DECKER, District Judge.
In May 1966 two trucking companies merged. All States Freight, Inc., became a part of the surviving Pacific Intermountain Express Company. Both before and after the combination, truck drivers for the companies were represented by Local 705 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Under the respective collective bargaining agreements, each company had its own seniority list which defined the truckers' rights vis-a-vis the other drivers employed by that corporation. After the merger, these two lists had to be integrated in some manner.
The surviving corporation and Local 705 negotiated extensively concerning the seniority issue. Unable to reach a consensus, they then submitted the question to arbitration and to a Joint Grievance Committee. Concluding that the corporate acquisition was a "buy out" rather than a "merger," both the grievance committee and the arbitrator placed the entire list of All States' drivers below the drivers for P.I.E. The All States drivers therefore instituted this suit, claiming that (1) P.I.E., as the successor to the liabilities and duties of All States, breached the collective bargaining agreement between the drivers and All States, and (2) the union violated its statutory duty of fair representation.
Both the employer and Local 705 have now moved for summary judgment, maintaining that the testimony and exhibits adduced before the Joint Grievance Committee establish that there is no genuine issue for trial. F.R.Civ.P. 56(e) provides that when such a motion is made,
Since plaintiffs have failed to furnish detailed facts or other evidence supporting their allegations, summary judgment is appropriate. See, e. g., Crest Auto Supplies, Inc. v. Ero Manufacturing Co., 360 F.2d 896, 902 (7th Cir. 1966); Balowski
Two successive collective bargaining agreements are involved. An initial contract governed labor relations from January 1, 1964 to March 31, 1967, while a later one, executed about July 18, 1967, determined the parties' relationship between April 1, 1967 and March 31, 1970. The aggrieved drivers rely upon the 1964-67 agreement, emphasizing article 8, section 1 which stated that:
Although the corporate combination was consummated in May 1966, the drivers' seniority rights were not affected until the terminals were physically merged in September 1967. Plaintiffs' causes of action therefore accrued during the 1967-70 collective bargaining agreement and are subject to its provisions. Article 8, section 7 of the current contract specifically provides that:
By industry practice, trucking firms' combinations are classified as either "buy-outs" or "mergers." In the latter type of acquisition, seniority is dovetailed on a one-for-one basis,
Initially, P.I.E. contended the acquisition was a "merger," and Local 705 claimed it was a "buy-out." Unable to agree at their meeting, the parties submitted the controversy to a single arbitrator, Judge Joseph Burke, who decided against the plaintiffs. The Joint Grievance Committee then met and ratified Judge Burke's holding on March 17, 1967.
Since the union had not supported their position, the plaintiffs instituted this lawsuit. In April 1969, immediately prior to trial, P.I.E. and Local 705 agreed to present again the controversy to a Joint Grievance Committee. Accordingly,
Since the Joint Grievance Committee's decision is binding on P.I. E. and Local 705, the employer's motion for summary judgment must be granted. Obligated to enforce arbitration awards, the federal courts may not substitute their judgment for that of the arbitrators. See, e. g., United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 596, 80 S.Ct. 1358, 4 L.Ed.2d 1424 (1960); I. A. M. District No. 8, A.F.L.-C.I.O. v. Campbell Soup Co., 406 F.2d 1223 (7th Cir. 1969). Each of the plaintiffs' contentions was thoroughly considered by the committee. After hearing all the evidence, the arbitration committee determined that the acquisition was a "buy-out," that the 1967-70 collective bargaining agreement governs the drivers' dispute, and that the plaintiffs were not entitled to the seniority preference sought in this lawsuit. As declared in Humphrey v. Moore, 375 U.S. 335, 350-351, 84 S.Ct. 363, 372, 11 L.Ed.2d 370 (1964):
Apparently conceding that they have no cause of action under the 1967-70 agreement, the plaintiff drivers next contend that their 1964-67 seniority rights were vested. The All States drivers overlook several recent decisions which hold that seniority rights are subject to alteration with each successive collective bargaining agreement. See, e. g., Schick v. N. L. R. B., 409 F.2d 395, decided by the Seventh Circuit on April 3, 1969; Local 1251 International Union of United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America UAW v. Robertshaw Controls Co., 405 F.2d 29 (2nd Cir. 1968); Charland v. Norge Division, 407 F.2d 1062 (6th Cir. 1969); Oddie v. Ross Gear & Tool Co., 305 F.2d 143, 149 (6th Cir. 1962). Compare Local Lodge 2040, Intern. Ass'n of Machinists, A.F.L.-C.I.O. v. Servel, Inc., 268 F.2d 692 (7th Cir. 1959). In the Schick case, the Seventh Circuit explained that:
Thus, the 1964-67 agreement only protected plaintiffs' seniority while that contract was in force, and any rights it created expired in March 1967.
Since the Joint Grievance Committee's interpretation of the 1967-70 collective bargaining agreement is binding upon the parties and this court, the employer will be granted summary judgment.
Alternatively, the All States drivers assert that Local 705 violated its
Except for their conclusionary pleadings, however, the plaintiffs have not indicated any bad faith or discriminatory treatment by the union.
The mere fact that Local 705 disagreed with plaintiffs does not establish lack of fair representation. In determining whether the acquisition was a "buy-out" or a "merger," the union's attorneys considered all previous acquisitions and relevant Interstate Commerce Commission decisions. The testimony before the Joint Grievance Committee indicates that the union's position was both reasonable and taken in good faith, based on past industry practice. In a related factual context, the Supreme Court recently held that:
Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S. 171, 194-195, 87 S.Ct. 903, 919, 17 L.Ed.2d 842 (1967). Since the plaintiffs have not countered the union's evidence with affidavits or facts indicating bad faith or arbitrary treatment, Local 705's motion for summary judgment must be granted.
In conclusion, P.I.E. did not breach either the 1964-67 collective bargaining agreement or the 1967-70 contract. Each agreement provided that disputes should be resolved by a Joint Grievance Committee whose decision would be final.
Accordingly, I have entered an order today granting summary judgment for each of the defendants.
"The power of the Joint Conference Committee over seniority gave it power over jobs. It was entitled under § 5 to integrate the seniority lists upon some rational basis * * *."
The committee's March 1967 decision to follow past industry practice constituted a rational basis for adjusting seniority. Thus, assuming arguendo that the 1964-67 collective bargaining agreement is applicable to this controversy, P.I.E. is entitled to summary judgment because the Joint Grievance Committee determined that under the contract plaintiffs' seniority was properly subordinate to that of the P.I.E. drivers.
"[W]e do not agree that the individual employee has the absolute right to have his grievance taken to arbitration * *." 386 U.S. 191, 87 S.Ct. 917.
Unlike the union in Vaca, Local 705 pursued the instant controversy to arbitration, twice asking impartial umpires to decide the dispute.
"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."