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MCNAMARA v. JOHNSTON

June 6, 1973

BERNARD W. MCNAMARA ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ROBERT JOHNSTON ET AL., DEFENDANTS, UAW, INTERVENOR.



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

  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.

This is an action for an alleged breach of the fiduciary duty imposed on defendants under Section 501(a) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (commonly referred to as the Landrum-Griffin Act) 29 U.S.C. § 501(a).

The plaintiffs are employed as production unit workers in the Fisher Body Plant of General Motors Corporation at Willow Springs, Illinois, and are dues paying members of the International United Automobile, Aerospace and Agriculutural Implement Workers of America ("UAW"), the designated collective bargaining representative of production unit workers in the plant. The plaintiff, Bernard W. McNamara, in addition to being a dues paying member of UAW, also serves in the capacity of Recording Secretary of UAW, Local 558, a post to which he was duly elected by the membership of the Local. The plaintiffs bring this action as members of UAW for the benefit of the union and its members.

The defendant, Robert Johnston, is Regional Director of UAW, Region 4, a region which includes the State of Illinois. Robert Johnston also serves as Chairman of the UAW Illinois State Community Action Program Council ("CAP").

Defendant James Wright is Chairman of the UAW Chicago Area CAP Council. Defendants Johnston, Wright and Peterson exercise custody and control over Illinois CAP funds, and all decisions respecting the use and expenditure of such funds.

Defendant Emil Mazey is Secretary-Treasurer of UAW International and in such capacity receives and handles union funds as hereinafter described.

Defendant Leonard Woodcock is International President of UAW and in such capacity exercises control and direction over the handling and expenditure of union funds.

The plaintiffs, in the complaint, allege, inter alia, the following facts:

  1.  Pursuant to the provisions of the UAW
      Constitution and the administrative
      instructions issued by the president of UAW
      International on May 19, 1969, each local
      union in the State of Illinois, including
      Local Union 558, is required to set aside a
      minimum of 3% of each member's monthly
      membership dues as a per capita payment to
      the UAW Illinois State CAP, and to remit such
      money to defendant Robert Johnston. Upon
      receipt of said money defendant Johnston
      allocates it proportionately to UAW Illinois
      State CAP and Chicago Area CAP.
  2.  The defendants Johnston, Wright and Peterson,
      unlawfully and wrongfully diverted a large
      part of said money into the political
      campaign coffers of candidates for public
      office and for various political expenditures
      and purposes totally unrelated to the
      interests and welfare of the union and its
      members or to the functions and purposes of
      the union as collective bargaining
      representative of plaintiffs and their fellow
      dues paying members of the union.*fn1 These
      actions of the defendants

      were in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 501(a) which
      sets forth their statutory duty of fidelity and
      trust to hold such money solely for the benefit
      of the union and its members.*fn2
  3.  Defendants Mazey and Woodcock instructed,
      controlled and directed defendants Johnston,
      Wright and Peterson in violation of their
      aforesaid statutory duty of fidelity and
      trust to hold such money solely for the
      benefit of the union and its members.
      Further, defendants Mazey and Woodcock, in
      violation of their statutory duty, have
      unlawfully and wrongfully diverted a
      substantial part of the membership dues for
      various political expenditures and purposes
      totally unrelated to the interests and
      welfare of the union and its members or to
      the functions and purposes of the union as a
      collective bargaining representative of
      plaintiffs and their fellow dues paying
      members of the union.*fn3

The plaintiffs seek an order of this Court requiring defendants to furnish an accounting and repay in damages to the Union all ...


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