Decision Date31 December 1979
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 73-850-MA.
Citation482 F. Supp. 266
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Massachusetts


Bruce E. Holbein, Maynard, Mass., for plaintiffs.

James T. Grady, Boston, Mass., for Local 25.

Robert M. Baptiste, Roland P. Wilder, Jr., Washington, D. C., for Intern. Broth. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America.


MAZZONE, District Judge.

This is an action brought by Truck Drivers, Chauffeurs and Helpers Union, Local 42 and its officers (Local 42), against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (International), and against the Teamsters and Helpers Union, Local 25 and its officers (Local 25). The action is brought pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, and alleges that the various defendants have breached provisions of both the Constitution of the International and the Charter granted to Local 42 by the International.

Specifically, Local 42 alleges that the Constitution of the International and the Charter it holds from the International gives it an exclusive right to represent members of the International Teamsters who are employed within the territorial jurisdiction set forth in its charter. It complains that Local 25 and the International violated these exclusive representation provisions by refusing to transfer to Local 42 certain members whose employer moved from a town within Local 25's geographic jurisdiction to a town within the charter geographic jurisdiction of Local 42. Local 42 further complains that the General Executive Board of the International violated certain of its constitutional provisions and Local 42's charter by permitting Local 25 to retain the membership of these relocated employees, and that it thereby attempted to legislate a new constitutional policy for the International in the form of a set of rules purporting to govern future jurisdictional disputes in violation of the International constitution. It is alleged that this attempt not only violated the policy of the Constitution, but it also violated the provision that the Convention was to be the sole source of legislative power.

Both parties have filed motions for summary judgment. The record, including a comprehensive set of factual stipulations, presents the following factual setting.

The parties are voluntary, unincorporated labor organizations. Local 42 was chartered by and affiliated with the International in April, 1903. It has approximately 3,000 members and is headquartered in Lynn, Massachusetts. The International has approximately 2,000,000 members in 749 locals throughout the United States and is headquartered in Washington, D. C. Local 25 was chartered by and affiliated with the International in 1903 and its current charter was issued in 1940. Local 25 has approximately 12,000 members and is located in Charlestown, Massachusetts. The parties have stipulated that they are labor organizations representing employees in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of the Act. 29 U.S.C. § 152(2), (5) and (7).

On June 6, 1952, the International revised Local 42's charter to include the following geographic jurisdiction:

The jurisdiction of Local 42 covers the following geographic area; Essex County from Revere, Massachusetts, east to and including Rockport and Gloucester, Ipswich, etc., South to Salem and Lynn, etc., west as far as Lynnfield and into Middlesex County to Wakefield, North Reading and Stoneham.

Local 42's members work in a wide variety of trades and crafts throughout the designated geographic area. Local 25, on the other hand, does not have a specified geographic area. The charters of approximately 234 Teamster locals describe a territorial jurisdiction.

Joint Council No. 10 is an affiliate of the International established pursuant to the International Constitution. It is a regional council comprised of all local unions within Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. Locals 42 and 25 are members of Joint Council No. 10.

The New England Supplemental Freight Agreement to the National Master Freight Agreement is a collective bargaining agreement. The parties to this Agreement are employers and local unions affiliated with the International in the New England area. In 1972, approximately 5,500 members of Local 25 were covered by this agreement. Approximately 300 of Local 42's members were subject to this agreement in 1972. Sanborn Motor Express, Inc. (Sanborn), an employer, has been a signatory to this agreement since 1961 and was bound by this contract in 1965.

Local 25 has been the exclusive bargaining agent for workers employed by Sanborn since July 29, 1948. At that time, Sanborn was located at 167 Vassar Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sanborn later moved to 230 Western Avenue, Allston, Massachusetts and had fifteen employees. Subsequently, the company relocated to Corporation Way, Medford, Massachusetts and remained there until 1965. During 1965, Sanborn had 90 employees, all of whom were members of Local 25. On May 10, 1965, Sanborn closed its Medford terminal and moved its entire operation to Stoneham, Massachusetts, a distance of seven miles. Stoneham and Medford are contiguous communities. Stoneham is located within the territorial jurisdiction of Local 42. Medford is within the "traditional" area served by Local 25.

Following Sanford's move to Stoneham, Richard H. Hunt, Secretary-Treasurer and Business Agent of Local 42, wrote to William J. McCarthy, President of Local 25, requesting that all of Local 25's members who were employed by Sanborn be transferred to Local 42. Upon receipt of this letter, McCarthy orally notified Hunt of Local 25's refusal to transfer the Sanborn workers. Hunt then requested that Joint Council No. 10 consider the matter.

