The opinion of the court was delivered by: COOLAHAN
Plaintiff Milton Weihrauch seeks a preliminary injunction, pending the outcome of this suit to enjoin further action of administrator trustees appointed by the defendant, International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (hereafter "the IUE" or "the International") over one of its subordinate bodies. In addition to opposing preliminary relief, the IUE moves to dismiss the Complaint on several grounds. For the reasons discussed below both the request for a preliminary injunction and the motion to dismiss the Complaint are denied.
Even more than usual, understanding the issues presented requires at least a brief summary of the conflict's genesis in a series of extraordinary events, alleged by defendant and which are unrefuted by affidavit or testimony at this time.
The IUE is a national labor organization comprising hundreds of locals throughout the United States and Canada. Its Constitution provides for subdivision of this territory into several subordinate Districts, each presided over by a District Counsel, a set of officers, and a group of District Trustees. Plaintiff is president of District 3, the largest, which has its own District Constitution subordinate to the International Constitution. As such, he also is ex officio a vice president of the IUE and on its Executive Board. Plaintiff's grievance stems from the IUE's appointment of two administrators to oversee the District's affairs, which he claims was in violation of the International constitution, and, therefore, also in violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. § 462,
and the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185.
The appointment was allegedly made in response to a request from the District Council, which arose from serious charges of union fund mismanagement and embezzlement against plaintiff and the District Treasurer. These charges in turn stemmed from inquiries by the Chairman of the District Trustees and by the International after Labor Department investigations of the District indicated some unusual occurrences.
Moreover, he claims the appointment is a thinly veiled attempt to circumvent provisions in that constitution which limit the method of removing District officers to recall. This is deemed a breach of the IUE's contractual obligation under the constitution to the District, the locals, and the plaintiff himself.
See note 2, supra. Similarly, plaintiff challenges the concomitant institution of charges against the District itself, rather than an individual, as an unauthorized ad hoc attempt to bring charges indirectly against the conduct of District officers - again in violation of the constitution.
This Court's jurisdiction to issue temporary and permanent injunctive relief is based on Section 185, supra for the contractual claim, and on 29 U.S.C. § 464,
for the claim under Section 462.
The IUE opposes temporary relief on the ground plaintiff has shown neither irreparable injury nor likelihood of success at trial. Its motion to dismiss is based on failure to join indispensable parties; failure to exhaust administrative remedies; unclean hands precluding equitable relief; lack of jurisdiction to grant the relief sought; and existence of adequate legal remedies if a cause of action lies.
All these defenses must be weighed in the context of the two opposed characterizations of the appointment. Defendant claims it was within the Executive Board's constitutional powers and did not violate the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 462, because it was in response to an urgent justified request of the District Council, rather than being imposed from above by the IUE.
Plaintiff replies that regardless of who suggested or requested the trusteeship, it was the Board of the IUE, not the District, which appointed the administrators, and that such unconstitutional action cannot be authorized by the Council.
In addition, plaintiff now defends his failure to answer the charges made by the special committee's report on the ground that the Executive Board's demand for response to such charges violated the aforementioned Article 24 of the IUE constitution. This is pertinent to several of the defenses.
Plaintiff's failure to join "indispensable parties", to wit, the two administrators, is urged as fatal to the complaint. I disagree. To be sure, plaintiff seeks prevention of certain activity by the administrators, but the primary relief sought would direct the defendant International to discontinue the trusteeship, now existing under its appointment. I see no reason why relief would be ineffective merely because the administrators are not joined, since further action by them would be void once the source of their authority, namely their designation by the IUE, is terminated. Additionally, as agents of the International, who I trust will receive notice of any decree, they will be bound not to interfere with that termination under long established principles of the breach of equity. Citation of cases by the IUE on this point are inapposite and misleading.
The Advisory Committee's Note to 1966 Amendment of Rule 19, F.R.C.P. makes clear the intent to emphasize pragmatic analysis of the ...