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INTERNATIONAL PLAINFIELD MOTOR CO. v. LOCAL NO. 34

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY


August 13, 1954

INTERNATIONAL PLAINFIELD MOTOR CO.
v.
LOCAL NO. 343, INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AIRCRAFT & AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA, C.I.O. et al.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: FORMAN

Plaintiff, The International Plainfield Motor Co., has filed an amended complaint herein in two counts against the defendant, Local No. 343 International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, C.I.O., (hereinafter known as the Local) and against the defendant, International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, (hereinafter known as the International). In the First Count the plaintiff, among other things, alleges its engagement in the manufacture of trucks and the sale thereof in interstate and foreign commerce as a New Jersey corporation with its principal plant and offices in Plainfield, New Jersey; that the defendant Local is a voluntary unincorporated labor organization representing employees in industry affecting commerce with offices and agents engaged in such representation within the jurisdiction of this court; that the defendant International is a voluntary unincorporated international labor organization engaged in the supervision, representation, guidance and control of subordinate labor organizations affiliated with it, including the defendant Local within the jurisdiction of this court; that the action arises under Section 301 of Title 3 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185.

The first count of the complaint further alleges that on October 15, 1948, October 15, 1949 and October 18, 1950, respectively, the plaintiff entered into written agreements with the Local and the International, copies of which are annexed to the complaint and which plaintiff alleges, taken together, constitute the collective bargaining agreement currently in effect between plaintiff and defendants, and that together they have jointly reproduced the form and text of the understanding existing between them by virtue of the said agreements in a printed booklet also annexed to the complaint.

 It is further alleged by the plaintiff in the first count that in the said combination of written agreements, plaintiff recognized defendant Local among other Locals, as the sole and exclusive bargaining agents for all of its production and maintenance employees and the said defendants, Local and International, agreed among other things not to engage in strikes at plaintiff's plant; that beginning on November 13, 1953 both defendants breached the agreement by engaging in strikes, concerted work stoppages, slowdowns, refusals to perform and other interruptions in the services regularly and usually performed which resulted in breakdowns and disruptions in the operation of plaintiff's business.

 The second count of the amended complaint is the same as the first count except that it charges that commencing November 13, 1953, plaintiff's employees engaged in strikes, concerted work stoppages, slowdowns and other refusals to perform regular and usual services resulting in breakdowns and disruptions in the operation of plaintiff's plant; that both defendants breached their agreement by failing to take appropriate action to end the strikes and other interruptions and by failing to instruct the said employees to return to their normal and usual work.

 The plaintiff demanded both compensatory and punitive damages.

 The defendants made the following motion addressed to the complaint:

 1. To dismiss the complaint as it fails to state a claim against each defendant upon which relief can be granted.

 2. For summary judgment in favor of each defendant.

  3. To dismiss the action because the complaint fails to state a claim against each defendant upon which relief can be granted in that § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, upon which the action is based, is unconstitutional and invalid.

 4. To dismiss the action because of plaintiff's suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County (Docket No. L 2849-53, The International Plainfield Motor Co., a corporation of the State of New Jersey v. Martin et al.) for the same alleged breach of the agreement which is the subject matter of this action. The defendants in that suit are the individual members of the Union here involved and therefore plaintiff has split its cause of action to unlawfully harass these defendants, and since it has elected to proceed in the New Jersey Superior Court, it has waived its right to sue these defendants in this court.

 5. To require the plaintiff to file a more definite statement of its cause of action because the complaint is so vague and ambiguous that the defendants cannot reasonably be required to frame a defensive pleading.

 The agreement of October 15, 1948 purports to have been made between the plaintiff and 'International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers, Local 343 (an unincorporated association)', contains the following provision:

 

'24. The Union agrees that there will be no authorized strikes during the time of this agreement except in the event that subsequent to March 19, 1949 the parties have been unable to agree upon new wage rates and the agreement between the Company and the Union dated July 24, 1948 has expired and, in such event, the rights of the parties shall be the same with respect to the issue of wages as if no contract existed between the parties. The Union agrees not to ratify any unauthorized strike. It further agrees that if an unauthorized strike occurs, the Local and International Union officials will immediately meet with the Company and take appropriate action to end the strike, including, but not limited to, public renunciation of the strike and instructions to employees to return to work. The Union further agrees that in the event of a strike in violation of this agreement, the Company may take disciplinary action against those workers who take part in the strike. The Company, for its part, agrees that there shall be no lockouts during the life of this agreement. As long as the Union, its officers, agents and employees comply with the above provisions the Company agrees not to bring any court action for damages or take other action which is not provided for in this contract, against the Union, its officers, agents and employees for breach of this Section. (Emphasis supplied). Exhibit A to Complaint, paragraph 24, pages 14-15.'

 The agreement is executed with the following signatures:

 

'International-Plainfield Motor Co. By Dwight R. Collin

 

'International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, C.I.O., Local 343

 

By George W. Kampf, Jr.

 

Walter T. Pritchard

 

Louis T. Fischer

 

Michael J. Mauro.'

 The agreement of October 15, 1949 purports to have been made severally 'between Mack Manufacturing Corporation and International-Plainfield Motor Company, hereinafter referred to as the 'Company' and Locals 824, 343, 229 and 677, UAW-CIO.' It contained the following provision:

 

'11. Except as hereinafter expressly specified, the Contracts dated October 15, 1948 between the Company and Locals No. 824, 343, 229 and 677 are each hereby extended for a period of one (1) year from the date hereof. It is understood that the 'no strike' paragraphs of said Contracts are subject to the provisions of Paragraph 7 of the Wage Agreement dated September 16, 1949 between the parties.'

  The agreement was executed by the following signatories: "Local 229 "Mack Manufacturing Corporation F. Klemser, Jr. International-Plainfield Motor Walter A. Richards Company Louis H. Arnold By Dwight R. Collin "Local 343 "U.A.W.-C.I.O. Walter T. Pritchard By George W. Kampf Jr. Otis M. Webber, Jr. International Representative." Lons De Martino "Local 677 Warner Sensinger Ralph Lambert Robert J. McHugh Walter Huhn "Local 824 Charles Boll Joseph Hohn Lorenzo Oakley

19540813

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