BELL, Circuit Judge.
This is an appeal from an order of the district court dismissing the union's action to collect a fine imposed upon defendant, a union member, pursuant to the union constitution. Loudermilk, the defendant, was fined for "dual unionism"; and he refused to pay the fine. The district court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, holding that the defendant's behavior was protected by the free speech provision of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), § 101(a) (2), 29 U.S.C.A. § 411(a) (2) (also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act).
Defendant is an employee of Eastern Airlines and became a member of plaintiff union on August 28, 1959 by virtue of a union shop agreement between the union and Eastern Airlines. Such an agreement is authorized by § 2 Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.A. § 152 Eleventh.
As a result of these endeavors on the part of defendant in favor of the rival union, he was tried by the Trial Committee of plaintiff union and was found guilty of dual unionism. He was fined $500 and refused to pay. In 1968, the union filed an action in the Dade County Small Claims Court to collect the fine and defendant removed the action to the federal district court. That court dismissed the cause on the ground that the court had no authority to enforce the fine.
On appeal, we vacated and remanded the cause to the district court because of inadequate briefs and inadequate consideration by the district court. Airline Maint. Lodge 702, Intern. Assoc. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers v. Loudermilk, 1970, 5 Cir., 426 F.2d 802. On remand, the district court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, holding that although a validly imposed fine pursuant to a union constitution is judicially enforceable, the fine here was not validly imposed since the charge of dual unionism arose out of activities protected by the free speech provision of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C.A. § 411(a) (2), supra. The issue on appeal is whether the union was due to collect the fine imposed under the circumstances here on a union member, for dual unionism without running afoul of the free speech provision of the Act.
First of all, there is no dispute over the nature of the defendant's conduct, or over the fact that it violated the union constitution. There is a dispute, however, as to whether the union shop provision of the Railway Labor Act permits any disciplinary fine if membership is compelled under a union shop clause. The case of Railway Employes' Dept., American Federation of Labor, Intern. Assoc. of Machinists v. Hanson, 1956, 351 U.S. 225, 235, 76 S.Ct. 714, 100 L. Ed. 1112, suggests that no disciplinary fine is permissible under that section. Two other Supreme Court cases, Scofield v. NLRB, 1969, 394 U.S. 423, 89 S.Ct. 1154, 22 L.Ed.2d 385, and NLRB v. Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., 1967, 388 U.S. 175, 87 S.Ct. 2001, 18 L.Ed.2d 1123, suggest to the contrary. Since we ground our decision on a narrower basis, we pretermit decision on the question whether a disciplinary fine is allowable under § 2 Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.A. § 152 Eleventh, supra.
We come then to the free speech provision of the LMRDA, § 101(a) (2), 29 U.S.C.A. § 411(a) (2), Fn. 1, supra, which was added to the LMRDA from the floor. It thus lacks the informative legislative history usually provided by committee hearings and reports. However, it is clear from the terms of the statute that a union member has the right to free speech inside or outside of the union meeting subject to three limitations: (1) reasonable rules pertaining to the conduct of meetings; (2) reasonable rules as to the responsibility of every
The scope of the second limitation, and its possible application to rules proscribing dual unionism, has not been defined by the courts in the context of the imposition of a fine. And it is clear that our decision in this case depends upon the ambit of the union's prerogative under this saving clause: "* * * to adopt and enforce reasonable rules as to the responsibility of every member toward the organization as an institution."
The only holding which touches on the point in question seems to be Sawyers v. Grand Lodge, International Ass'n of Machinists, E.D.Mo., 279 F.Supp. 747. There the district court upheld the expulsion of union members on a charge of dual unionism arising out of an effort to break away a local from the international. The district court makes the flat statement that "* * * the advocation of dual unionism is not protected either under Title I, LMRDA, or § 7, NLRA." 279 F.Supp. at 756. This statement is, of course, limited to the facts of the case and the remedy selected by the union trial committee: expulsion and not the imposition of a fine as here.
In NLRB v. International Moulders and Allied Workers Union, Local No. 125, 7 Cir., 1971, 442 F.2d 92, the court upheld a Board decision that a union violated § 8(b) (1) (A) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 158(b) (1) (A),
This approach is in line with the decision of the Board in Tri-Rivers Marine Engineers Union (United States Steel Corporation), 189 NLRB No. 108, filed April 16, 1971. There the Board drew a distinction between a fine and expulsion. The union member was charged with dual unionism in soliciting support for an outside union to replace the incumbent union. The Board concluded that there was no difference in principle between a decertification effort and a union replacement effort and that a fine was not defensive in the sense of preserving the union as expulsion would be but interfered with rights accorded under § 8(b) (1) (A) of the Act. The union was directed to rescind the fine but the threat of expulsion was held not violative of the Act.
These authorities may be considered in light of a body of case law having its genesis in Salzhandler v. Caputo, 1963, 2 Cir., 316 F.2d 445, and which suggests the approach to applying the free speech provision of the statute. In Salzhandler, the Second Circuit held that § 411(a) (2) protects a union member from union discipline when the member makes libellous statements regarding the handling
On the general purpose of the statute, the court said:
Subsequent cases have expanded the Salzhandler rationale to cover officers who supported an unsuccessful candidate in a union election,
It is thus reasonably clear that the courts have looked upon the free speech provision of the LMRDA as a codification of some of our most basic liberties and the substantive rights conferred by that section have been broadly construed. As Judge Godbold stated for the court in the Nix case, supra, Fn. 8:
The rights of a union member under this statute must be balanced against the right preserved to the union to make rules as to the responsibility of the member toward the union as an institution, and this balancing process must rest on the facts. Loudermilk was compelled to join plaintiff union under the union shop agreement between Eastern and plaintiff IAM. Some years later he joined and became president of a rival union. He was fined for supporting the rival union, albeit in connection with displacing IAM at another airline. IAM did not choose to expel him or to bar him from meetings and the like, defensive actions which would have protected IAM.
We think this exceeded the authority of the union under the circumstances here which involve compulsory membership under a union shop agreement coupled with the free speech overtones which are inherent in undertaking stemming from dissatisfaction with one union and action seeking to displace that