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YOUNG v. HAYES

July 10, 1961

Roger YOUNG, etc., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
A. J. HAYES, etc., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WALSH

Plaintiffs are local lodges affiliated with, and individual members of the International Association of Machinists. (The Local Lodges are Nos. 1484, 1235, 2193, 2195, 2215, 1571, 311, 1186, 575, 1600, 1173, and 1414). Plaintiffs filed a complaint for injunctive relief against the defendant International Association of Machinists (hereinafter also referred to as the International Organization), and defendants Albert Hayes and Elmer Walker as Union officials. Plaintiffs' 'Motion for Summary Judgment', and Defendants' 'Motion to Dismiss, or, in the alternative for Summary Judgment' were argued and taken under advisement.

The International Organization held its quadrennial convention in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 6 to 15, 1960, pursuant to Article II, Sec. 1 of the Union constitution. At the convention the Executive Council submitted to the Committee on Law 106 proposed amendments to the constitution, and the Committee reported these amendments out to be voted upon by the convention.

 The proposed amendments were accompanied by a circular and a statement of the defendnat Hayes to the effect that the amendments were necessary under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Landrum-Griffin Act), 29 U.S.C.A. 401 et seq. A majority vote of the convention subsequently adopted the proposed amendments.

 An official ballot on the amendments, as submitted to the convention, and dated September 30, 1960, was forwarded to all Local Lodges affiliated with the International Organization for vote by the membership. The ballot was divided into Part I, which contained 47 amendments all listed under Proposition 4, and Part II, which contained 59 amendments separately listed for voting.

 As to Part I, Proposition 4, plaintiffs allege that the membership was not afforded opportunity to vote upon each of the 47 amendments separately as required by Article XXIII, Sec. 4, of the Constitution. Plaintiffs also allege that the delegates to the convention were totally unaware the 47 amendments would be submitted for voting purposes under the one proposition rather than individually, and claim they first became aware of this when the ballots were mailed to the Local Lodges. Defendants, of course, claim otherwise.

 Each of the Local Lodges voted on the proposed amendments in November, 1960, in accordance with Article XXIII, Sec. 6, of the Constitution. The Report of the Committee on Law prefaced the body of the ballot and contained the rather confusing language to the effect that: 'Several Propositions, which had not been acted upon by the Convention separately, have been grouped on this ballot as a single Proposition for the convenience of the membership in voting * * *'. There was also an indication, which the Court notes, as stated below, purporting to explain to the membership that Proposition 4 was acted upon by the Convention as a single proposition.

 The heading of Proposition 4 reads as follows:

 'These changes made mandatory through passage of the Landrum Griffin Act'.

 Also, statements introductory to Proposition 4 read in part:

 'These amendments represent necessary changes in our Constitution so as to conform to the requirements of the Landrum-Griffin Act and in conformity with convention action shall be voted on as one proposition.'

 As provided by Article XXIII, Sec. 6, of the constitution, the ballots were returned to the General Secretary-Treasurer, and the December 15, 1960, issue of 'The Machinist', the International Organization house organ, stated that Proposition 4 and the 47 amendments contained therein had been adopted by the membership on a vote of 48,292 to 10,783, and would take effect on January 1, 1961.

 Certain of the plaintiffs requested the International Organization to delay putting into effect the amendments contained in Proposition 4 until an appeal could be made to the Grand Lodge Convention for a final ruling, but the defendnat, Walker, informed plaintiff, Williams, that the matter was not one constituting a grievance and therefore it would not be submitted to the Grand Lodge Convention for a ruling. No action has been taken to put the amendments into effect pending this opinion.

 Plaintiffs allege that the acts of the defendants insofar as they have deprived the membership of the right to vote upon all proposed constitutional amendments separately, i.e., the 47 amendments comprising Proposition 4 having been voted upon as unit, were in willful and deliberate violation of the contract between the defendant, International Organization, and plaintiffs, the Local Lodges, and other Lodges similarly situated, and plaintiff members, and other members.


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