The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robson, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Respondent Santa Fe has moved for summary judgment. This court
is of the opinion that the motion should be granted.
The petitioner Union and the respondent Santa Fe were parties
to a multilateral mediation agreement entered into on February 7,
1965. This agreement provided that all controversies as to its
interpretation and application were to be submitted by either
party to a "disputes committee." Under the terms of the
agreement, awards made by a "disputes committee" are final and
A dispute arose as to the application of the mediation
agreement to a particular group of employees represented by
petitioner. Upon petitioner's election to submit the controversy
to a "disputes committee," Special Board of Adjustment No. 605
was formed. Petitioner submitted two questions to the Special
Board regarding the applicability of the agreement to the
particular group of employees at issue. The Special Board
answered both questions in the negative, thereby ruling against
The court agrees with the respondent that it does not have
jurisdiction to review an award made by a special board of
adjustment. Petitioner claims jurisdiction under 45 U.S.C.A. §
153, First (q). However, this provision delegates limited
judicial review to the United States district courts only with
respect to the National Railroad Adjustment Board and its
enumerated divisions. There is no authorization here to review
awards made by special boards.
A subsequent section of the Railway Labor Act authorizes the
establishment of special boards by voluntary agreement.
45 U.S.C.A. § 153, Second. This provision sets out the
administrative and procedural guidelines to be observed by a
special board and specifies that its awards shall be final and
binding on the parties. Judicial review is not authorized. The
legislative history of this section indicates that Congress
authorized special boards as a voluntary procedure to expedite
the settlement of minor disputes, thereby alleviating the
tremendous backlog of matters pending before the National
Railroad Adjustment Board. 1966 U.S.Code Cong. and Adm. News, p.
Neither case law nor the legislative history of the pertinent
provisions of the Railway Labor Act provide a basis for the
jurisdiction of this court to review the award made by Special
Board of Adjustment No. 605.
Furthermore, even if this court were to find jurisdiction, the
limited scope of review over awards made by the National Railroad
Adjustment Board would preclude review of this case. Review is
authorized only where the Board fails to comply with the
requirements of the Railway Labor Act; or where the Board fails
to confine itself to matters within the scope of its
jurisdiction; or for fraud or corruption by a Board member.
45 U.S.C.A. § 153, First (q). Nothing in the pleadings indicates
that Special Board of Adjustment No. 605 has committed any of
these transgressions. Petitioner submitted two specific questions
to the Special Board for resolution and, in due course, received
two specific answers. It appears that petitioner disapproves of
the Board's rationale, contending that the Board reached its
result by consideration of a matter not properly before it.
The conclusions reached by the Special Board are clearly within
its competency, as they directly and unequivocally answer the
questions submitted by petitioner. It would be improper for this
court to inquire into the reasons upon which the Board based its
conclusions. Neither arbitrary nor capricious conduct by the
National Railroad Adjustment Board are grounds for judicial
review under the statute cited by petitioner; these grounds were
in fact proposed, considered and rejected by the draftsmen of the
statute. 1966 U.S. Code Cong. & Adm. News, p. 2287. This court
must further observe that the United States Supreme Court has
established as a principle of national labor policy that the
federal courts should decline to review the merits of arbitration
awards rendered under collective bargaining agreements. United
Steelworkers of America v. American Mfg. Co., 363 U.S. 564, 80
S.Ct. 1343, 4 L.Ed.2d 1403 (1960); United Steelworkers of
America, AFL-CIO v. Warrior & Gulf Navigation Co., 363 U.S. 574,
80 S.Ct. 1347, 4 L.Ed.2d 1409 (1960); United Steelworkers of
America v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 80 S.Ct.
1358, 4 L.Ed.2d 1424 (1960).
It is therefore ordered that the motion for summary judgment is
hereby granted, and the cause is hereby dismissed with prejudice.
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