RETAIL CLERKS INTERNATIONAL ASS'N v. Lion Dry Goods, Inc., Civ. No. 8199.

Decision Date21 December 1959
Docket NumberCiv. No. 8199.
Citation179 F. Supp. 564
PartiesRETAIL CLERKS INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION, LOCAL UNIONS NO. 128 AND 633, Plaintiffs, v. LION DRY GOODS, INC. and LaSalle's, a Division of R. H. Macy & Co., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of Ohio

Joseph E. Finley, Rudd, Ober, Finley & Miller, Cleveland, Ohio, for plaintiffs.

Merritt W. Green, Green & Kreutz, Toledo, Ohio, for defendants.

KLOEB, Chief Judge.

Plaintiffs filed this action in this Court pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, 61 Stat. 156, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185(a).

The amended complaint filed June 19, 1959 outlines two causes of action against the defendants, and prays in the first cause of action for an order of the Court requiring the defendants to permit non-employee representatives of plaintiffs to have access to areas of the stores of defendants, to wit, employees' cafeterias, which are not open to customers. In connection with the second cause of action, plaintiffs seek an order of the Court requiring the defendant LaSalle's to place two employees who were returned to work after the strike had ended on December 24, 1958, in their position classifications, and at the precise stations in the Men's Furnishings Department that they had occupied prior to the strike.

Attached to the amended complaint is Exhibit A, a letter from defendant LaSalle's to the chairman of the Toledo Labor-Management-Citizens' Committee, a Committee that had been engaged in mediating the differences between the respective parties and matters involved in the strike, which letter was accompanied with a "Statement of Understanding", with exhibits, all being offered to the Labor-Management-Citizens' Committee by the defendant LaSalle's.

There is also attached to the amended complaint Exhibit C, which is a letter from plaintiffs addressed to the Labor-Management-Citizens' Committee, in which they agree to the conditions and guarantees of the "Statement of Understanding".

There are also attached to the amended complaint Exhibits D, E and F, which are documents pertaining to defendant Lion Dry Goods, Inc., and which are comparable to the LaSalle exhibits heretofore referred to.

Under date of June 29, 1959, defendants filed their answer to the amended complaint, in which they set up three defenses, first, that the Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter, second, that the amended complaint fails to state a claim against either defendant upon which relief can be granted, and, third, that there is not in existence a contract between the plaintiffs and the defendants or either of them, as contemplated by or provided for in the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, and particularly Section 301(a) thereof.

On October 15, plaintiffs filed their brief and, on October 26, defendants filed an answer brief. On November 2, plaintiffs filed a reply brief.

On November 6, in connection with oral argument, the parties filed a stipulation, which reads in part as follows (pages 2 and 3):

"It is further stipulated by and between counsel for the parties that the plaintiff Unions and the defendants, individually, have not engaged in collective bargaining with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment pertaining to employees of either of the defendants or for the purpose of the negotiation of an agreement concerning wages, hours, or other terms of employment, or any questions arising thereunder, or negotiations for the execution of a written contract incorporating therein any agreement negotiated or reached between the parties; and it is further stipulated between counsel that none of the rates of pay, wage schedules, terms and conditions of the personnel policy and program, or other provisions or conditions contained in the entire plaintiffs' Exhibit B were negotiated as a result of bargaining or negotiations between either of the defendants and the Toledo Labor-Management-Citizens Committee acting for or on behalf of the plaintiff Unions; and it is further stipulated that all of the provisions contained in plaintiffs' entire Exhibit B, with the exception of Item No. 40 appearing at the last page of said exhibit, were in force and effect prior to December 24, 1958. Nothing in this paragraph is to preclude the Court from finding that the settlement of Dec. 24, 1958, was a collective bargaining agreement.
"It is further stipulated by and between counsel for the parties that the employee cafeterias in the downtown stores of the defendants and of the Lamson Brothers Company are located in areas in each of the stores not open to customers; and it is further stipulated between counsel that the Lasalle employees, McGinnis and Thal, were, prior to leaving their employment because of a strike on or about November 23, 1957, employed as salesladies in the Men's Furnishings Department in the highest wage classification provided in the wage schedules then in effect, and that upon their return to work at Lasalle's after December 24, 1958, each was employed as a saleslady in the Men's Furnishings Department in the highest wage classification provided in the wage schedules then in effect, and that the only difference in their work assignments upon their re-employment after December 24, 1958 was in the station to which each was assigned to work within the Men's Furnishings Department; the one formerly assigned to the station where men's shirts were sold was assigned to the station where men's sweaters were sold, with the other being assigned to stations in reverse of the ones just mentioned, that is, her later assignment being shirts as compared to her former assignment of sweaters."

It appears that, in November of 1957, plaintiffs, who at some prior time had been the recognized bargaining agents for the Retail Associates, Inc., comprised of four downtown department stores in Toledo, Ohio, and including the two defendants herein, called a strike against the four members of the Retail Associates, Inc. During the period of the strike, from November of 1957 to December 24, 1958, plaintiffs were not and do not claim to have been and are not now the recognized majority representatives of the employees of defendants. They do not claim to have such rights. They admit that they do not represent a majority of the employees of the defendants, but they say that they do represent some employees and that because of this representation they are entitled to petition for the enforcement of a contract under Section 301(a).

A few days prior to December 24, 1958, a plan was advanced by the chairman of the Toledo Labor-Management-Citizens' Committee whereby it was suggested that, if defendant LaSalle's would reemploy the strikers, plaintiffs would disclaim that they represented a majority of the employees of defendants. At that particular time LaSalle's was the only store where workers were out on strike.

Upon the presentation to the Labor-Management-Citizens' Committee of the exhibits heretofore referred to and that are attached to the amended complaint, picketing ceased and the strike was declared off. Employees of defendant LaSalle's were restored to work in due course in accordance with the Statement of Understanding.

It appears now that the defendants refuse to permit certain representatives of plaintiffs to enter the employees' cafeteria for the purpose of soliciting membership. This the plaintiffs complain of in their first cause of...

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4 cases
  • RETAIL CLERKS INTERNAT'L ASS'N v. Lion Dry Goods, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • February 23, 1965
    ...of the District Judge is reported at Retail Clerks International Association, Local Unions No. 128 and 633 v. Lion Dry Goods, Inc., and LaSalle's, D.C., 179 F.Supp. 564. On appeal to the Court of Appeals this Court affirmed the judgment of the District Court. This ruling, in the form of an ......
  • LOCAL 33, INT. HOD CARRIERS, ETC. v. MASON TENDERS, ETC.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • June 8, 1961
    ...basis for construing Section 301(a) as applicable only to collective bargaining agreements, compare Retail Clerks Int'l Ass'n v. Lion Dry Goods, Inc., D.C.N.D.Ohio, 1959, 179 F. Supp. 564, affirmed 6 Cir., 1960, 286 F.2d 235, certiorari granted 1961, U.S., 81 S.Ct. 1094; Sun Shipbuilding & ......
  • Retail Clerks International Association, Local Unions Nos 128 and 633 v. Lion Dry Goods, Inc, 73
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1962
    ...answering in the negative each of these questions. The District Court's conclusion that it lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter, 179 F.Supp. 564, was affirmed in a brief per curiam by the Court of Appeals, saying: "The contract here involved is not a collective bargaining agreement b......
  • Green Truck Sales, Inc. v. Hoegh Lines
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of California
    • January 4, 1960
    ... ... Civ. No. 1264-57 ... United States District Court S ... of the provisions of the Carriage of Goods" By Sea Act, sometimes designated \"Cogsa\".2 ...  \xC2" ... ...

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