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BROADY v. ILLINOIS CENT. R. CO.

January 16, 1951

BROADY
v.
ILLINOIS CENT. R. CO.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sullivan, District Judge.

This is a suit arising under the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.A. §§ 151-163.

The plaintiff entered the employ of defendant railroad as a dining car waiter in or about September, 1941. He remained in the employ of the defendant in that capacity until the month of September, 1947, at which time he was discharged by the defendant.

On or about September 17, 1947, he received from the superintendent of dining service of the defendant railroad a letter advising him that he was charged with violating certain general rules of the railroad and advising him further that an investigation into these charges would be held in the office of the superintendent of dining car service on September 23. The letter further advised plaintiff that "you are entitled to employee representation of your own choice."

Plaintiff appeared at the specified time and place for the hearing on the charges against him at which time he was accompanied by certain individuals whom he had designated as his representatives for purposes of the hearing.

Mr. Clifford J. Bueschel was in charge of the hearing and investigation on that day. The plaintiff advised Mr. Bueschel that he had designated the two individuals who accompanied him or any one of them to act as his representative in the course of the hearing to be conducted by Mr. Bueschel. Mr. Bueschel advised the plaintiff and his designated representatives that the plaintiff could be represented only by an employee of the defendant railroad. Mr. Bueschel further advised the plaintiff and the plaintiff's representatives that the hearing would not proceed unless and until the plaintiff's designated representatives left the room.

The defendant railroad rested its refusal to meet or deal with the designated representatives of the plaintiff on the fact that a contract which the defendant railroad had executed with a labor organization known as Dining Car Employees Union Local 351, contained provisions stating that employees could have as representatives in such proceedings only an employee of the company.

Resting on his right under the Railway Labor Act to have a representative of his own choice, plaintiff advised Mr. Bueschel that unless he was permitted to be represented by a representative of his own choice, he would withdraw from hearing, which he did.

Plaintiff thereafter brought this action alleging that his discharge involved a direct violation of the Railway Labor Act.

Statutory Provisions Involved.

Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.A. § 151: "Sixth. The term `representative' means any person or persons, labor union, organization, or corporation designated either by a carrier or a group of carriers or by its or their employees to act for it or them."

Sections 151a, 152:

"The purposes of the Act are: (1) To avoid any interruption to commerce or to the operation of any carrier engaged therein; (2) to forbid any limitation upon freedom of association among employees or any denial, as a condition of employment or otherwise, of the right of employees to join a labor organization; (3) to provide for the complete independence of carriers and of employees in the matter of self-organization to carry out the purposes of this Act; (4) to provide for the prompt and orderly settlement of all disputes concerning rates of pay, rules or working conditions; (5) to provide for the prompt and orderly settlement of all disputes growing out of grievances or out of the interpretation or application of agreements covering rates of pay, rules, or working conditions.

"Second. All disputes between a carrier or carriers and its or their employees shall be considered, and, if possible, decided with all expedition, in conference between representatives designated and authorized so to confer, respectively, by the carrier or carriers and by the employees thereof interested in the dispute.

"Third. Representatives, for the purposes of this Act, shall be designated by the respective parties without interference, influence, or coercion by either party over the designation of representatives by the other; and neither party shall in any way interfere with, influence, or coerce the other in its choice of representatives. Representatives of employees for the purposes of this Act need not be persons in the employ of the carrier, and no carrier shall, by interference, influence or coercion seek in ...


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