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Artim Transportation System Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board

June 4, 1968

ARTIM TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, INC., PETITIONER,
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Hastings, Fairchild and Cummings, Circuit Judges.

Author: Hastings

HASTINGS, C.J.

Petitioner Artim Transportation System, Inc. petitions pursuant to § 10(c) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq., for review of an order of respondent National Labor Relations Board issued July 14, 1967. The Board's order, reported at 166 N.L.R.B. No. 87, requires petitioner to offer reinstatement to certain discharged employees and to make them whole with back pay. The Board cross-petitions for enforcement of the order.

Petitioner is an interstate motor carrier. Prior to October, 1965, it operated as Artim & Sons, Inc. (Artim). In October, 1965, pursuant to authority granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission petitioner assumed operation of Steel Transportation Company (Steel Transport), also an interstate motor carrier. Both Artim's drivers and Steel Transport's drivers were represented by Local 142 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America (Local 142).

The relevant provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between petitioner and Local 142 are the following:

"Article 43.

Grievance Machinery and Union Liability

"Section 1. The Union and the Employers agree that there shall be no strike, lockout, tie-up, or legal proceedings without first using all possible means of settlement, as provided for in this Agreement, of any controversy which might arise. Disputes shall first be taken up between the Employer and the Local Union involved. Failing adjustment by these parties, the following procedure shall then apply:

(a) Where a Joint City Road Committee, by a majority of vote, settles a dispute, no appeal may be taken to the Joint Steel and Special Commodity Committee. Such a decision will be final and binding on both parties.

(d) Failure of any Joint Committee to meet without fault of the complaining side, refusal of either party to submit to or appear at the grievance procedure at any stage, or failure to comply with any final decision withdraws the benefits of Article 43.

"Section 2. It is further mutually agreed that the Local Union will, within two (2) weeks of the date of the signing of this Agreement, serve upon the Company a written notice, which notice will list the Union's authorized representatives who will deal with the Company, make commitments for the Union generally, and in particular, have the sole authority to act for the Union in calling or instituting strikes or any stoppages of work, and the Union shall not be liable for any activities unless so authorized. It is further agreed that in all cases of an unauthorized strike, slow-down, walk-out, or any unauthorized cessation of work in violation of this Agreement, the Union shall not be liable for damages resulting from such unauthorized acts of its members. While the Union shall undertake every reasonable means to induce such employees to return to their jobs during any such period of unauthorized stoppage of work mentioned above, it is specifically understood and agreed that the Company during the first twenty-four (24) hour period of such unauthorized work stoppage shall have the sole and complete right of reasonable discipline short of discharge, and such Union members shall not be entitled to or have any recourse to any other provisions of this Agreement. After the first twenty-four (24) hour period of such stoppage and if such stoppage continues, however, the Company shall have the sole and complete right to immediately discharge any Union member participating in any unauthorized strike, slow-down, walk-out, or any other cessation of work, and such Union members shall not be entitled to or have any recourse to any other provision of this Agreement * * *."

Prior to petitioner's acquisition of Steel Transport the latter had maintained three methods of compensating its drivers. One of the variations in compensation involved "supplemental pay" for time spent loading and unloading trucks. Steel Transport's drivers were dissatisfied with these variations before petitioner's acquisition of Steel Transport and had complained to Local 142.

Petitioner continued Steel Transport's methods of compensation and the drivers' dissatisfaction continued. In November, 1965, some of the drivers engaged in an unauthorized strike to express their dissatisfaction with petitioner's methods of compensation and with the Local's failure to process a grievance on the matter. The strike ended after two days when Local 142 agreed to submit a grievance to the Central States Joint Steel and Special Commodity Committee. Among the leaders of the strike were employees Barbee, Colbert and Ravenscroft.

The Central States Joint Committee held a hearing on the grievance in December, 1965. It rendered a decision that all employees should be paid by the same method except that only those hired before March 31, 1965 should receive "supplemental pay." The Committee's decision did not allay the drivers' dissatisfaction. They continued to complain to petitioner and to the Local about the variations in methods of compensation.

Prior to the filing of the grievance involving compensation methods the Local, in October, 1965, filed a grievance on behalf of drivers Barbee, Colbert, Ravenscroft and Walker. The drivers, who were drivers for Steel Transport prior to the time petitioner acquired it, complained that petitioner had run four Artim drivers around them at its Detroit terminal, causing them to lose work. They claimed approximately $200 in lost compensation.

Petitioner maintained that it had dispatched drivers in accordance with an arrangement made with Local 142 and other Teamsters Union locals in October, 1965. The arrangement, according to petitioner, was that the road divisions of Artim and Steel Transport would be "dovetailed" by dispatching drivers of both divisions on a ...


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