Wm. J. Brennan, Jr., J.s.c.
Applicant labor union moves to confirm an arbitration award made pursuant to a submission agreement executed by the union and respondent employers' association to resolve a labor dispute as to wage increases.
The employers' association is the bargaining agent for the several owners of buses operating on the Bergen Avenue bus route in Jersey City, and the union represents the drivers employed on the buses.
A collective bargaining agreement effective from April 1, 1946, contained wage provisions including the following clauses of Section 2 A pertinent here:
"The 'Operators' and the Owners agree that on certain of the motor buses on the Bergen Avenue route there are operators who are presently employed for but five (5) days during each week, and that there are certain other operators whose work week consists of six days. It is agreed also that the usual work day for all operators shall be nine and three-quarters hours (9 3/4) hours.
"The wage scale for steady operators shall be eighty-six (86c) cents per hour for the first eight and one-half hours (8 1/2) hours in each day of employment and time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all work performed in excess of eight and one-half hours per day.
"PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that a minimum weekly wage of fifty-three dollars and fifty cents ($53.50) per week shall be paid to operators who work six days, consisting of the usual nine and three-quarter (9 3/4) hours or an aggregate of fifty-eight and one-half (58 1/2) per six day work week;
"AND PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that a minimum weekly wage of Forty-four Dollars and sixty cents ($44.60) per week shall be paid to operators who work five days, consisting of the usual nine and three-quarter (9 3/4) hours or an aggregate of forty eight and three quarters hours (48 3/4) per five day work week."
The agreement was amended as of April 1, 1947, and, as amended, carried forward the quoted clauses of Section 2A, changed, however, to increase the basic hourly wage rate from 86 cents to 90.76 cents per hour and to reflect this by increasing the minimum weekly wages from $53.50 to $56.50 for six day operators, and from $44.60 to $47.10 for five day operators.
The minimum weekly wage of the six day drivers was computed as the sum of 58 1/2 hours (6 days x 9 3/4 hours per day) at straight time plus overtime of 7 1/2 hours (6 days x 1 1/4 hours per day) at one-half straight time, or a total of 62 1/4 straight time hours. The minimum weekly wage of the five day drivers was arrived at by adding 48 3/4 hours (5 days x 9 3/4 hours per day) to overtime of 6 1/4 hours (5 days at 1 1/4 hours per day) at one-half straight time, or a total of 51 7/8 straight time hours. The parties stipulated at the argument that because of the intricacies of operating schedules drivers on occasions do not work a full trick of 9 3/4 hours but nevertheless are paid the straight and overtime compensation for a full day.
The 1947 amendment to the collective bargaining contract also amended Section 17 of the original agreement to read as follows:
"This agreement shall be in full force and effect, notwithstanding the date of the execution thereof from April 1, ...