufacture of aircraft engines; Hamilton Standard manufactures primarily aircraft propellers, aircraft engine fuel controls and air conditioning systems, and electronic components, controls and related items. In 1960, when the principal events involved in this litigation transpired, the four plants together employed nearly 20,000 people.

On June 8, 1960, the Union struck these four plants (the International Association struck at other United Aircraft plants in the State of Connecticut as well) over demands sought to be included in a new collective bargaining agreement. The strike lasted nine weeks and was marked by extreme violence and mutual antipathy. 1 It was not settled until Abraham Ribicoff, the Governor of Connecticut, intervened in an effort to induce the parties to reach an accommodation.

As the basis of the strike settlement, the Company and the Union reached accord on new collective bargaining contracts covering workers at the four plants and also agreed to submit to arbitration the cases of 50 strikers accused of serious misconduct. In addition, they agreed on a procedure to govern the recall of strikers to jobs at the four plants. The terms of this agreement were set down in writing by the Company and became embodied in two similar although not wholly identical documents, one covering employees of Pratt & Whitney and the other employees of Hamilton Standard. These documents, each denominated in its caption as a "Strike Settlement Agreement" (herein sometimes termed the "recall" Agreements), are the root of these cases.

Being totally dissatisfied with what ensued with respect to the recall Agreements, the Union sought two avenues of redress. Commencing in November 1960, the Union filed with the NLRB a battery of unfair labor practice charges relating mainly to the Company's allegedly unlawful administration of the recall Agreements and its refusals to supply the Union with certain requested information. On February 7, 1963, the General Counsel of the NLRB issued a consolidated complaint based on the Union's charges. A hearing before a Trial Examiner commenced in 1963 and lasted, with numerous intermittent recesses, until June 1968.

In the meantime, the Union had also filed suit under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. 2 The complaints (two suits were eventually consolidated for trial), filed December 11, 1961, alleged breach of the Strike Settlement Agreements and sought specific performance as well as substantial monetary damages. The case ground through discovery, several interlocutory rulings, and a 41/2 month trial, and on March 20, 1969, the district court issued a lengthy decision (reported at 299 F.Supp. 877, D.C.Conn.) largely in favor of the defendant, although it did find that the Company breached the agreements in some limited respects. The case then proceeded through a determination of the question of damages to final judgment dated June 16 1972. The judgment incorporated by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law set forth in the Court's opinion (Memorandum of Decision filed March 20, 1969) and, more specifically as to damages, directed the defendant to pay to plaintiff Lodge 743 and plaintiff Lodge 1746 for distribution to beneficiaries, identified in an appendix annexed to the judgment, amounts described as "Net Monetary Damages" plus interest at 6% from March 20, 1972 (the date of the opinion) except for a deduction therefrom of 15% of the amounts stated which percent was to be paid to the unions for the benefit of retained counsel in the litigation. Other items by way of payment to unemployment compensation and pension funds as well as other employee adjustments were specified.

Claims of all employees except 72 specified in the Appendix were denied and the complaint was dismissed as to them. Legal taxable costs were awarded to plaintiffs.

Four categories of striker-employees held to have been prejudiced by defendant's actions were listed with the name and specific damage award, together with other benefits where appropriate. These were (a) Strikers Prejudiced by Transfers, Promotions or Demotions Into Jobs Vacated by "Summer" Employees; (b) Strikers Prejudiced by Promotions; (c) Strikers Prejudiced by Transfer of "Department 74 Trainees" and (d) Strikers Prejudiced by Lateral Transfers and Demotions From One Seniority Group to Another. The judgment of the district court has not been appealed with respect to all of these categories. See note 25 infra.

On July 25, 1969, the Trial Examiner handed down his ruling in the unfair labor practice proceedings. He concluded that, except in narrow areas paralleling the findings of the district court in the section 301 case, the Company had committed no unfair labor practices in connection with the recall of strikers during the life of the Agreements. He did find, however, that the Company's treatment of unrecalled strikers following the life of the recall agreements did deny them certain rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The Examiner also dismissed Section 8(a)(5) charges that the Company had refused to bargain in good faith by withholding certain information from the Union. The other limited findings of the Trial Examiner will be considered in due course.

On review, the Board adopted the decision of the Trial Examiner with some modification, including a reversal of the Trial Examiner's ruling that the Company had denied the strikers certain rights after the expiration of the recall Agreements. United Aircraft Corp., 192 NLRB 382 (1971).

From these rulings the parties seek review. The Union appeals the district court's ruling in the section 301 suit, claiming that the court erred in nearly all significant respects. The Company also cross appeals with respect to some of the matters determined adversely to it (Nos. 72-1936, 72-1937, 72-2072). In the NLRB proceedings, the Unions have petitioned for review and the Board has cross-petitioned for enforcement of its order against the Company. The Union has also intervened in the enforcement proceeding (Nos. 72-1935, 72-2310).

These cases were argued together and, although dealt with separately in this opinion, are inextricably intertwined.

I. The Section 301 Suit
A. General Introduction

The Strike Settlement Agreements called for strikers desiring to return to work to express their intention by registering. Under the terms of the Agreements registration would take place at Hamilton Standard on August 9 and 10, 1960, and at Pratt & Whitney from August 11 to August 13, 1960. Strikers not registering would be treated as having quit and not desiring to return to work. Those strikers who did register would then be recalled in accordance with the provisions in the Agreements. The operative paragraphs are set out in the margin. 3 The Agreements provided for recall to occur in three phases, corresponding to paragraphs 4(a), 4(b) and 4(c). Under Phase 1, strikers would be returned to their prestrike jobs (i. e. same job code, department and shift) if they were available at the end of the strike. If a striker's prestrike job was not available, under Phase 2 he would then be recalled to certain other jobs then available. Finally, under Phase 3 registered strikers not recalled up to that point would be put on a preferred hiring list and placed in jobs which developed before December 31, 1960, the expiration date of the Agreements, before new employees were hired. The order of recall under phases 2 and 3 was to be governed by the relative seniority of the strikers as provided in the...

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