The next document that was executed on February 26, 1962, is an agreement that has been called throughout the trial as a financial agreement between the two parties. It was stipulated that the total amount advanced and loaned by the International Union to District 50 equalled the aggregate sum of $23,171,966.88, and that during the same period of time District 50 had paid to the International Union the total aggregate sum of $14,372,566.81. It was further agreed that there remained due from the defendant to the plaintiff the sum of $8,799,400.07. It was agreed that the last mentioned amount should be represented by a note to be given by the defendant to the plaintiff. The note was not to bear interest and was to be paid in monthly installments at the rate of forty cents per member per month.
The third document executed simultaneously with the first two was a promissory note running from the defendant to the plaintiff for the sum of $8,799,400.07 payable as just stated and bearing no interest. The note contained a provision that if default be made in the payment of any monthly installment, the principal should at the election of the holder at once become due and payable.
When the documents were executed one of the defendant's officers expressed a doubt as to defendant's ability to make the payment of forty cents per member per month regularly. The President of the plaintiff union, Thomas Kennedy, replied that if any difficulty arose the defendant might request some relief. In fact, later the officers of the defendant union requested of the plaintiff a moratorium of several months. They continued payments on the note until sometime in 1964. They listed the note as an obligation in their annual reports to the Secretary of Labor. It is clear, therefore, that the defendant right along recognized the note as constituting a valid and binding obligation.
A statement made by Mr. Lewis after he had retired and had become President Emeritus was introduced in evidence in an effort to show that the indebtedness was a mere paper debt, not intended to be repaid. As heretofore indicated, Mr. Lewis contemporaneously treated each advance as a loan and expressly designated it as such. Were there any inconsistency between them, the contemporaneous statements made by him while he was active president should be preferred over a statement made years later after he had retired. Actually, however, it is far from clear that there is any inconsistency. The later statement is merely a recommendation that leniency be extended to the defendant and is not an unequivocal expression that the debt did not exist. In fact, the purport of the statement was advice to continue advances to the defendant. Mr. Lewis' successors, however, declined to follow that recommendation.
The conclusion is inescapable that the note constitutes a valid obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff. The two organizations with the growth of District 50 were rapidly coming to a parting of the ways. A cleavage, among other things, arose in the philosophy of the two groups. The defendant announced an espousal of nuclear energy. The plaintiff deemed this position as being inimical to the coal industry. Other differences arose, as well as some personality clashes. The defendant, starting as the protege of the plaintiff, was asserting its independence. On March 25, 1966 the defendant's Executive Board adopted a formal resolution repudiating the note. It had ceased making any payments two years previously.
As previously stated, the Court reaches the conclusion that the promissory note, which is the subject matter of one of the two actions is a binding obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff. Judgment will be entered in favor of the plaintiff against the defendant for the balance due on the note amounting to $8,000,664.27.
In its counterclaim the defendant seeks an accounting of assets belonging to it which it claims to have come into the possession of the plaintiff. This counterclaim is not sustained by the evidence. There is no evidence that any assets belonging to the defendant came into the plaintiff's possession and consequently the counterclaim will be dismissed.
The second action is brought for an injunction against the use by District 50 of the words "United Mine Workers" in its title. It will be recalled that the affiliation agreement of February 26, 1962, contained a termination clause empowering either party to terminate the agreement upon 30 days' notice. On March 6, 1968, the plaintiff passed a resolution directing its officers to give written notice to the defendant of a termination of the affiliation agreement. This termination became effective April 6, 1968.
It is claimed by counsel for the defendant that the severance of this relation is invalid. Counsel seeks to invoke the principle that a union may not expel a component local unit except on charges and after a fair hearing. This principle no doubt exists, but it is not applicable to the instant case. The defendant is not a member or a component unit of the plaintiff union. The two unions are independent bodies. They are equals allied by an affiliation agreement. This relation is emphasized by the provisions of Paragraph II of the Articles of Affiliation to which reference has already been made. Paragraph II reads as follows:
"Each party hereto recognizes the other as a separate, distinct and independent labor organization, each international in scope, each party in behalf of its own separate membership operating under and in accordance with the terms and provisions of its own Constitution, functioning and conducting its affairs separately, individually and apart each from the other through its own respective officers and administrative subdivisions."
This agreement is signed by three officers of each of the two groups and in addition to that by the members of the Executive Board of District 50.
The affiliation agreement contained a termination clause. The Court perceives no invalidity in that clause in view of the relation between the two groups. Plaintiff validly exercised its termination privilege. The alliance is at an end. The defendant may no longer use the name "United Mine Workers of America" and a permanent injunction against the defendant's use of these words in its title will be granted.
The transcript of this decision will constitute the findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Counsel will submit appropriate judgments.
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