CASTLE, Chief Judge.
This case is before the Court on the petition of Louis Schick, Warren Haure, Marvin Bukle, Walter Vogel, Fred Johanes, James Boudouris, Jeane Kubers, Gus Viverito, Stanley Nedya, and Joseph Kowske to review and set aside an order of the National Labor Relations Board issued on January 20, 1967,
The complaint alleged that Transport violated Sections 8(a) (1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 158(a) (1) and (3), by delegating final and exclusive control over the seniority ranking of employees represented by
The pertinent facts as disclosed by the record may be summarized as follows. Since the mid-1950's, Transport has had separate collective bargaining agreements with Local 710 and Local 705. The 705 agreement covered employees performing delivery of dry freight and the 710 contract covered employees engaged in meat hauling. Separate seniority lists were established and maintained for each unit. Wages and employee benefits were fixed for each unit by the respective contracts, except that Transport, without the knowledge or consent of Local 710, had, prior to February 1, 1964,
During the middle 1950's, Transport began doing more dry-freight hauling and less meat hauling, and accordingly assigned 710 drivers to perform dry-freight work. Local 705 had continually protested that the 710 drivers were performing work which was within its jurisdiction,
In May, 1964, Transport announced its impending merger with Best Way of Indiana, Inc.
At a meeting that afternoon in the company's salesmen's office, Company President Bauer, in the presence of the terminal manager, the 705 and 710 business representatives, and the eighteen 710 drivers, announced that the parties had decided that the 710 drivers would have to transfer to Local 705 in order to perform work which was within 705's jurisdiction. Bauer stated that they would have to go to the bottom of the
The next day, after being informed that they would be laid off by the company if they could not work, two 710 drivers met with the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 705, Louis Peick. After conferring with the 705 business representative, Peick stated that the 710 drivers would participate in 705's health and welfare benefits immediately, that he would try to get them pension benefits (although "he couldn't guarantee it"), and that the top six drivers on the 710 seniority list would stay in 710 and keep their seniority, although they would perform dry-freight work,
We find that the record, taken as a whole, does not support petitioners' contention that they were given inferior seniority ranking because of their union affiliation. On the contrary, the record discloses that the 710 drivers received lower seniority rankings due to the fact that they became new members of the unit composed of 705 drivers, who were covered by a separate collective bargaining agreement.
The Courts and the Board have long recognized the statutory right of a union to bargain with the employer to protect its integrity by such methods as placing new members at the bottom of the seniority list. See Ford Motor Co. v. Huffman, 345 U.S. 330, 336-338, 73 S.Ct. 681, 97 L.Ed. 1048 (1953); Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 112 N.L.R.B. 686, 690 (1955). Petitioners argue that since they had been working for the same employer and doing the same kind of work throughout the years involved, they should be given credit for these years in their seniority ranking. This ignores the fact that Local 705 had constantly protested the 710 drivers' infringement on its unit's jurisdiction. Such protest preserved the status of the two locals along unit lines.
Seniority rights are not vested, but "derive their scope and significance from union contracts, confined as they almost exclusively are to unionized industry." Aeronautical Indus. Dist. Lodge 727 v. Campbell, 337 U.S. 521, 526, 69 S.Ct. 1287, 1290, 93 L.Ed. 1513 (1949). See also Odelie v. Ross Gear and Tool Co., 305 F.2d 143, 149 (6th Cir. 1962). Thus, seniority is a valid subject matter for the collective bargaining process. See Humphrey v. Moore, 375 U.S. 335, 349, 84 S.Ct. 363, 11 L.Ed.2d 370 (1964). Nothing in the National Labor Relations Act "compel[s] a bargaining representative to limit seniority clauses solely to the relative lengths of employment for the respective employees." Ford Motor Co. v. Huffman, 345 U.S. 330, 342, 73 S.Ct. 681, 97 L.Ed. 1048 (1953). Seniority rights may be based upon such variables as the "nature of the work," Ford Motor Co. v. Huffman, supra at p. 339, 73 S.Ct. 681, or departmental membership. N. L. R. B. v. Wheland Co., 271 F.2d 122, 124 (6th Cir. 1959).
In the instant case, the petitioners were placed at a disadvantage, not because they were members of another union, but because they were members of another unit. Their previous activity
The fact that a substantial majority of the work of the 710 drivers had consisted of dry-freight hauling did not make them members of the unit represented by 705, since 705 had protested the infringement and had, at one point, pressed its complaint so far as to forbid Transport to utilize 710 drivers for overtime work in the dry-freight category. The final solution was a compromise. But it was the product of the collective bargaining system which we are upholding in today's decision. Rather than constituting prohibited arbitrary discrimination or proscribed delegation by the employer or the locals, the resolution of the dispute was accomplished within the framework of the type of labor-management relations encouraged by the Act. "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." Ford Motor Co. v. Huffman, 345 U.S. 330, at 338, 73 S.Ct. 681 at 686, 97 L.Ed. 1048 (1953). As the Supreme Court noted in the above case, the existence of differences in the manner and degree to which the terms of a negotiated agreement affect individual employees or classes of employees does not invalidate the agreement and is, in fact, to be expected.
"Collective bargaining representatives have broad discretion to bargain with respect to seniority rights and this discretion should not be interfered with in the absence of some showing that a change in seniority rights resulted from hostile discrimination." Hardcastle v. Western Greyhound Lines, 303 F.2d 182, 188 (9th Cir. 1962). Since the evidence establishes that the change in petitioners' seniority rights resulted, not from an arbitrary discrimination based on their past union affiliation, but from the need to protect the integrity of the unit represented by Local 705, we hold that the record as a whole contains substantial support for the Board's finding and conclusion that the action taken to protect the seniority rights of the members of such unit did not violate the Act. Board findings so supported are not to be disturbed. See Universal Camera Corp. v. N. L. R. B., 340 U.S. 474, 487-488, 71 S.Ct. 456, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951).
Since our holding on this issue disposes of the case, it is not necessary to discuss other issues tendered by the intervenors. Accordingly, it is ordered that the Board's order be affirmed.