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COLLINS v. CAR CARRIERS

April 21, 1982

JULIUS C. COLLINS, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAR CARRIERS, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER

Plaintiff, Julius C. Collins, a black man, was employed by defendant, Car Carriers, Inc. (Car Carriers or employer). In October, 1979, Collins was discharged from that position. Defendant, Local Union No. 710 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Local 710 or union) represented Collins. Collins submitted a grievance through Local 710, alleging that he had been discharged because of his race.*fn1 In accord with the collective bargaining agreement between Car Carriers and Local 710, a grievance hearing was held on October 23, 1979 at which Collins was represented by the union. Collins' request for reinstatement was denied. On November 8, 1979, Collins' case was submitted to the Joint Auto Transport Committee which upheld the discharge.

On January 2, 1980, Collins filed a charge of race discrimination against Car Carriers with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC issued Collins a right to sue letter on February 29, 1980. Collins filed a pro se complaint in this court against Car Carriers on June 3, 1980, alleging that the company discharged him because of his race. Counsel was appointed to represent Collins and an amended complaint was filed adding Local 710 as a defendant. Count I of the amended complaint alleged that the company and the union had violated Collins' civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2000e-15 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Count II alleged that the union had failed to fairly represent Collins in his unlawful discharge action against Car Carriers. The action was brought under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 29 U.S.C. § 185.

In a prior order, this court found that the plaintiff was aware of his breach of duty of fair representation claim against the union on January 2, 1980*fn2 (see Minute Order of December 17, 1981), and that, as a result, plaintiff's cause of action was barred by Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 10, § 112(b). The case is presently before this court on plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. The court has, upon further reflection, reconsidered its prior order and holds as follows:

  1)  The union's motion for summary judgment on
      that portion of Count I alleging a claim
      under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2000e-15 is granted.
  2)  The union's motion for summary judgment on
      the portion of Count I alleging a claim under
      42 U.S.C. § 1981 is denied.
  3)  Plaintiff's § 301 claim (Count II) is
      dismissed as to the union, as it is barred by
      the appropriate statute of limitations,
      29 U.S.C. § 160(b). Plaintiff may, however, go
      forward with its § 301 claim against the
      employer. The latter is not time-barred.

Plaintiff contends that he was not discharged for just cause as required by the collective bargaining agreement governing the terms and conditions of his employment. The nominal parties to the collective bargaining agreement are the employer and the union. Plaintiff's pro se complaint, as originally filed on June 3, 1980, focused solely on the employer's breach of the collective bargaining agreement. Plaintiff's amended complaint, filed on September 19, 1980 by his court-appointed attorney, again raised plaintiff's claim against the employer and added a second count alleging the union's breach of its duty of fair representation.

The union has moved for dismissal of and/or summary judgment on Count I, arguing that the claim under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2000e-15 is barred because plaintiff did not file a timely EEOC charge against the union. The union also argues that the claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 should be discharged because it is frivolous.

Both defendants have moved for dismissal of and/or summary judgment on Count II, arguing that the § 301 claim is barred because plaintiff did not file suit within the applicable statute of limitations.

I.

The union's motion for summary judgment with respect to that portion of Count I alleging a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e — 2000e-15 is granted for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Timely filing of an EEOC charge is a jurisdictional prerequisite to bringing suit under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2000e-15. United Air Lines v. Evans, 431 U.S. 553, 97 S.Ct. 1885, 52 L.Ed.2d 571 (1977). Plaintiff admits he did not satisfy this jurisdictional prerequisite as to Local 710.

The union's motion for summary judgment on the portion of Count I alleging a claim under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1981 is denied. ...


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