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.

WESTERMAYER v. PULLMAN COMPANY

June 20, 1973

ADAM J. WESTERMAYER ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE PULLMAN COMPANY AND SHEET METAL WORKERS' INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on the defendant unions' motion to dismiss the complaint or in the alternative for summary judgment on their behalf and on the defendant Pullman Company's motion to dismiss.

This is an action based on the alleged wrongful discharge of employees by a carrier and the failure of labor unions to adequately represent their members in violation of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.

The following background facts are important to the proper disposition of the instant motions.

Until the end of 1968, Pullman performed sleeping and parlor car services under a so-called Uniform Services Contract approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission for most of the passenger carrying railroads of the country utilizing in such services Pullman owned passenger cars. The maintenance and repair of this Pullman equipment was performed by Pullman shop craft employees at various locations throughout the nation, including St. Louis, Missouri.*fn2

The Transportation Act of 1958 authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to permit discontinuances of passenger train operations by interstate rail carriers. After passage of this Act it became evident that the number of passenger trains whose operations were being, and would be, discontinued, would substantially reduce the need for a number of Pullman employees engaged in the performance of work in various crafts and classes generally established within the railroad industry, including shop craft employees. During this same period a number of the railroads were withdrawing from their contracts with Pullman, and performing their own sleeping car services.

An agreement was negotiated on July 19, 1966, by the Federation with Pullman to provide for protection of wages, rules, and working conditions of employees who would be required to "follow their work" with Pullman to new locations in order to retain Pullman employment.

After execution of the July 19, 1966 agreement, it became evident that the reduction in sleeping car service by the railroads would not provide for absorption of shop craft employees of Pullman, who desired to follow their work to railroad employment under the provision of the 1966 agreement.*fn4 The July 1966 agreement, furthermore, provided no protection as to wages or for separation allowances for employees whose services were not required by Pullman as a result of the decline in the volume of operations continued by it.

Accordingly, on September 16, 1968, the Federation served a Section 6 notice (45 U.S.C. § 156) under the Railway Labor Act on Pullman requesting modification and amendment of the July 1966 agreement so as to provide for severance pay-separation allowances to those shop craft Pullman employees not able to follow their work and become employees of the railroads under the January 1966 agreement, and who were no longer needed by Pullman, and thus would ultimately lose all employment. This notice sought to amend the July 19, 1966 agreement and resolve the controversy.*fn5

A number of conferences were held thereafter by representatives of Pullman and the Federation without reaching an agreement. A strike vote was taken and the strike ballots disclosed an almost unanimous vote in favor of a withdrawal from service if the efforts of the Federation were unsuccessful in negotiating an acceptable agreement. At the same time, and as provided for by the Railway Labor Act, the Department acting on behalf of the Federation, requested the assistance of the National Mediation Board to mediate the dispute.*fn6 On or about November 27, 1968 mediation by the National Mediation Board ("Board") had failed to bring about an amicable settlement and the Board's request for arbitration pursuant to Section 8 of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 158, was declined by one of the parties. The Board gave notice that as of November 29, 1968 its services at resolving the controversy were terminated pursuant to the Act.

As provided by Section 6 of the Act, the employees and Pullman were required to maintain the status quo in employment conditions for a further 30 day period from termination of mediation services by the Board, but subsequent to that date (after December 29, 1968) would be permitted to resort to what is commonly referred to as "self-help". The Federation informed Pullman that it was setting December 31, 1968 as a strike date, but on December 12, 1968 upon being advised by Pullman representative Boechelman that such a strike date would not afford him sufficient time to consult with and obtain the views of the railroads who were the owners of Pullman on the proposed agreement, the Federation changed the strike date to January 17, 1969. On January 13, 1969, and because of the imminence of the January 17 strike date, "hard" negotiations resumed, and were completed on January 16, 1969. In these final negotiations, Pullman representative Boechelman refused to agree to a protective date retroactive to October 17, 1968, insisted upon a more "current" date, and indicated an effective date of January 1, 1969, might be acceptable to Pullman's owning railroads.

Using January 1, 1969 as the effective date of the agreement meant that all Pullman shop craft employees in active service as of that date, if later furloughed by Pullman, would receive separation allowances. The Federation was aware that this effective date for the agreement meant that all Pullman shop craft employees in active service on that date, when later furloughed by Pullman, would receive separation allowances. The Federation was aware that an effective date of October 17, 1968 would provide for separation allowances to 630 Pullman shop craft employees; that approximately 70 of such employees had been furloughed by Pullman during the period October 17 and December 31, 1968; that an additional 45 such employees had been furloughed by Pullman on January 10, 1969; and that the cost to Pullman of paying separation allowances to 560 shop craft employees — or those in active service on January 1, 1969 — would approximate, by defendant's estimate, six million dollars. The Federation voted to accept the January 1, 1969 effective ...


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.