The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRYANT
This matter is now before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion For Preliminary Injunction and defendants' Motion To Dismiss, and the respective oppositions thereto. The action was transferred to this Court from the United States District Court For The Western District of Pennsylvania, where it was originally filed. A temporary restraining order was entered by the Honorable Joseph C. Waddy of this Court on April 16, 1976, enjoining the defendants from initiating the challenged procedure pending a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction. That hearing was held on April 20, 1976, at which time Trucking Employers, Inc. was permitted to intervene in the case as a party defendant under Rule 24(a), F.R.C.P. The temporary restraining order was also extended at that hearing, to remain in effect until further order of the Court. For the reasons outlined below, the Court denies plaintiffs' motion and grants defendants' motion, dismissing the case.
Plaintiffs, members of various local unions of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, seek in this action to prevent the defendant international union (hereafter "Teamsters") from conducting a ratification vote on the newly-negotiated contract with the trucking industry covering the period 1976-1979. Under the ratification procedure currently contemplated, the union will mail ballots (which mailing is currently enjoined) to each member of a "freight" local (i.e. employees of companies with freight operations and therefore covered by the new agreement.) The ballots allow members to vote either yes or no, and are tallied on a cumulative national basis; the contract is approved if over fifty percent of those voting nationwide cast "yes" ballots. The plaintiffs object to this ratification procedure because, they claim, the contract itself is not a truly national contract, but rather a national agreement and some thirty-two independent supplemental agreements, each covering a separate geographic area. Plaintiffs allege that according to the union constitution and federal law they have the right therefore to ratify the supplemental area agreement covering them independently of the national, uniform portion of the contract, and ask the Court to enforce that right by way of declaratory and injunctive relief.
Plaintiffs' legal attack is three-pronged. First, they assert that under section 101(a) of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (Landrum-Griffin Act), 29 U.S.C. § 411(a)(1), they are being denied equality in voting rights and are being discriminated against because they cannot separately vote on the national and local portions of the contract. This claim is based on their interpretation of the union constitution and on their rights under the Act itself. Secondly, they allege that defendant Fitzsimmons is violating his fiduciary duties under section 501(a) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. § 501(a), by failing to accord them the political right of separate ratification which they claim is compelled by the union constitution. Finally, plaintiffs claim defendants have breached their contractual obligations to permit the separate ratification guaranteed by the union constitution, in violation of section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 158(a), for which plaintiffs seek relief under section 301(a) of that Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a). Defendants contest all of plaintiffs' claims and have moved to dismiss the action pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and (6) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
I. The Section 101 Claims
On April 3, 1976, following a three-day nationwide strike by the Teamsters against the trucking industry, and as a result of successful personal mediation by the Secretary of Labor, the two groups reached a tentative settlement and agreement on a new "National Master Freight Agreement" for the three years commencing on April 1, 1976. It is the proper characterization of that agreement as it relates to the union constitution that is the principal issue in this case. Article XVI of the Teamsters' constitution provides in relevant part as follows:
Area, Multi-Area or National, Company-wide or Industry-wide Contracts
Section 4(a). If a majority of the affiliated Local Unions vote for area, multi-area or national, company-wide or industry-wide negotiations for an area, national, company-wide or industry-wide contract, all involved affiliated Local Unions shall be bound by such vote, must participate in such area, multi-area or national, company-wide or industry-wide bargaining and shall be bound by the contract approved as provided below. Upon completion of negotiations by a conference, Trade Division, or by any Committee appointed by the General President, subject to the approval of the General Executive Board, to engage in negotiation of an industry, area, multi-area or national or company-wide contract, such contract shall be submitted to the membership covered by said contract proposal for their approval or rejection.
If a majority of the votes cast by Local Union members voting approve such contract it shall become binding and effective upon all Local Unions involved and their members.
The General President, subject to the approval of the General Executive Board, shall have the authority to appoint negotiating committees and establish procedures for the negotiation of area, multi-area or national, company-wide and industry-wide agreements and for the submission of such negotiated agreements to the membership covered by the proposed contract for approval or rejection, and to do all things necessary to implement the enforcement of such agreements and compliance by Local Unions with the provisions of this Article and the procedures established thereunder.
Such negotiating committees shall have the authority, with the approval of the General Executive Board, to conduct contract ratification votes and strike votes on such area, multi-area or national, company-wide, industry-wide, or Local Union basis as the committee shall determine, and in the event the strike is authorized, the said committee shall have the authority, with the approval of the General Executive Board, to direct that the strike be conducted on such area, multi-area or national, company-wide, industry-wide, Local Union or such other selective basis as the committee shall determine; provided, however, that the results of ratification or rejection votes with respect to national agreements shall be determined on a cumulative basis of all votes cast by all affected voting members in all areas, . . . .
This Article shall be broadly interpreted to carry out the intent and purpose of permitting national negotiations and national agreements in any industry in which the ...