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ALLMAN v. JAMES HEALING CO.
June 29, 1956
Woodrow ALLMAN et al., Plaintiffs,
JAMES HEALING COMPANY, a Corporation of the State of New Jersey, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: FORMAN
The plaintiffs remaining in this case are New York longshoremen who, during World War II and shortly thereafter, worked as ammunition loaders for the defendant James Healing Company, a New Jersey corporation engaged in the stevedoring business. They brought this suit on March 26, 1947 claiming back pay under a series of collective bargaining contracts entered into in 1941, 1943, and 1945 by the International Longshoremen's Association, their union and bargaining representative, and the New York Shipping Association, bargaining representative for the stevedoring firms in the New York area.
Under these three collective bargaining agreements the men were to be paid for time spent in traveling to the place of their labors when that site was removed from the ordinary place of employment. All parties agree that travel time pay was provided for in the contracts. The specific issue here concerns the rate of such pay. It is the contention of the plaintiffs that when men were traveling by any means whatever to a site where their work was to be the loading of explosives, they were to be paid for such traveling time at a higher rate of pay called the ammunition or explosives rate. These rates were under the 1941 contract $ 2.40 per hour for regular time and $ 3.60 per hour for overtime; under the 1943 contract $ 2.50 per hour for regular time and $ 3.75 per hour for overtime; and under the 1945 contract $ 3.00 per hour for regular time and $ 4.50 per hour for overtime. These rates were the rates paid to the men for time spent in the actual handling of explosives.
The contracts provided for premium rates for the handling of specific types of cargo, with loading of explosives compensated for at the highest rate. The lowest rate was called the general cargo rate. It was the basic general rate and higher rates for handling of specific material were exceptions to the general cargo rate. Under the 1941 contract the general cargo rate was $ 1.20 for regular time and $ 1.80 for overtime; under the 1943 contract it was $ 1.25 for regular time and $ 1.87 1/2 for overtime; and under the 1945 contract it was $ 1.50 for regular time and $ 2.25 for overtime. It should be noted that the regular and overtime explosives rates were always double the corresponding general cargo rates. The following wage scale for explosives is taken from the 1941 contract. The provisions in the 1943 and 1945 contracts are identical except, of course, for the increase in rates:
'4. Wage Scale: The Wage Scale Shall be as Follows:
* * * "Straight Time Overtime
"(g) Explosives $2.40 $3.60
"(i) When handled down the Bay, the time
shall start from the time men leave
the pier until the time they return
"(ii) When handled down the Bay, men
Cshall supply their own meals, but $1.00 per meal
shall be allowed
"(iii) When explosives, such as are custo-
marily handled down the Bay, are
handled at any pier, men shall be
paid at the explosives rate of pay.
"(iv) Any dispute as to what explosives
are, shall be settled by the Bureau of
Explosives whose decision shall be
final and shall be accepted by both
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