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HENRY v. UNITED STATES TRUCKING CORP.

April 9, 1958

John HENRY, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES TRUCKING CORPORATION, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WORTENDYKE

The jurisdiction of this Court is rested upon diversity of citizenship of the respective parties and the pleaded representation that the requisite minimum amount is involved.

Defendant moved to dismiss the original complaint under Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C., but before the motion was decided, plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The amended complaint has now been attacked by a similar motion upon which briefs have been submitted and argument heard. This opinion embodies the Court's decision upon the latter motion.

 Plaintiff alleges that he was employed by defendant as a truck driver and in that capacity was also a member in good standing of Local 641 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers (Union), which was recognized by the defendant as the collective bargaining agent for its employees. Annexed to the original complaint and incorporated by reference in the amended complaint are certain excerpts from the collective bargaining contract between the employer and the Union, in effect at the times referred to in the complaint, but the entire contract is not presently before the Court. Plaintiff further alleges that through collusion with the Union, defendant was able to and did maliciously and without just cause discharge the plaintiff from his employment on June 20, 1956, in consequence whereof plaintiff lost his seniority, his wages, and has since been unable to secure employment with equivalent seniority.

 It is further alleged by the plaintiff that the Union brought the matter of his discharge from employment to arbitration on January 24, 1957, that he appeared at the hearing before the Arbitrator, but without representation, and that the Arbitrator determined that plaintiff had quit his job with defendant by failing to report for work for the defendant and by commencing employment by another employer on June 21, 1956. Claiming that the Arbitrator was without jurisdiction because of failure of a condition precedent to arbitration prescribed by the Union contract, and that the finding of the Arbitrator was not warranted by the evidence, plaintiff prays:

 (a) for a vacation of the Arbitrator's award;

 (b) for plaintiff's restoration to his employment and for back pay; and

 (c) for damages for the alleged wrongful discharge.

 Defendant's motion to dismiss is grounded upon its assertions:

 (a) that the amended complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted;

 (b) that plaintiff has failed to join indispensable parties; and

 (c) that this Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action.

 The excerpts from the Union contract above referred to may be summarized as follows:

 (1) In case of a dispute between employer and employee, representatives of employer and Union shall attempt to adjust the controversy. If such adjustment fails, the dispute shall be submitted to the Trucking Authority of North Jersey, composed of Union and employer representatives. If the Authority is unable to reach a decision, the controversy shall be submitted to an Impartial Arbitrator selected by the parties, or if they cannot select one, to an Arbitrator appointed by New Jersey State Mediation Board. The decision of the Authority or Impartial Arbitrator shall be final and binding upon all parties.

 (2) In case of a dispute involving the discharge of an employee it shall first be taken up as a grievance between Union and employer. Failing settlement there, the Union may have seven days after discharge to initiate arbitration. The discharged employee is given the right to be present at the arbitration proceedings, and if it is found that ...


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