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UNITED STATES v. FLORIDA E. COAST RY. CO.

May 7, 1963

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
v.
FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY COMPANY, and William B. Thompson, Jr., President of Florida East Coast Railway Company, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, AFL-CIO, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, AFL-CIO, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, AFL-CIO, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: YOUNGDAHL

This cause having been heard by the Court on the Motion of plaintiff the United States of America for a preliminary injunction the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Findings of Fact

 1. On November 2, 1959, a group of more than 200 railroads including defendant Florida East Coast Railway Company (hereinafter referred to as 'Florida') served notice pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. § 156) on the defendant Unions of intended changes in work rules. This notice by the railroads resulted in a threat of a strike against the railroads by defendant Unions and attempts were immediately made to resolve the disputes without strikes.

 2. On October 28, 1959, Florida executed a power of attorney authorizing the Southeastern Carriers Conference Committee to represent Florida in negotiations with the Unions with respect to the changes in work rules announced by the Carriers on November 2, 1959.

 3. On October 17, 1960, the Carriers and the Unions entered into an agreement which was approved by then Secretary of Labor Mitchell for the appointment of a Presidential Commission to investigate the dispute and report to the President. The Presidential Commission reported on February 28, 1962, but no agreement between the parties resulted.

 4. On May 21, 1962, the Unions made application for the mediation services of the National Mediation Board pursuant to Section 5 of the National Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. § 155). The Mediation Board acted promptly, docketed the matter as National Mediation Board Case No. A-6700 and proceeded with mediation. More than 30 meetings between representatives of the Carriers and the Unions were held under the auspices of the National Mediation Board. However, the parties were not able to reach agreement and after arbitration had been proffered and refused the Mediation Board on July 16, 1962, terminated its services.

 5. The Carriers immediately noticed the proposed changes to become effective on August 16, 1962. On July 26, 1962, the Unions filed suit against the Carriers in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois at Chicago. On August 10, 1962, the District Court issued an order dismissing the complaint but at the same time issued an injunction restraining the Carriers from putting into effect the proposed changes in work rules during the pendency of appeal (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Baltimore & O. Railroad et al., 51 Labor Relations Reference Manual 2026). The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on November 28, 1962, 310 F.2d 513, affirmed the District Court and the injunction pending appeal was continued in effect pending the disposition of the case by the Supreme Court ( Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Baltimore & O. Railroad et al., 372 U.S. 284, 83 S. Ct. 691, 9 L. Ed. 2d 759). On March 4, 1963, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals holding that both the Carriers and the Unions had exhausted the statutory procedures and were then 'relegated to self-help * * * subject only to the invocation of the provisions of § 10 (of the Railway Labor Act) providing for the creation of an Emergency Board.' Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, 372 U.S. 284, 83 S. Ct. 691, 9 L. Ed. 2d 759.

 6. The Southeastern Carriers Conference Committee represented Florida along with several other railroads in the national handling of the dispute at all stages after November 2, 1959, until March 12, 1963, including the agreement of October 17, 1960, the proceedings before the Mediation Board and as a party to the litigation in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

 7. After the Supreme Court decision of March 4, 1963, the Mediation Board made an arrangement as to notification with respect to the discharge of the injunction in the District Court and the effective date which the Carriers would fix for the charges in work rules; and the Mediation Board on April 2, 1963, in accordance therewith received a telegram from J. E. Wolfe, Chairman of the National Railway Labor Conference which read:

 'The injunction restraining the Carriers from making their second promulgation of revised rules effective was dissolved by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, at 9:30 A.M. today. This will be notice to you that the carriers will make this promulgation of revised rules effective at 12:01 AM Monday, April 8, 1963. It is our understanding that the National Mediation Board will immediately certify to the President of the United States that an emergency exists without the formality of the unions setting a strike date. Please ackowledge.'

 This telegram was dated April 2, 1963, and received by the Medication Board about noon on that day.

 8. On the same day, April 2, 1963, at about noon the Mediation Board by letters advised the President that the Carriers had notified the Unions that the changes in rules would be made effective at 12:01 AM, April 8, 1963, and recommended that appointment of an Emergency Board to investigate the dispute pursuant to Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act. At the same time the Mediation Board advised Mr. Wolfe of the recommendations to the President.

 9. On April 3, 1963, Mr. Wolfe advised the Mediation Board that notice to him of the Executive Order creating the Emergency Board would be sufficient as notice to all railroads involved and that no separate notice need be given to any of the Carriers Conference Committees.

 10. At about 6 PM on April 3, 1963, the President issued Executive Order 11,101 (28 F.R. 3305) creating Emergency Board No. 154. Florida East Coast Railway is named in Executive Order 11,101 as a party to the dispute to be investigated by the Emergency Board. Emergency Board No. 154 is now ...


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