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CHICAGO & W.I.R. CO. v. BROTHERHOOD OF RY. & S.S. CLERKS

July 29, 1963

CHICAGO AND WESTERN INDIANA RAILROAD COMPANY, PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERDEFENDANT,
v.
BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY AND STEAMSHIP CLERKS, FREIGHT HANDLERS, EXPRESS AND STATION EMPLOYES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND COUNTERCLAIMANTS. THE BELT RAILWAY COMPANY OF CHICAGO, PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERDEFENDANT, V. BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY AND STEAMSHIP CLERKS, FREIGHT HANDLERS, EXPRESS AND STATION EMPLOYES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND COUNTERCLAIMANTS.



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

In each of these cases, brought under the Railway Labor Act, the plaintiff railroad seeks an injunction restraining and enjoining a strike or work stoppage by its employees on its railroad. A temporary restraining order was entered in each case and, on the court's motion, the two cases were consolidated for the purpose of hearing.

It appears that for many years the two plaintiff railroads operated under a joint-officers and office force arrangement and that under their agreement the general office work of the two railroads was consolidated and performed by the employees of both railroads in the general offices of the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad Company. In 1962, the railroads decided to separate their operations.

A Section 6 notice, dated December 28, 1962, and addressed by the railroads to the General Chairman of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks of each railroad read in part as follows:

    "At a meeting in my office on December 21st, I
  outlined to you, in general terms, the changes in
  official and rank and file personnel that it will be
  necessary to make because the joint C&WI-Belt Railway
  officers and office force arrangements that have
  existed for many years will be discontinued and
  separately exclusive offices to be established.
    "Because the present agreements between the C&WI RR
  and its clerical employees and between the Belt
  Railway and its clerical employees include coverage
  for certain employees in joint C&WI-Belt offices, it
  is necessary that revisions be made in both
  agreements to conform to the changed conditions.
    "You are hereby given notice in accordance with the
  provisions of Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act of
  the desire of The Belt Railway Company of Chicago and
  of the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad Company
  to revise the current working agreement in effect on
  each railroad in accordance with the proposal
  outlined in attachment `A' and `B' hereto * * *"

Conferences which followed between the parties produced no agreements and were terminated. On April 16, 1963, the Brotherhood filed application for mediation which was docketed by the National Mediation Board on May 31, 1963.

The instant complaints were filed on June 1, 1963. An answer was filed to each complaint and at the same time, in each case, the defendants filed a counterclaim (later an amended counterclaim) which prayed, among other things, for a mandatory injunction requiring plaintiff railroads to move their headquarters from Clearing, Illinois, back to the Dearborn Street Station in Chicago, or requiring the defendant carriers to restore affected employees to the positions held by them prior to their transfer or otherwise to restore the status quo.

Hearings were held by this court on plaintiffs' motions for a preliminary injunction, and evidence having been heard and exhibits introduced, the court entered an order granting plaintiffs' motions for a preliminary injunction. The order provided —

  "* * * that on condition that plaintiffs or either of
  them now restore Lela M. Neville to the position held
  by her at Dearborn Station on May 31, 1963, the
  defendants and all persons in active concert or
  participation with them are enjoined from engaging in
  any strike growing out of the controversy set forth
  in the Findings of Fact against plaintiffs or either
  of them. This injunction shall continue until the
  National Mediation Board notifies both parties in
  writing that its mediatory efforts have failed
  pursuant to Section 5 First of the Railway Labor Act,
  or until a determination of plaintiffs' application
  for a permanent injunction, whichever is earlier."

Thereafter hearings were held in the matter of plaintiffs' application for a permanent injunction and defendants' counterclaim with its prayer for injunction.

The court having considered (a) plaintiffs' application for a permanent injunction and (b) defendants' counterclaim and prayer for injunction, and having further considered the pleadings, oral argument, testimony and documentary evidence, makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

Findings of Fact

1. Both plaintiffs and counterdefendants, hereinafter referred to as "plaintiffs", are Illinois corporations and are carriers within the meaning of that term as defined in the Railway Labor Act, hereinafter referred to as "the Act".

2. Defendant and counterclaimant Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employes, hereinafter referred to as "defendant", is a labor organization representing classes of employees on both railroads under the Act. The individual defendants and counterclaimants, hereinafter referred to as "individual defendants", are members of the defendant Brotherhood and fairly and adequately represent the employees of plaintiffs represented by the Brotherhood in collective bargaining. These employees are so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring them all before this Court.

3. On March 25, 1938 and for many years prior thereto, the Brotherhood was the duly designated collective bargaining agent under the Railway Labor Act with respect to many of plaintiffs' employees. On or about that date plaintiffs entered into an agreement between themselves and the Brotherhood recognizing that certain employees of each, in the comptometer and stenographic departments in the office of the auditor, represented by the Brotherhood, had for some time rendered services jointly to both carriers. All such employees were assigned to the common principal office of the two carriers in the Dearborn Street Station in the City of Chicago. These employees, while paid by one or the other of the carriers, performed services for both carriers and had seniority rights with either The Belt Railway Company of Chicago, hereinafter referred to as "Belt", or the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad Company, hereinafter referred to as "Western Indiana". It was agreed that such seniority could be exercised by employees in such departments as to any bulletined position or in reduction or increase in force in such departments, regardless of the carrier by whom the employee was employed. Such arrangements remained in effect from about March 25, 1938 and continued until on or about June 1, 1963. During such period, numerous agreements were entered into between each of the carriers and the Brotherhood relating to rates of pay, rules and working conditions, seniority, and other matters affecting the employment of such employees who performed services for both carriers.

4. The current collective bargaining agreements between each plaintiff and the Brotherhood are dated September 1, 1949. Each governs the hours of service and working conditions of the classes of employees named therein. The agreement of September 1, 1949 has been amended from time to time by collective bargaining between the parties. By such agreement as amended the parties agreed that certain positions should be excepted from all or part of the scope of the agreement and that certain positions should be considered joint positions additional to the joint positions which were the subject of the 1938 agreement.

5. Plaintiff Belt is a terminal and switching railroad organized to provide means for classifying and transferring cars from one railroad to another in the Chicago Switching District. Its operations are all within Cook County, Illinois. It interchanges traffic with 28 railroads. Prior to 1961 Belt's only assets, other than working funds and intangibles, consisted of rolling stock, equipment, other personal property, and trackage rights agreements over the lines of other carriers. Most of the trackage used was until 1961 leased from the plaintiff Western Indiana under a lease agreement dated November 1, 1912. Under the 1912 agreement Belt was given the option of purchasing the properties leased from Western Indiana by giving notice one year prior to September 1, 1962. It gave notice by letter dated March 10, 1961. An application was filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission for approval of the purchase and on August 9, 1961 the transaction was approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission, Finance Docket No. 21542.

The I.C.C. in granting its approval to this purchase issued a certificate dated August 9, 1961, which granted approval to the transaction but stated in part:

  "It does not appear that railway employees will be
  adversely affected; however, our approval and
  authorization will be made subject to the same
  conditions for the protection of employees as were
  prescribed in ...

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