Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BURLINGTON NORTHERN INC. v. AMERICAN RY. SUP. ASS'N

August 21, 1972

BURLINGTON NORTHERN INC., A CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE AMERICAN RAILWAY SUPERVISORS ASSOCIATION, AN UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on cross-motions for summary judgment made pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The following facts are uncontroverted: Plaintiff Burlington Northern Inc. ("Burlington Northern"), a Delaware corporation, is a "carrier" as defined by section 1 First of the Railway Labor Act ("RLA"), 45 U.S.C. § 151 First. Plaintiff was formed on March 2, 1970, by the merger of the properties and franchises of the Great Northern Railway Company ("Great Northern"); the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company; the Northern Pacific Railway Company ("NP"); the Pacific Coast Railroad Company ("PCRR") and by the lease by the surviving company of all properties owned, used, or operated by the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway Company ("SP&S").*fn1 Prior to the merger, each of these component lines was a "carrier" within the meaning of the RLA. Upon the effective date of the merger, the component lines ceased to exist as corporate entities*fn2 and carriers, the railroad operations of the component lines were merged and integrated, and the employees of the component lines were intermingled and became employees of the Burlington Northern.

Prior to the merger, the craft or class of mechanical supervisors employed by the CB&Q was represented by defendant American Railway Supervisors Association ("ARSA"), an Illinois corporation. ARSA had been duly certified by defendant National Mediation Board ("NMB") as representative of such employees pursuant to a representation election held on August 19, 1945; subsequent to the election, CB&Q recognized ARSA as the collective bargaining representative for all of its mechanical supervisors. The most recent collective bargaining agreement entered into between ARSA and CB&Q is dated March 1, 1970, one day before the effective date of the merger. The mechanical supervisors which had been employed by component lines other than the CB&Q had either been represented by labor organizations other than ARSA or had been unrepresented.*fn3

Prior to the merger, the craft or class of technicians employed by the Great Northern was represented by ARSA. ARSA had been duly certified by NMB as representative of such employees pursuant to a representation election held on December 7, 1960; subsequent to the election, the Great Northern recognized ARSA as the collective bargaining representative for all of its technicians and negotiated agreements with ARSA with respect to rates of pay, rules and working conditions of such employees. The technicians which had been employed by component lines other than the Great Northern had been unrepresented.*fn4

Due to the requirements of section 5 of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 5, the Burlington Northern merger required the approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission ("ICC"). Although the ICC originally denied the application for the merger,*fn5 it later reconsidered its decision and approved the application.*fn6 As a condition precedent for its approval of the merger however, the ICC, following the mandate of section 5(2)(f) of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 5(2)(f), imposed upon the new carrier protective conditions for the employees of the component lines to become effective when the merger became effective. Certain of these protective provisions imposed by the ICC were incorporated in an Employees' Merger Protection Agreement ("Agreement") entered into on January 18, 1968. The parties signatory to the Agreement were the component lines; the Burlington Northern, as the "New Company"; and the labor organizations, including ARSA, representing the non-operating employees of the component lines.

Section 8 of this Agreement provides:

  "The New Company will take over and assume all
  contracts, schedules and agreements between the said
  carriers and the labor organizations signatory hereto
  concerning rates of pay, rules governing working
  conditions, fringe benefits and rights and privileges
  pertaining thereto in effect at the time of
  consummation of the merger and will be bound by the
  terms and provisions thereof, subject to changes in
  accordance with the provisions of the Railway Labor
  Act, as amended, in the same manner and to the same
  extent as if the New Company had been a party
  thereto."
  Subsequent to the merger, Burlington Northern refused to recognize and treat ARSA as the designated representative of the mechanical supervisors formerly employed by CB&Q and the technicians formerly employed by the Great Northern. The reason proffered by Burlington Northern for such action is as follows:
    "Following the merger, it became evident that ARSA
  lacked the allegiance of a majority of any craft or
  class of Burlington Northern employees. Burlington
  Northern therefore took the position that ARSA is not
  the representative of any of its employees for
  purposes of collective bargaining under the Railway
  Labor Act, and accordingly Burlington Northern is not
  obliged to bargain with ARSA before changing the pay
  and working conditions of any of its employees."
  Plaintiff's Memo in Opposition to Motion of NMB at 2.

ARSA readily admits that it does not represent a majority of all of the mechanical supervisors or technicians employed by the Burlington Northern; it does contend, however, that it is the duly designated and authorized representative for those employees that it represented prior to the merger. ARSA notes that no other union, employee or group of employees is presently challenging the right of ARSA to so represent those employees.

Section 9 of the Agreement provides:

    "In the event any dispute or controversy arises
  between the said carriers or the New Company and any
  labor organization signatory to this Agreement with
  respect to the interpretation or application of any
  provision of this Agreement . . . which cannot be
  settled by said carriers or the New Company and the
  labor organization . . . involved . . ., such dispute
  may be referred by either party to an arbitration
  committee for consideration and determination. Upon
  notice in writing served by one party on the other of
  intent by that party to refer the dispute or
  controversy to an arbitration committee, each party
  shall, within ten days, select a member of the
  arbitration committee and the members thus chosen
  shall endeavor to select a neutral member who shall
  served as Chairman. . . . Should the members
  designated by the parties be unable to agree upon the
  appointment of the neutral member within ten days,
  either party may request the National Mediation Board
  to appoint the neutral member. . . . If any party
  fails to select its member of the arbitration
  committee within the prescribed time limit, the
  representative of such party signatory to this
  Agreement or his designated representative shall be
  deemed to be the selected member and the committee
  shall then function and its decision shall have the
  same force and effect as though all parties had
  selected their members. . . . The decision of the
  majority of the arbitration committee shall be final
  and binding. . . ."

After Burlington Northern refused to recognize and treat ARSA as the designated representative of those employees ARSA claimed to represent, and after reconciliation conferences between the parties came to naught, ARSA, pursuant to section 9 of the Agreement, on or about June 3, 1971, served a notice on Burlington Northern of its intent to refer the dispute to arbitration. The dispute to be arbitrated was stated as follows:

    "Was Burlington Northern required by Section 8 of
  the merger protective agreement executed on January
  18, 1968 . . . to take over and assume the collective
  bargaining agreement between Chicago, Burlington &
  Quincy Railroad Company and the American Railway
  Supervisors Association covering mechanical
  supervisors and the agreement between Great Northern
  Railway Company and the

  said Association covering technicians in effect at
  the time of consummation of the merger of said
  railroads into Burlington Northern and be bound by
  the terms and provisions of said agreements,
  including the continuing right thereunder of the
  American Railway Supervisors Association to act as
  the representative of the employees covered by said
  ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.