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Lamena v. Camden Local No. 396 of Journeymen Barbers

Decided: June 23, 1965.

JAMES LAMENA, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CAMDEN LOCAL NO. 396 OF THE JOURNEYMEN BARBERS, HAIRDRESSERS, COSMETOLOGISTS AND PROPRIETORS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Conford, Gaulkin and Kilkenny.

Per Curiam

Defendant union picketed plaintiff's barbershop in Haddonfield for the purpose of causing or coercing him to join the union and to induce his non-union employees to do so. The Chancery Division enjoined the picketing on the ground that there was no labor dispute and such picketing offended public policy.

We heard defendant's appeal and remanded the matter for further proofs and a determination as to whether the objective of the picketing offended public policy. 80 N.J. Super. 203 (App. Div. 1963). That opinion contains a comprehensive discussion of the applicable legal principles in this type of unique situation, which we need not repeat here. We have been furnished with a transcript of a supplementary hearing conducted pursuant to the remand, the findings of the trial court and additional briefs. We have also heard further oral argument. For the reasons expressed in our former opinion and this supplement, we are satisfied that the injunction was granted for good cause and should be affirmed.

Defendant local union had a total membership of 248 at the time of the hearing on remand. There were 97 employee-barbers, known as journeymen barbers, 55 employer-barbers, and the remaining 96 were self-employed one-chair barbershop owners, designated proprietor barbers. The local has no constitution or bylaws of its own. It is affiliated with the International Union of Journeymen Barbers, Hairdressers, Cosmetologists and Proprietors. The International Union has a constitution and the defendant local is subject to its provisions. That constitution allows the formation of employers' guilds, as distinguished from local unions, but none has been established within the area embraced by the defendant local union. The right of membership in an employer's guild is restricted to employer-barbers or beauticians who

habitually work with the tools of the trade. An employer-barber who works at the trade and who desires to operate a union shop "must become an employer member of the local union or guild," according to the International constitution. Thus, it is not enough that employees become members of the union. The employer himself, if he works at the trade, must also become a member of the local union, if there is no employer's guild to join, as here, in order to operate a union shop.

The supremacy of the International constitution is indicated by provision therein that any local union violating any of its provisions shall be subject to having charges preferred against it and, if found guilty, subject to fine or suspension, or both. It is also provided:

"Every local union or guild may make its own by-laws, which must, however, be in accordance with this Constitution. * * * A two-thirds vote of members present shall be necessary for by-laws or amendments to be adopted. Two copies of all such by-laws must be submitted to the General President for his approval after which one copy will be returned to the local or guild. No amendments thereto shall become effective unless above is complied with." (Italics ours) Article XV, section 1.

The constitution provides that every local union shall regulate the hours of labor, prices and wages in its respective locality. Such regulation is known as the "Working Agreement." The International constitution, article XV, section 5, requires a working agreement to be read at two meetings on separate dates, prior to a third meeting at which a vote is taken. " A two-thirds vote of members present shall be necessary for working agreement to be adopted."

The hearing following remand, at which there was testimony only by Vincent J. Ferrante, an employer-barber who is vice-president of defendant local, and Bartholomew Carpella, a barber who is secretary-treasurer of defendant local, indicates the following modus operandi of the local. All members, regardless of classification as journeyman barber, employer-barber or proprietor barber, have an equal vote and an equal right to hold office in the union. The working agreement

is for one year and is automatically renewed for further periods of one year, in the absence of negotiations for and the formulation of a new working agreement. When a new agreement is sought, the president or chairman of the local selects a chairman of an employers' committee and a chairman of an employees' committee. In turn, each of these committee chairmen apparently picks the remaining members of a committee of six on each side. The committees then confer separately and proposals are made by one committee to the other. If the committees reach an accord, each committee submits the proposed agreement to those in its classification. The one-chair proprietor barbers do not participate in the negotiations, which seems quite remarkable if the agreement does deal with prices and hours. If two-thirds of the employees and two-thirds of the employers, voting separately, approve the proposal, a formal working agreement is executed. The working agreement is not submitted for approval by two-thirds of members present at a general meeting of the local.

If a working agreement is not reached under the foregoing procedure, attempts are made to reconcile the differences by the selection of a mediator. If the mediator fails, the employee-barbers go out on strike. According to Ferrante, there is no right to bring the disagreement before the general membership. If any member of the local attempted to bring the issue before the general membership at a meeting of the local union, the chairman of the local would rule him out of order. Despite this, Ferrante's testimony was confused and confusing as to whether a vote by two-thirds of members present at a general meeting of the local union would bind members in all classifications on basic issues such as wages and hours, in the event a working agreement was not effected by the ...


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