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Kennedy v. Westinghouse Electric Corp.

Decided: May 8, 1953.

MEL KENNEDY, ET ALS., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, DEFENDANT



Conlon, J.c.c. (assigned).

Conlon

[25 NJSuper Page 602] This is a class action brought by the eight plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and of some 700 fellow members of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (U.E. Local No. 456) to recover compensation for hourly employment for Labor Day which fell on September 3, 1951. The compensation

for each plaintiff is stipulated at amounts varying between approximately $14 and $20. The case was tried without a jury and from the evidence adduced the court finds the following facts:

During the summer of 1951 the plaintiffs were employed in the defendant's elevator plant in Jersey City. They were members of the aforementioned union, and their employment was controlled by a formal written agreement dated November 1, 1950 between the union and the defendant. The plaintiffs contend that the contract was an undertaking of the union and the local and consequently was not binding on the individual members. This contention is not tenable since a collective bargaining agreement is the joint and several contract of the members of the union made by the officers of the union as their agents. Dooley v. Lehigh Valley R.R. Co. of Pa. , 130 N.J. Eq. 75 (Ch. 1941), affirmed 131 N.J. Eq. 468 (E. & A. 1942); Christiansen v. Local 680 of the Milk Drivers & Dairy Employees of N.J. , 126 N.J. Eq. 508 (Ch. 1940).

The pertinent provisions of the agreement which bear upon the present dispute are the following:

"SECTION VII -- STRIKES, STOPPAGES, AND LOCKOUTS.

A. The Union and the Locals will not cause or officially sanction their members to cause or take part in any strike (including sit-downs, stay-ins, slow-downs, or any other stoppage of work) during the life of this Agreement."

"SECTION XII -- HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS.

1. Holidays

(a) Holidays observed by the Companies will be New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays falling on Sunday will be observed on Monday.

(b) All hourly paid employees who have completed three (3) month's continuous service immediately preceding the holiday will be paid for their established shift hours on a holiday observed between Monday and Friday both inclusive.

(d) The above payment will be made only to hourly paid employees who are on the active roll as of the day before the holiday within the week and who earn some wages during the week in which the ...


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