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BEE v. LOCAL 719

July 18, 1990

Fred BEE and William Tucker, Plaintiffs,
v.
LOCAL 719, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, Defendant


Marvin E. Aspen, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ASPEN

MARVIN E. ASPEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 Fred Bee and William Tucker claim that Local 719 of the United Auto Workers ("Union") violated their rights under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. § 411 ("LMRDA"). The Union has filed and a motion to strike certain of the plaintiffs' factual exhibits and a motion for summary judgment. For the reasons given below, we grant both of these motions.

 A. MOTION TO STRIKE

 The Union moves to strike paragraphs 9, 13, and 14 of Bee's Affidavit and Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 to the plaintiffs' memorandum in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. The Union contends that we should grant the motion because the affidavit and exhibits do not comport with the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. We agree and grant the motion to strike in its entirety.

 Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) provides, in part that:

 
Supporting and opposing affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated therein. Sworn or certified copies of all papers or parts thereof referred to in an affidavit shall be attached thereto or served therewith.

 These requirements are not to be taken lightly. "The requirements of Rule 56(e) are set out in mandatory terms and the failure to comply with those requirements makes the proposed evidence inadmissible during the consideration of the summary judgment motion. Supporting materials designed to establish issues of fact in a summary judgment proceeding must be established through one of the vehicles designed to insure reliability and veracity. When a party seeks to offer evidence through other exhibits, they must be identified by affidavit or otherwise made inadmissible in evidence." U.S. v. Northwest Commerce Bank, 727 F. Supp. 403, 405 (N.D. Ill. 1989), quoting Friedel v. City of Madison, 832 F.2d 965, 970 (7th Cir. 1987).

 We find that paragraphs 9, 13 and 14 of Bee's affidavit do not meet the requirements of Rule 56 because they rest on hearsay, and are therefore not based on personal knowledge as required by Rule 56(e). Paragraph 9 is premised by the statement, "William Cobb informed me . . . ." Therefore, this paragraph is based on hearsay, and is inadmissible. In opposition to the motion to strike, Bee argues that William Cobb is an agent of the Union. However, this contention is wholly unsupported by any properly submitted facts. Paragraphs 13 and 14, which discuss grievances filed by other Union members, also rest on hearsay and matters beyond the scope of Bee's personal knowledge. Both paragraphs are "based on a review of information and documents obtained through discovery and on conversations with various Union representatives who are involved in handling grievances . . . ." (Bee Aff., para. 13). Essentially, this admission that Bee's statements are based on Union documents is a concession that he lacks personal knowledge of the matters to which he attests. Accordingly, we strike paragraphs 13 and 14.

 Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 are various documents which are submitted in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Bee and Tucker have failed to "identify these materials by affidavit or otherwise [make the documents] admissible in evidence." Friedel v. City of Madison, 832 F.2d at 970. Although plaintiffs' counsel argues that a proper foundation could be laid for these documents at trial, no such foundation is presented in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. We cannot forsake the mandatory and specific requirements of Rule 56 on the strength of the promise of plaintiffs' counsel that these exhibits could be made properly admissible at another time. Therefore, we grant the Union's motion to strike the exhibits.

 B. MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

 Fred Bee and William Tucker are both employees of the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors. Bee and Tucker are represented in collective bargaining by Local 719 ("Union") of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America ("International Union"). In addition to local and national collective bargaining agreements, Union affairs are governed by the Constitution of the International Union. Among the provisions of this constitution is a process through which disgruntled union members may appeal the actions of their local unions.

 Bee and Tucker are two such disgruntled union members. They complain that the Union has retaliated against them for their outspoken criticism. Both claim that the Union has held up their grievances against Electro-Motive at Step II of the grievance procedure. In addition, Bee contends that, despite his exemplary attendance, the Union improperly placed him in an absentee program for employees with attendance problems. Bee and Tucker claim that they have invoked the internal grievance procedure of the International Union to challenge the Union's actions. However, they maintain that the process is too biased and lengthy to afford them any meaningful relief.

 The Union contests these claims. According to the Union, despite their opposition to the Union, Bee and Tucker were treated in the same manner as any other Union member. While the Union acknowledges that Bee was placed in an attendance program, it contends that he was placed in this program for a six-month period as a result of poor attendance. Finally, the Union maintains that Bee and Tucker have failed to avail themselves of the Union's internal ...


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