15. Thereafter, on December 7, 1978, Brink's filed the present complaint seeking among other things that the Richmond Bank be required to adhere to the Service Contract Act and that Brink's West Virginia contract with the Bank remain in effect pending final disposition of the action. As authority, Brink's relied in part on a September 26, 1978, opinion issued by the Assistant Attorney General on behalf of the Attorney General concluding that "the Federal Reserve Banks are subject to the provisions of the Service Contract Act." The opinion, which was in the form of a letter to the Secretary of Labor, noted that the Labor Department and the Federal Reserve Banks had been trying unsuccessfully for some months to reach agreement on the issue. While Brink's had maintained since early 1977 that the Act applies to the Reserve Banks, the Richmond Bank's General Counsel was not aware of Brink's position until October 20, 1978, less than two months before Brink's brought this action.
16. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was permitted to intervene as party plaintiff (hereafter Brink's and the Teamsters will be referred to as "plaintiffs"), and on December 8, 1978, the plaintiffs were granted a temporary restraining order which continued Brink's contract due to expire that day through December 19, 1978, which date has since been extended to January 11, 1979.
17. On January 3, 1979, plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction was argued extensively by the parties. The United States, which was permitted to intervene, contended that neither the Brink's nor the Wells Fargo contract in question contained the representations and stipulations required by the Act and indeed this is conceded by the plaintiffs.
18. Both Brink's and Wells Fargo have filed affidavits claiming that they will sustain economic harm if not permitted to provide the service to West Virginia. Brink's claims that some 15 employees will lose their jobs and that the company will suffer economic harm if its contract is not continued. Wells Fargo has made the necessary preparations, including the hiring of employees and purchase of equipment, and claims that it is now ready to begin performance.
Conclusions of Law
1. The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 41 U.S.C. § 351 Et seq., and 5 U.S.C. § 701 Et seq.
2. As set forth in Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. FPC, 104 U.S.App.D.C. 106, 259 F.2d 921 (1958), the Court must consider four factors in determining whether to grant a preliminary injunction: 1) has movant made a strong showing that it is likely to prevail on the merits; 2) has movant shown that irreparable injury will follow denial of injunctive relief; 3) would a stay substantially harm other parties; and 4) where lies the public interest? If the last three factors strongly favor injunctive relief, the Court may issue a stay if the movant has made a substantial case on the merits. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Comm'n v. Holiday Tours, 182 U.S.App.D.C. 220, 559 F.2d 841 (1977).
3. Likelihood of success on the merits.
While the plaintiffs have made a fairly strong showing that the Service Contract Act should be made applicable to the Richmond Bank, (See September 26, 1978, Opinion on behalf of Attorney General), neither the Brink's nor the Wells Fargo contract complies with the Act.
Plaintiffs' very likelihood of a favorable ruling on the issue of the Act's applicability to the Bank militates against their being permitted to continue performing under their current nonconforming contract.
4. Irreparable injury and harm to other parties.
Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate that irreparable injury will follow the denial of a preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs argue that the jobs of some 15 employees will be jeopardized if not ended if Brink's contract does not remain in effect and that the company will suffer economic hardship. The same argument can be made, however, with respect to Wells Fargo. It has hired employees who are ready to begin work and whose livelihoods are also at issue and Wells Fargo itself will suffer economic injury if not permitted to perform. Furthermore, Brink's cannot now argue that it is unprepared for the termination of the West Virginia contract since it was a party to its terms, specifically agreeing to the 90 day termination provision, which the Bank exercised on September 7. Brink's has known since the outset that the contract was a temporary one subject to termination when Wells Fargo obtained the necessary ICC authority.
5. The public interest does not favor either plaintiffs or Wells Fargo. The public does have an interest in uninterrupted armored car service of coin and currency between Virginia and West Virginia which will occur whether Brink's or Wells Fargo provides the service.
6. Plaintiffs are also not entitled to a preliminary injunction under the doctrine of laches. Brink's has been of the position since early 1977 that the Service Contract Act applied to the Richmond Bank and has been aware of the Attorney General's similar conclusion for several months, yet Brink's did not seek relief from the Court until December 7, 1978, the day after the Court of Appeals vacated its stay of Wells Fargo's temporary ICC authority. Furthermore, Brink's failed to notify the Bank, for well over a year, of its position that the Act applied to the Bank's contract.
7. Plaintiffs are also estopped from obtaining equitable relief by the doctrine of unclean hands. They continue to profit from contracts with the Bank which were negotiated in the same manner as the challenged contract, not pursuant to the provisions of the Service Contract Act. See Neal-Cooper Grain Co. v. Kissinger, 385 F. Supp. 769, 778 (D.D.C.1974). Furthermore, none of the parties contemplated that the Act applied to the Bank when it awarded the challenged contract to Wells Fargo.