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INTERNATIONAL UNION, UAW v. NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK

April 19, 1984

INTERNATIONAL UNION, UAW, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION, INC., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY

 INTRODUCTION

 On May 1, 1973, plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that defendants violated § 101(a)(4) of the Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act (LMRDA) which prohibits interested employers from financing, encouraging or participating in actions by a union member against his union or union officers except as a party to the litigation. 29 U.S.C. § 411(a)(4) (1976). *fn1" Since the plaintiffs filed this action, this case has had a long history which includes several published decisions by this Court, two published decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and a pending appeal to the D.C. Circuit on the issue of the propriety of a jury demand in this matter. The Court presently has before it cross motions for summary judgment.

 In order to understand the nature and complexity of this case, it is necessary to briefly outline the litigation history of this case. The complaint was filed by the International Union of the United Automobile Workers of America and nine other labor unions to restrain defendants National Right to Work Committee ("the Committee") and National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation ("the Foundation") from financing and supporting legal actions brought by workers against the plaintiff unions as long as defendants continued to receive contributions and support from "interested employers." See International Union, UAW v. National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc., 366 F. Supp. 46, 47 (D.D.C. 1974). In addition, plaintiffs sought to require the Committee and the Foundation to file with the Secretary of Labor, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 433(b)(1), reports containing statements of any agreements or arrangements with contributing employers for the purpose of supporting any activities designed to affect the decisions of workers whether or how to exercise their rights to organize and bargain collectively. Id.

 In its first published opinion in this case, the Court held that the plaintiff unions were "persons" within the meaning of the LMRDA and therefore had standing to protect their right to be free from employee lawsuits supported by "interested" employers. 366 F. Supp. 46, 48 (D.D.C. 1974). Additionally, the Court held that the plaintiffs had standing to obtain enforcement of the reporting requirements of 29 U.S.C. § 433(b)(1). Id. at 49-50. Several months later, the Court interpreted § 411(a)(4) of the LMRDA to prohibit interested employers from financing any lawsuit by an employee against his union rather than just lawsuits where an employee alleges a violation arising under §§ 411(a) or (b) of the LMRDA. *fn2" See 376 F. Supp. 1060, 1064 (D.D.C. 1974). That same day, in an unpublished opinion, the Court granted plaintiffs' Motion to Compel the disclosure by the defendant Foundation of the amounts contributed to the Foundation by persons listed on its business advisory board, the names of 37 companies who had given more than $ 500 in 1972, and the names of 37 companies drawn at random from those contributing between $ 100 and $ 500 in 1972. See Memorandum Opinion of June 5, 1974. Defendants sought a writ of mandamus and asked the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to vacate the order compelling discovery, and dismiss the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or because of the alleged unconstitutionality of the statute's restriction on Foundation activities. The Court of Appeals held that mandamus would not lie. See 167 U.S. App. D.C. 18, 510 F.2d 1239 (D.C. Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 422 U.S. 1008, 95 S. Ct. 2631, 45 L. Ed. 2d 671 (1975). On January 26, 1976, the Court entered several Rule 37 sanction orders, because of the failure of the defendants to comply with the Court's orders to disclose to the plaintiff unions the names of their contributors. As the Court recognized in its published decision of June 2, 1977, 433 F. Supp. 474, 481 (D.D.C. 1977), these orders, which deemed established those facts that it would have been unjust and unfair to require plaintiffs to prove, established:

 
(I) That a majority of the financial contributors to the defendant Foundation are employers who (1) have contracts or other relationships with some of the plaintiff unions herein; (2) are in the same lines of business in which some of the plaintiff unions herein engage in organization; (3) have union security agreements of their own whose validity or operation may be affected by suits which the defendant Foundation is supporting; (4) have contributed to the anti-union activities of the defendant Committee; and (5) have in other ways manifested their opposition to organized labor.
 
(II) That such employers have a concrete interest in and would be affected by the lawsuits set forth by plaintiffs in their complaint.
 
(III) That a majority of the defendant Foundation's funds derive from the contributions of such employers.
 
(IV) That the financial contributions made by such employers to the Foundation have been given by the Foundation to the plaintiffs in the lawsuits set forth in the complaint for the purposes of financing and encouraging said litigation.
 
(V) The Foundation (aided by the Committee) has financed, encouraged, managed and participated (other than as a party) in suits instituted by employees and members of labor organizations, which challenge their financial obligations to the union which is their collective bargaining representative. In those activities, the Foundation has been acting as an agent and conduit for employers interested in promoting such suits in order to (1) promote their self-interest in restricting the permissible scope of legality of union security provisions to which they have agreed, been asked to agree, or expect to be required to agree; (2) weaken the dues resources of labor organizations with which they have or anticipate having collective bargaining or other relationships; and (3) generally establish legal limitations on union security and union political activities which enhance union strength vis-a-vis such employers.

 This Court held that the above facts established that the Foundation had violated § 411(a)(4) of the LMRDA. 433 F. Supp. at 481. In addition, however, the Court held that § 411(a)(4), as applied to the defendants, was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment rights of the Foundation and its contributors. 433 F. Supp. at 483. Finally, the Court held that the plaintiffs could not enforce the reporting requirements of § 433(b)(1) of the LMRDA through the use of a private right of action against the allegedly non-complying employers. Id.

 The plaintiffs appealed this decision to the D.C. Circuit which affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Circuit held that this Court properly determined that no private right of action existed under § 433(b)(1) of the LMRDA. 590 F.2d 1139, 1155 (D.C.Cir. 1978). With respect to § 411(a)(4), the D.C. Circuit did not reach the constitutional issue, but instead gave the interested employer provision a narrowing construction so that the provision would "not apply to legitimate activity of a bona fide, independent legal aid organization. . . ." See 590 F.2d at 1151. Since the D.C. Circuit felt that this Court "made no findings of undisputed fact concerning whether the Foundation is a bona fide, independent legal aid organization," 590 F.2d at 1151, the case was remanded to this Court for further development of the record on this issue. Finally, with respect to the Rule 37 sanction orders entered by this Court, the D.C. Circuit held that the unions should have been required to attempt to seek the contributors' names from other sources before the Foundation was compelled to release that information. As such, the Rule 37 sanction orders were vacated. 590 F.2d at 1153.

 Following the decision of the Court of Appeals, plaintiff unions sought discovery, and obtained information from alternative sources. On March 31, 1983, this Court denied a motion for summary judgment made by defendants, denied plaintiffs' renewed request for the discovery of constitutionally protected information, and ordered the defendants to answer all questions in discovery to which constitutional objections had not been interposed. 559 F. Supp. 569 (D.D.C. 1983).

 After additional discovery proceedings, both plaintiffs and defendants moved for summary judgment. On August 31, 1983, this Court, upon motion by all parties, suspended the trial schedule in this case, until the disposition of the cross-motions for summary judgment. Both plaintiffs and defendants agree that the case should be disposed of through the entering of summary judgment. See Joint Motion For Suspension of Trial Schedule, filed August 29, 1983. Such is the task for this Court, and after careful consideration of the cross-motions for summary judgment, the respective oppositions ...


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