employed by Newark Lamp for periods of up to ten years. It is clear that this was in the nature of a bonus gratuitously given to the individuals in question, and was not something to which they were entitled as a matter of right. This single occurrence was not intended to modify the existing practice that no employees of any other General Electric component subsequently hired by Newark Lamp carried their seniority with them. The proofs at the trial very definitely showed that such was the practice that was consistently followed before, as well as after, the local agreement was negotiated. The one isolated instance cited by plaintiff does not, under the facts of this case, supply the necessary proof that the local agreement deprived her of any seniority rights.
Contrary to plaintiff's contention, the Court further finds that the local agreement of November 26, 1958, was not negotiated in violation of the National Agreement or the Constitution of Local 492. Article XXI of the National Agreement, headed 'Local Understandings', in the pertinent sections thereof, provides:
'1. The provisions of this Agreement are subject to all present local understandings, and such understandings will remain in effect unless changed in the manner provided in the following Section.
'2. After the effective date of this Agreement, new local understandings will be recognized and made effective only where set forth in writing and signed by local management and the Local, and approved by the Company and the Union.'
Plaintiff's argument that the local agreement was ineffective because it was not approved by the International Union has no basis in fact. The only proof offered on this point was that the agreement was not signed by a representative of the International Union. It can be seen from Article XXI, however, that there is no requirement that the Union sign the agreement, only that it be approved. Newark Lamp's Supervisor, who negotiated the agreement for local management, testified that the local agreement had been approved, and plaintiff introduced no evidence to the contrary. Thus, plaintiff has failed to carry her burden on this point.
Article XXI of the National Agreement contains no requirement that the membership of the local union approve or ratify a local agreement. Similarly, an examination of both the local union's constitution and the local agreement itself, discloses no requirement of ratification by the local's membership. Absent such a provision, there is no extrinsic requirement for ratification. Cleveland Orchestra Committee v. Cleveland Federation of Musicians, 303 F.2d 229 (6 Cir. 1962); Fogg v. Randolph, 244 F.Supp. 885 (S.D.N.Y.1962). It follows, that the failure of the local union to submit the local agreement to its membership for ratification, in and of itself, in no way affected the validity of the agreement. Furthermore, the record shows that the local agreement was in fact ratified by the membership, at a meeting called for that purpose. Testimony offered by plaintiff to refute this was scant and unconvincing.
The alleged ratification requirement bears on plaintiff's final contention that Local 492 breached its duty of fair representation. The thrust of plaintiff's argument here is that in negotiating the local agreement of November 26, 1958, Local 492 failed to make an honest effort to protect the interests of plaintiff and other employees of Seaboard. She charged the local with acting intentionally and in bad faith, and with knowledge that Seaboard was about to close down operations. Plaintiff claims that the implementation of the local agreement without prior ratification constitutes an element of the alleged breach of duty of fair representation. Despite the broad allegations, there is little in the record to indicate that Local 492 had knowledge of the impending closedown of Seaboard. All that plaintiff can point to are rumors which circulated through the plant from time to time. However, even if the local did know of Seaboard's closedown in advance, this knowledge would only necessitate some action to determine future policies. It would not establish a breach of duty. To make out a breach of duty, plaintiff must show that the union's conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S. 171, 87 S. Ct. 903, 17 L. Ed. 2d 842 (1967). Mere conclusory allegations, without more, will not suffice.
Conflict between employees represented by the same union is a recurring fact. In Humphrey v. Moore, 375 U.S. 335, 84 S. Ct. 363, 11 L. Ed. 2d 370 (1964), the Ford Motor Company contracted with two companies for the transportation of its new automobiles from a particular assembly plant. In the face of declining business, the two companies were informed by Ford that the services of only one company would be required. Employees of both companies were represented by the same union. The two companies involved reached an agreement that resulted in the withdrawal of one of the companies from the operation. Employees of the withdrawing company who were laid off because of this arrangement filed a grievance with the union. To meet the situation, it was decided to 'dovetail' the seniority lists of both companies. Persons who lost their jobs as a result of this dovetailing filed grievances and later challenged its validity on the ground, inter alia, that it was a breach of the union's duty of fair representation. The Court found that the dovetailing of the seniority lists was the most equitable solution for all concerned, and upheld the union's decision because it was taken in good faith. The Court further stated that it was 'not ready to find a breach of the collective bargaining agent's duty of fair representation in taking a good faith position contrary to that of some individuals whom it represents nor in supporting the position of one group of employees against that of another.'
Similarly, in Ford Motor Co. v. Huffman, 345 U.S. 330, 73 S. Ct. 681, 97 L. Ed. 1048 (1953), the Court upheld a union decision which gave some employees increased seniority credit at the expense of others. Said the Court, at page 338, 73 S. Ct. at page 686:
'Inevitably differences arise in the manner and degree to which the terms of any negotiated agreement affect individual employees and classes of employees. The mere existence of such differences does not make them invalid. The complete satisfaction of all who are represented is hardly to be expected. A wide range of reasonableness must be allowed a statutory bargaining representative in serving the unit it represents, subject always to complete good faith and honesty of purpose in the exercise of its discretion.'
The essential element that must be shown to sustain a charge of breach of fair representation is bad faith, an intent on the part of the union to discriminate, without justification, against a portion of the union membership. Hardcastle v. Western Greyhound Lines, 303 F.2d 182 (9 Cir., 1962). The essential elements are lacking in this case.
For the reasons stated herein, plaintiff's action will be dismissed. Counsel for defendants, on notice to counsel for plaintiff, will submit an appropriate order.
This opinion shall constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.