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Conemaugh & black lick railroad

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John Regis Valaw, Pittsburgh, Pa. Nathan Lipson, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Bernard Kleiman, Chicago, Ill. Inthe Railroad entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the United Steelworkers of America referred to hereinafter as the "Union".

For all times thereafter the Railroad's employees have been represented by the Union and, in particular, by Local The contract also provides Conemaugh & black lick railroad a checkoff system for collecting union dues. Rohrer had been employed as a conductor and brakeman for the Railroad. He was also a member of Local In MarchRohrer notified the Railroad that he had decided to terminate his membership in the Union and join the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

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He instructed the Railroad to stop deducting union dues from his wages. The Railroad complied, but the Union advised Rohrer and the Railroad that this action was invalid because it violated the union shop provision.

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The Union further advised Rohrer that he could rejoin the Union, but Rohrer refused, insisting that he had every right to change unions. A hearing was held and Rohrer was discharged. Subsequently, the Union and the Railroad offered Rohrer another opportunity to regain his job and his former status with the Union, but Rohrer also rejected this offer.

He also sought punitive damages from all the defendants for violating the Railway Labor Act, 45 U. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that as a matter of law the Railway Labor Act had not been violated and therefore Rohrer had no cause of action. After a hearing, summary judgment was entered.

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Rohrer now appeals to this court, claiming that the district court erred in its construction of the Railway Labor Act. After reviewing the issues raised in this appeal, we affirm the judgment of the district court.

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Appellant first contends that the district court erred in holding that appellant has no right under the Act to change unions. Therefore, appellant urges that his discharge for failure to maintain membership in the Steelworkers was improper. In an excellent opinion the district court held that the case of Pennsylvania R. It concluded that the Act as construed in Rychlik provides for the right to join unions other than the designated bargaining representative of a craft only to meet the narrow problem of intercraft mobility.

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We agree with the district court that it was not meant to provide a right to an employee under a union shop contract to choose between membership in the authorized bargaining representative and a competing union.

A brief look at the history of the Act and the Rychlik case compels this conclusion. In the Railway Labor Act was amended to enable Conemaugh & black lick railroad union to require all employees in the bargaining unit to join the union and pay dues so that all employees would share the cost of negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements.

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As the district court concisely stated. In order to solve that problem, Congress included the provision involved here, which permits a member of one craft to satisfy union membership requirements in a craft to which he may be transferred temporarily by retaining membership in the union representing his former craft.

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By not requiring the employee to change union membership during a temporary transfer, his seniority rights are safeguarded.

The Court said that "the only purpose of Section [15] 2, Eleventh c was a very narrow one: Appellant is not faced with the dilemma of intercraft mobility.

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The Union here represents all the employees of the Railroad without regard to craft or class delineations. Appellant in this case is attempting to accomplish exactly what the Rychlik case Conemaugh & black lick railroad he was not entitled to under the Act — that is, the Act provides employees with a right to change unions only to meet the narrow problem of intercraft mobility. Appellant places great reliance on Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen v.

That case is wholly distinguishable from the case before us, for there the change of unions was not contested by the parties.

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Therefore, that case cannot be cited for the proposition that appellant has the right to change unions. The second issue raised by the appellant concerns the validity of the union shop agreement between the Union and the Railroad.

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Appellant's reasoning is as follows: Legislative history of this section, as set forth in the Rychlik case, is also dispositive of this issue. The purpose of Eleventh a and b was to legalize the union shop and to provide for a dues checkoff system. Initially, only these two subparagraphs were drafted, and they conferred those rights on all qualified bargaining agents.

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During hearings on the bill, Congress considered the problem of what should be done in the event an employee who was subject to a union shop contract was forced to change to a craft represented by another union. Faced with this problem, Congress drafted an amendment to subparagraph awhich read, "Provided, furtherThat no such [union shop] agreement shall require membership in more than one labor organization.

The purpose of this amendment was exactly the same as the simple and clearly expressed purpose in the original amendment to subparagraph a quoted above. Conemaugh & black lick railroad "national in scope" criterion was included in Eleventh c as a limitation of the unions to which an employee may transfer or in which an employee may remain when faced with a temporary change of crafts.

By this criterion Congress could be assured that Eleventh c would not become a device by which a new or rising union could lure away employees who were already represented by a qualified labor organization.

Eleventh a contains no requirement that a union be national in scope. Once a union has been certified by the National Mediation Board, as the Union in this case has been, nothing further is required of it to enter into a union shop agreement.


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