On June 22, 1965, the Executive Board of Joint Council No. 10 held a hearing into the jurisdictional dispute between Local 42 and Local 25 concerning the Sanborn employees. This hearing was conducted pursuant to Article XII, Section 12 of the International Constitution adopted July 3-4, 1961, and subsequent constitutions. On June 23, 1965, Thomas C. Healy, Secretary-Treasurer of Joint Council No. 10, announced the decision of the Executive Board of Joint Council No. 10. The Executive Board sustained the request of Local 42 and, accordingly, ordered Local 25 to transfer all of its members employed by Sanborn to Local 42.

On July 2, 1965, William J. McCarthy telegrammed James R. Hoffa, General President of the International, and requested that the decision of Joint Council No. 10 be held "in abeyance" pending an appeal of that decision to the General Executive Board of the International. On July 9, 1965, Hoffa stayed the Joint Council No. 10 decision pending appeal to the General Executive Board. This stay was subsequently affirmed by the General Executive Board.

On January 29, 1969, the General Executive Board conducted a hearing concerning the dispute between Locals 42 and 25. Hunt and McCarthy appeared at the hearing and presented evidence and arguments on behalf of their respective locals. On May 1, 1969, the General Executive Board voted unanimously to authorize Frank E. Fitzsimmons, General Vice President of the International, to appoint a committee to study the issues raised in the dispute. This committee was called the Special Jurisdictional Committee. The committee was appointed, met and, ultimately, submitted a report to the General Executive Board. Upon receipt of "the findings and conclusions of the Special Jurisdictional Committee" the General Executive Board, on July 25, 1972, adopted and partially modified the report and concluded "that in any event any employer having a contract with either Local 42 or Local 25 moves his place of business, the local Union holding the contract covering the employees of the employer at the time of the move, sic shall continue to represent the employees, provided the move does not extend beyond a twentyfive (25) mile radius." The General Executive Board modified the committee's twenty-five mile suggestion by substituting a forty (40) mile radius. Thus, the General Executive Board reversed the decision of Joint Council No. 10 and permitted Local 25 to maintain the Sanborn employees in its membership.

Local 42 did not appeal the decision of the General Executive Board to the next general convention (June, 1976) as it could have pursuant to Article IX, Section 1 and Article III, Section 1 of the International Constitution.

Local 42 then commenced this action, claiming that the General Executive Board, in reversing the decision of Joint Council No. 10, violated Local 42's revised charter and provisions of the International Constitution.

At the outset, the International argues that this Court does not have jurisdiction to hear this dispute, and, secondly, Local 42 has not exhausted its internal remedies. We address those arguments first.

1. Jurisdiction

Section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), provides:

(a) Suits for violation of contracts between an employer and a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce as defined in this chapter, or between any such labor organizations, may be brought in any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the parties, without respect to the amount in controversy or without regard to the citizenship of the parties.

In construing the term "contract," the Supreme Court held that the legislative history of Section 301(a) "makes clear that the basic purpose of § 301(a) was not to limit, but to expand, the availability of forums for the enforcement of contracts made by labor organizations." Dowd Box Co. v. Courtney, 368 U.S. 502, 508-09, 82 S.Ct. 519, 523, 7 L.Ed.2d 483 (1962)...

To continue reading

Request your trial
13 cases
  • F.D.I.C. v. Singh
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • July 29, 1992
    ...imaginary conflict between the non-recourse provision and the reaffirmation of the Guaranty. See Truck Drivers, Local 42 v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 482 F.Supp. 266, 271 (D.Mass.1979) (preferring to read contract clauses as if they are not in conflict if such an interpretation is re......
  • In re Fordham
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Massachusetts
    • August 1, 1991 interpreted as consistent with one another wherever possible. Truck Drivers, Chauffeurs, and Helpers Union, Local 42 v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 482 F.Supp. 266, 271 (D.Mass.1979). Further, it is unnecessary, as the Debtors allege, to treat First Mutual's disbursements as waivers, making......
  • Perry v. International Longshoremen's Ass'n
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
    • June 10, 1986
    ...(1st Cir.1974) (three year delay before convention); Truck Drivers, Chauffeurs and Helpers Union, Local 42 v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, 482 F.Supp. 266, 272 (D.Mass.1979) (four year delay before convention); Operative Plasterers......
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Michigan
    • September 15, 1980
    ...District Council v. International Printing Union, 466 F.Supp. 13, E.D.Tenn., 1978); or jurisdictional disputes. (Truck Driver Union v. IBT, 482 F.Supp. 266, The only case cited by plaintiff which presents a claim by an individual union member against his local, was based upon numerous statu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT