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New Jersey Turnpike Authority v. American Federation of State

Decided: April 29, 1964.

NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE AUTHORITY, A BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC, CREATED BY AND EXISTING UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF, AND NEW JERSEY HIGHWAY AUTHORITY, A BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC CREATED BY AND EXISTING UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-INTERVENOR,
v.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1511, AND COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES UNION; DANIEL DONAHUE, AARON SHERMAN, THOMAS MCCLOSKEY, IRVING STEIN, WILLIAM LYONS, WILLIAM VIVERS, NICHOLAS PITUCCO, WALTER MARTYNIAK, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL 723, FRANK SANTANGELO, FRANK P. MORRO, ANTHONY KOZIEROWSKI, ALEXANDER DONOFRIO, GENNERO BATTAGLIA, BOYD HITCHNER AND ROBERT FADELEY, DEFENDANTS



Wick, J.s.c.

Wick

This is a suit wherein the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (hereinafter referred to as Turnpike) seeks to permanently enjoin certain unions and their officers, agents and employees from inciting, organizing, conducting, supporting or participating in any strike, slowdown or other impediment to work against the Turnpike or involving any of its employees. Further, the Turnpike seeks a declaratory judgment determining the following: (1) whether the Turnpike may engage in collective bargaining with the defendant unions which purport to represent certain employees of the Turnpike; and (2) whether the employees of the Turnpike have the right to strike.

Defendants include the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1511, and County and Municipal Employees Union (hereinafter referred to as Local 1511); and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local 723 (hereinafter referred to as Local 723). The individual defendants include Daniel Donahue, secretary-treasurer of Local 1511; Aaron Sherman, recording secretary of Local 1511; Thomas McCloskey, a member of the executive board of Local 1511; Irving Stein, William Lyons and William Vivers, trustees of Local 1511; Nicholas Pitucco and Walter Martyniak, business agents connected with Local 1511; Frank Santangelo, secretary of Local 723; Frank P. Morro, Anthony Kozierowski, Alexander Donofrio, Gennero Battaglia, Boyd Hitchner and Robert Fadeley, members of Local 723, all of whom are alleged to have been active in promoting and encouraging the threatened strike hereinafter referred to.

Subsequent to the filing of the complaint by the Turnpike, the New Jersey Highway Authority was permitted to intervene as a party-plaintiff.

The Turnpike has made the following factual allegations in its complaint: On January 1, 1961 the Turnpike jointly executed with defendant Local 1511 a "Statement of Employees Relations Policy" setting forth wages, hours and working conditions for its toll and maintenance employees for the period commencing January 1, 1961 and terminating January 11, 1964. On October 16, 1963 defendant Local 723 advised the Turnpike that it "has been selected as sole collective bargaining agent by a majority of the employees in a bargaining unit consisting of all toll collectors and maintenance employees, excluding officers, clerks," and demanded that the Turnpike "recognize it [Local 723] as such sole and exclusive representative on behalf of said employees for the purpose of collective bargaining in regards to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment." On October 23, 1963 defendant Local 723 demanded that the Turnpike must "bargain" with it in the negotiation of a labor contract, and if the Turnpike failed to do so, Local 723 would authorize the "undertaking of concerted activity by the Union and all of its affiliates." On October 25, 1963 defendant Local 1511 requested a meeting with the Turnpike for the purpose of reopening the agreement of January 1, 1961 and discussing the provisions thereof.

Subsequent to the occurrences described above, all of the defendants and other representatives of both Local 1511 and Local 723 have repeatedly verbally demanded that the Turnpike meet with them for the purpose of collective bargaining to negotiate a new labor relations agreement for the year commencing January 1, 1964, and have threatened to organize and conduct a strike, slowdown or other impediment to work by the employees of the Turnpike.

On December 2, 1963, the same day that the complaint was filed, the Turnpike sought interim relief in the form of an ex parte restraint. In support thereof the Turnpike produced three witnesses who testified orally. Howard S. Heydon, the Director of Maintenance for the Turnpike testified that the physical plant includes, inter alia , approximately 200 bridge

structures, 131 miles of four- and six-lane highway, 15 service areas composed of restaurants, gasoline stations and other facilities, and toll booths at each of 21 interchanges. In the event of a strike or work stoppage on the part of all or most of the Turnpike's 350 employees, Heydon stated that even if he was able to utilize his supervisory personnel numbering 50: "it would be impossible to properly maintain the Turnpike in a safe fashion." Further, the remaining supervisory personnel would be unable to handle any of the major emergency situations which could arise, to wit, the clearing of obstructions from the roadway in the event of an accident; maintaining the roadway in a safe condition in the event of snow, ice or other severe storm; or the closing of the road in the event of fog, flood or washout. He observed that any strike, slowdown or other impediment to work against the Turnpike or its operations would "result in irreparable injury to the public and to the facilities of the Turnpike."

Robert E. Mosher is the Assistant Comptroller for the Turnpike and is familiar with its financial affairs. He testified that the Turnpike's indebtedness was in the amount of $360,264,000, as of October 31, 1963. The average gross revenue per day as of the year 1963 and up to October 31, 1963 was $123,704 per day. The daily financial requirement is $59,314, not including any provision for sinking funds. As indicated by Mosher, "any strike would have an irreparable damage to the revenues of the Turnpike," and would result in a deficit operation, thereby adversely affecting and hindering the Turnpike's ability to redeem its bonded indebtedness.

The last witness to testify was Oliver K. Compton, Jr., Assistant to the Executive Director of the Turnpike. On or about November 17, 1963 he received a letter dated November 16, 1963, signed by Frank Santangelo, secretary-treasurer of Local 723, a copy of which has been placed into evidence. The letter, written under the letterhead of Local 723, is addressed to the members of Local 723 employed by the Turnpike ...


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