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Martire v. Laborers' Local Union 1058

decided: April 17, 1969.

DANTE MARTIRE, APPELLEE
v.
LABORERS' LOCAL UNION 1058 ET AL., APPELLANTS



Hastie, Chief Judge and Kalodner and Van Dusen, Circuit Judges.

Author: Kalodner

KALODNER, C.J.:

Three critical questions are presented by this appeal:

(1) Does the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 ("LMRDA")*fn1 afford a remedy to an officer of a local union who has been (1) suspended from his elected office prior to the expiration of his term; (2) barred from holding office in the union for five years; and (3) subjected to a fine of $500.00?

(2) Does a District Council, with which a local union is affiliated, have the authority to take the actions above described?

(3) Were the procedural safeguard requirements of the LMRDA complied with in the District Council's proceedings against the plaintiff union officer?

The District Court answered the first question in the affirmative; the second in the negative and did not reach the third.*fn2

On this appeal we agree with the District Court's affirmative answer to the first question for the narrow reason, later stated; disagree with its negative answer to the second, and hold as to the third question that it must be answered in the affirmative.

Relevant to our disposition is this statement of the background facts:

The plaintiff-appellee was a member in good standing and business manager of the defendant-appellant Laborers' Local Union 1058, and an elected delegate to the Laborers' District Council of Western Pennsylvania, with which the Union was affiliated.

On September 13, 1967, three delegates to the District Council filed charges against Martire alleging that he was guilty of "negligence and incompetence" in discharging his duties as business manager of the Local Union. The charge arose from the fact that members of the Local Union had been employed for some eighteen months on a project at a wage less than that fixed by the collective bargaining agreement.

The Charge was filed pursuant to the procedure prescribed by Article VIII, Section 1, of the District Council's Constitution which permits "an officer or delegate in good standing" to file charges against "any other officer or delegate of a District Council. . . ."

On September 14, 1967, Martire received written notice of the charge against him in compliance with the District Council Constitution and was informed that the District Council Trial Board would hold a hearing on the charge on September 26, 1967. Martire appeared at the hearing and testimony was taken, the proceeding concededly being in accord with the District Council Constitution.

On September 27, 1967, Martire was notified that the Trial Board had found him guilty as charged and had suspended him from his positions as business manager of the Local and delegate to the District Council for five years, forbidden him to hold any other position during the period of his suspension, and fined him $500. The action of the Trial Board was ratified by the ...


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