abused the agreement, and that such abuse justifies the unions in making unilateral demands on the Burlington, is without merit, for the 1964 agreement established an arbitration board to decide just such grievances; alleged abuses of the terms of the agreement do not justify abandonment of the agreement itself. See Article VI, Mediation Agreement of September 25, 1964, supra.
(4) Since both plaintiff and defendants were operating on incorrect legal premises, both failed to comply with the requisites of the Railway Labor Act. The Court reaches no conclusion on the issue of "good faith" bargaining, for the critical issue is not whether plaintiff and/or defendant failed to bargain in good faith. Rather, the crucial point is that while both complied with many of the formalities of the Act, each relied on incorrect legal positions. Plaintiff's persistent contention that the issue of "contracting out" was not bargainable under the Railway Labor Act, while perhaps not urged in bad faith, was legally unsound and made ultimate agreement an impossibility. Similarly, defendants' belief that Burlington was the proper bargaining unit and its insistence that Burlington negotiate with them on an issue previously decided nationally, while perhaps not held in bad faith, was legally incorrect and made ultimate agreement impossible. Defendant served notice on the improper bargaining representative, while plaintiff maintained a position throughout the negotiations which tended to make those negotiations fruitless. In sum, although perhaps with the best of intentions, neither party bargained in the way contemplated by the spirit and the detailed framework of the Railway Labor Act that was designed to facilitate the voluntary settlement of major disputes.
(5) Having failed to bargain in the way contemplated by the Railway Labor Act, defendants are not free to strike. "The heart of the Railway Labor Act is the duty, imposed by § 2 First [ 45 U.S.C. § 152, First (1964)] upon management and labor, 'to exert every reasonable effort to make and maintain agreements concerning rates of pay, rules, and working conditions, and to settle all disputes . . . in order to avoid any interruption to commerce or to the operation of any carrier growing out of any dispute between the carriers and the employees thereof.' The Act provides a detailed framework to facilitate the voluntary settlement of major disputes." Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Jacksonville Terminal Co., 394 U.S. 369, 377-378, 89 S. Ct. 1109, 22 L. Ed. 2d 344 (1969). Only after the procedures outlined in the Act "have been exhausted without yielding resolution of the dispute" may the disputants resort to self-help. Id. The procedures outlined in the Act not having been exhausted, we conclude that the unions may not resort to self-help and may therefore be enjoined from striking. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Akron & B.B.R. Co., 128 U.S. App. D.C. 59, 91, 385 F.2d 581, 613 (1967).
(6) Section 8 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act does not prevent this Court from enjoining the unions from striking. Section 8 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act provides that a federal court shall not grant a restraining order or injunction in a labor dispute where the complainant "has failed to comply with any obligation imposed by law which is involved in the labor dispute in question." 29 U.S.C. § 108 (1964). It is equally clear that a party to a dispute under the Railway Labor Act may not resort to self-help until he has exhausted the procedures outlined in the Act, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Jacksonville Terminal Co., supra, and that injunctive relief is sometimes required to "vindicate the processes of the Railway Labor Act." Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Chicago River & Indiana R.R. Co., 353 U.S. 30, 41, 1 L. Ed. 2d 622, 77 S. Ct. 635 (1957). In the instant case, there is an apparent conflict between the dictates of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which seemingly precludes the granting of injunctive relief requested by a plaintiff whom we have concluded has not bargained in the way contemplated by the Railway Labor Act, and the Railway Labor Act, which requires the enjoining of a strike by defendants who have not exhausted the procedures outlined in the Act. We cannot resolve the conflict by holding that the Norris-LaGuardia Act is not relevant to railway disputes, for it has been held that Section 8 is clearly applicable to actions to enjoin violations of the Railway Labor Act. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Akron & B.B.R. Co., 128 U.S. App. D.C. 59, 92, 385 F.2d 581, 614 (1967). Yet it has also been held that where the provisions of the two Acts conflict, the more specific provisions of the Railway Labor Act take precedence over the more general provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act. Virginian Ry. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515, 563, 81 L. Ed. 789, 57 S. Ct. 592 (1937). And our own Court of Appeals has outlined the approach to take in analyzing such a conflict: "It may be that in a particular case the District Court might conclude that the imperatives of the Railway Labor Act override Section 8-a statutory focusing so to speak of an equity approach whereby lack of clean hands may be overcome by a balancing of interests, particularly where it is the public interest involved." Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Akron & B.B.R. Co., supra. This is such a case. "If, as the Supreme Court said in the Chicago River case [ 353 U.S. 30, 77 S. Ct. 635, 1 L. Ed. 2d 622 (1957) supra ], the provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act and the Railway Labor Act must be accommodated 'so that the obvious purpose in the enactment of each is preserved,' it follows that a strike of a union which has refused to comply with its mandatory duties . . . is illegal and can be enjoined by the courts notwithstanding the provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act. . . . The legislative history tends to support the view that (1) it was contemplated in the original Railway Labor Act that the remedy of injunction against strikes and lockouts was not barred prior to the exhaustion of the procedures set forth in the act, and (2) the Norris-LaGuardia Act did not contemplate precluding such injunctive relief." American Airlines, Inc. v. Air Line Pilots Ass'n., International, 169 F. Supp. 777, 788-89 (S.D.N.Y. 1958). "It is well settled that injunctive relief may be granted to vindicate the processes of the [Railway Labor] Act regardless of the provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act. [Citations omitted.] Thus, parties to a major dispute, while free to resort to a strike following the exhaustion of the mandatory processes of the Act, . . . may be enjoined from striking prior to the exhaustion of such processes." Pan American World Airways v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 275 F. Supp. 986, 999-1000 (S.D.N.Y. 1967). On the basis of the foregoing, we conclude that injunctive relief to compel compliance with the positive mandates of the Railway Labor Act is not barred by the restrictions of Section 8 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act. Since the purpose of Section 8 is to effectuate the traditional equity policy of the "clean hands" doctrine, our conclusion that Section 8 is no bar to an injunction is reinforced by our earlier finding that the crucial issue is not whether the parties bargained in good faith but that both bargained in reliance on incorrect legal premises. We further conclude that, upon "a balancing of interests, particularly . . . the public interest," Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Akron & B.B.R. Co., 128 U.S. App. D.C. 59, 92, 385 F.2d 581, 614 (1967), the injunction must issue "in order to avoid any interruption to commerce or to the operation of any carrier," the very purpose of the Railway Labor Act. 45 U.S.C. § 152 (1964).
The Court having entered its findings of fact and conclusions of law, it is this 9th day of April, 1969.
Ordered that Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction be and is hereby granted, and that defendants, the Presidents, Executive Councils, General Chairmen and other officers of any of the defendants, the agents, employees and members of any of the defendants, and all persons acting in concert with them be and are hereby restrained from authorizing, calling, encouraging, permitting or engaging in any strikes or work stoppages and from picketing the premises of plaintiff, and it is
Further ordered that said preliminary injunction shall be in force until such time as the parties to this lawsuit have bargained within the dictates of the Railway Labor Act and the conclusions of law contained herein, and until the procedures of the Railway Labor Act have been fully exhausted, and it is
Further Ordered that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be and is hereby denied without prejudice.
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