In substance our position is that when Congress thus guaranteed for the first time to the postal employees a statutory right of freedom of choice of representatives for purposes of collective bargaining, it was not an invidious discrimination during the transitional period to accord the right of exclusive representation to the defendant unions. In the aftermath of a very serious postal workers strike, Congress built into the Act a transitional bargaining mechanism designed smoothly to incorporate with some modification the status quo in labor representation among the postal employees. While this may be open to criticism as an inaccurate reflection of the appropriate bargaining units, resolution of that question is reserved by the Act to the National Labor Relations Board. For the interim period, the goal is a reasonable method of transition from limited postal worker participation to fullblown labor management relations characteristic of privately-owned enterprise.
Accordingly, we have declined to grant plaintiffs the right to participate in negotiations under Section 10 of the Act with the Postmaster General, and to process grievances of its members, except as they may be entitled to do under Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (N.L.R.A.), 29 U.S.C. § 159(a).
The plaintiff Alliance's rights to address new employees during the interim period, however, stands on a different footing. Defendants maintain that this court lacks jurisdiction to pass on this portion of plaintiffs' complaint. An attempted exclusion of Alliance from seeking new members is arguably an unfair labor practice proscribed by § 7 and § 8 of the N.L.R.A. Ordinarily, the court would not take any decisional action with respect to that matter, in deference to the primary jurisdiction of the NLRB in developing and maintaining a uniform national labor relations policy. See, e.g., Motor Coach Employees v. Lockridge, 403 U.S. 274, 91 S. Ct. 1909, 29 L. Ed. 2d 473 (1971); San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236, 79 S. Ct. 773, 3 L. Ed. 2d 775 (1959). However, the present Act's two-stage congressional scheme does not indicate to us that Congress intended exclusive primary jurisdiction to lie with the NLRB now to interpret Section 10 of the Act, which is the authority that allows, and defines the scope of, the interim Agreement which was entered into by defendant unions not chosen by the employees under the procedures of the N.L.R.A. We construe Section 6 of Article XVII of the Agreement as not to preclude plaintiff Alliance, on request, from being accorded by defendant Postmaster General reasonable opportunity, commensurate with the opportunity accorded defendant unions, to address new employees to seek new members during the transitional period. We accordingly modify our restraining order of September 23, 1971, and our order of December 1, 1971, by providing now that defendants, their agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and all persons in active concert and participation with them be, and they hereby are restrained from implementing or enforcing said Section 6 except as above interpreted by this court. We take this position because we think it would be inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the Act to construe said Section not to afford Alliance a fair opportunity in this manner to seek to maintain a healthy life during the transitional period, enabling it more fully to compete for ultimate recognition as exclusive representative in appropriate units before the National Labor Relations Board in future proceedings authorized or required by the Act. To preserve this opportunity in Alliance does not in our opinion invalidly affect the present collective bargaining rights of defendant unions under the Agreement.
Subject to compliance with the above position of the court with respect to the subject matter of Article XVII, Section 6, of the Agreement, the motion for summary judgment of the defendants is granted, and of the plaintiffs is denied.
It is so ordered.