Richmond, New York. Employer-members of NYSA carry general cargo in interstate and foreign commerce valued in excess of $1,000,000 out of the various piers of the Port of New York destined directly to foreign countries and to states of the United States other than the States of New York and New Jersey.
Council of North American Shipping Associations (CONASA) with offices in New York City, is an association of shipping associations whose members, which include NYSA, engage in the business of conducting collective bargaining negotiations on behalf of their employer-members and enter into collective bargaining agreements covering the employees of their employer-members.
The Union is a labor organization within the meaning of the Act [ S S 2 (5), 8(b) (4) (ii) (B), 8(e) and 10(l)] and at all times material herein has been engaged within this District in transacting business and promoting and protecting the interests of its employee-members. The labor practices complained of occurred within this District. Thus venue is proper and this Court has jurisdiction over this matter. See § 10(l) of the Act.
For many years, the Union has been the certified bargaining representative of the longshoremen employed by the employer-members of NYSA, and has negotiated and entered into a series of collective bargaining agreements with NYSA covering the terms and conditions of employment of these employees.
From 1965, when CEI began business operations under its present identity,
it has been engaged as a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) in the trade between the Port of New York and Puerto Rico, at its premises, first in New York, New York, and subsequently, in Maspeth, New York, and in Carolina, Puerto Rico. CEI is also known in the shipping industry as a consolidator. As such, it receives less than container-size cargoes (LCL or LTL) from those desiring to ship same, unitizes or consolidates these crates within containers, and forwards them to the steamship companies to be loaded on board Puerto Rico-bound ships. Conversely, incoming cargoes are delivered in containers to CEI's premises, located away from the waterfront, where the containers are opened and the crates separated for delivery to the ultimate consignees.
Prior to the beginning of August 1973 CEI did not have any trucking employees, but had contracted with U.S. Trucking Co., whose employees were represented by Local 807, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, to do all their loading and delivery work at, and to and from CEI's Maspeth facility, and the various shipping lines in the Port of New York, including Port Newark, New Jersey. Local 807 members employed directly by U.S. Trucking Co. also performed the work of filling (stuffing) the containers with respect to outgoing cargoes and the unloading (stripping) of incoming containers on CEI's Maspeth premises. At present CEI has terminated its relationship with U.S. Trucking Co., but does the identical work using its own direct employees, represented by the same Local 807, Teamsters. Neither CEI nor U.S. Trucking Co. is or has been a member of NYSA or a party to any collective bargaining agreement between the Union and NYSA, or between the Union and CONASA.
The containers used by CEI, presently approximately 40 feet long, were, prior to late March 1973, furnished it by the steamship-stevedoring companies engaged in the New York-Puerto Rican trade, Sea-Land, Seatrain and TTT, all NYSA members. These companies, owners of the containers, employ members of the Union. These members had previously loaded CEI-stuffed containers on board ship and unloaded the incoming containers, for delivery to CEI's premises. The Board contends that this loading and unloading had been performed by these Union members until March 1973 almost invariably without stripping or stuffing the containers on the piers before starting them on their way.
From in or about the last week in March 1973, the Board alleges, the Union has been successful in getting NYSA, including its employer-members, Sea-Land, Seatrain, and TTT, to cease furnishing containers to CEI and to stop handling freight for CEI. As a result, CEI claims to have suffered severe financial loss and to be close to being driven out of business.
It is charged that the Union has brought about this halt to the dealings between Sea-Land, Seatrain, TTT, and CEI, by enforcing, and threatening further to enforce, the liquidated damages provision in the Union's Memorandum of Understanding with CONASA,
executed in mid-February 1972, and effective from November 14, 1971, to September 30, 1974. This Memorandum sets forth Rules on Containers (hereinafter sometimes referred to as Rules) and provides therein for liquidated damages of $1,000 per container payable for each act of evasion.
The Rules are intended to establish a system under which, with certain exceptions, inbound and outbound containers handled through the Port of New York are stripped and stuffed at the waterfront by members of the Union employed by employer-members of NYSA at the longshore pay rate, whether or not the containers require such further treatment.
The Rules, which have been in the Union's collective bargaining agreements with the NYSA since 1968,
currently provide in pertinent part as follows:
Rules on Containers
The following provisions are intended to protect and preserve the work jurisdiction of longshoremen and all other ILA crafts at deepsea piers or terminals. . . .