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1199DC

May 14, 1975

1199DC, National Union Of Hospital And Health Care Employees, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
National Union Of Hospital And Health Care Employees, Defendant


Sirica, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIRICA

SIRICA, D.J.:

 This matter comes before the Court on the defendant's motion to dismiss and the plaintiffs' opposition thereto. Both parties filed memoranda setting forth their positions, and the Court heard oral arguments on the motion on May 5, 1975. Thereafter the motion was taken under advisement.

 The defendant has moved to dismiss the complaint arguing lack of jurisdiction, exhaustion, and failure to state a claim. The Court has concluded that the statutes invoked do not confer jurisdiction over the matters in dispute.

 I. Background

 Within the structure of the NUHHCE there are units officially designated "Districts" which are self-sustaining local entities comprised of union members. The self-sustaining aspect of a District appears to be significant for Article IX of the NUHHCE constitution provides, in part, that:

 
In establishing a District, the National Union shall be guided by general criteria as to whether there are a sufficient number of members in the proposed area to constitute a self-sustaining and viable organization capable of functioning to serve the interests of its members.

 Members of the NUHHCE not living within the boundaries of any "District" are "members-at-large" of the National Union and may be carried in that status for two years. By the end of two years, however, such memberships must be transferred to the nearest District or a new District must be created. Article X, § 5 NUHHCE Constitution. It appears that the plaintiff 1199DC was established as a transition unit (not a District) to serve the members-at-large in the Washington, D.C. area. After several years of operation it included 500-600 members. (The exact number is disputed, but it is clear that there were substantially fewer than the 6000 or so members that comprise the Baltimore District, 1199E.) On July 23-24, 1974, the Executive Board of the NUHHCE unanimously voted to transfer the memberships-at-large in the 1199DC unit to District 1199E, the nearest District.

 The plaintiffs complain that in so doing the defendant violated Articles III and IX of the NUHHCE constitution. Those provisions give the Executive Board of the National Union authority to alter the boundaries of an existing District "subject to the approval of the members involved." Plaintiffs allege that neither the members of 1199DC nor the members of 1199E were allowed to vote on the transfer. The defendant, on the other hand, claims by affidavit that those provisions were properly interpreted by the Executive Board (pursuant to Article V, § 6 of the constitution which gives the Board the right to interpret the constitution) as giving only members of the existing District the right to vote on the change in District boundaries, and that the members of 1199E did approve of the transfer. (Affidavit of Leon J. Davis, filed May 5, 1975).

 II. The Labor Management Relations Act

 The defendant states, in his motion to dismiss, that the plaintiffs have failed to state a cause of action under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 141, 185) and that, therefore, the Court should dismiss this case for lack of jurisdiction.

 Plaintiffs respond to this statement, arguing that this Court properly has jurisdiction since the complaint alleges that the defendant has violated the contract between the defendant and plaintiffs and that this violation has resulted in violations of the employer-defendant contracts as well.


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