not have to aid in the dissemination of plaintiffs' opposition to the contract where the union did not include any letter in the ballots urging ratification. However, the Knox County court stated that as the national magazine was the local's only source of access to the national membership, it was the "only reasonable avenue for effective communication of opposition to the new agreement," and the union was required to sell the ad space to the dissidents. Id. This supports plaintiffs' contention that as members of disparate locals, access to the mailing list is the only reasonable method for them to reach the national membership.
Defendants offer additional objections to granting plaintiffs the relief they seek here. First, they argue that Congress did not intend access to union mailing lists to be included among the rights enumerated under Title I of the LMRDA. They reach this conclusion based on the fact that such a right is specifically granted under Title IV of the Act, providing detailed rules concerning the conduct of elections for union officers. See 29 U.S.C. § 481(c). Because Congress included this right under LMRDA Title IV, defendants argue, Congress must have intentionally omitted it from Title I. This very argument has been expressly rejected by the Supreme Court in Hall v. Cole, supra, 412 U.S. at 10-11, 93 S. Ct. at 1948-49. See supra, part II(A).
Second, defendants argue that their refusal to permit access to a mailing list is a reasonable restriction on plaintiffs' free speech rights, as permitted in the proviso attached to Section 411(a)(2). If forced to grant plaintiffs this right, the union argues, it would have to grant access to the mailing list to anyone who requests it. The short and simple answer to this objection is that full participation in union affairs by the rank and file is precisely what Title I envisions. Crowley, supra, 467 U.S. at 537, 104 S. Ct. at 2563; Finnegan, supra, 456 U.S. at 441, 102 S. Ct. at 1873. Furthermore, the union may, under both Sections 411(a)(1) and (2), make reasonable rules concerning the schedule for filing materials to be mailed so that the mailings do not cause undue delay in voting.
Defendant Presser objects that union officials have an obligation under the LMRDA to act responsibly and communicate accurate information to the membership, a duty not shared by individual members. See, e.g., Newman v. Local 1101, Communications Workers of America, 570 F.2d 439, 445 (2d Cir.1978). Defendant Presser seems to argue that this duty extends to preventing individual members from circulating misleading information about a contract proposal. However, union officers also have a duty under Section 411(a)(2) not to suppress communication between the members, and a duty under Section 411(a)(1) to encourage full, fair and informed participation in union votes. That some of the information mailed may be inaccurate or misleading is no more relevant than if a member stood up at a local meeting and made a false statement about a proposed contract. Under its authority to make reasonable rules, the union may require the mailing to be clearly identified as to the source, so there would be no confusion as to who prepared the material.
Finally, as a practical matter, the "Pandora's Box" defendants fear would be opened by granting the relief plaintiffs seek would likely be a small one, in that any other members who desire to make a mailing must pay their own expenses, thus limiting the numbers who in reality will take advantage of this right.
Under the law of this circuit, union members' rights under Section 411(a) are to be read broadly. Mallick, supra, 749 F.2d at 786. Section 411(a)(1) guarantees each member a right to an equal and meaningful vote. Bunz, supra, 567 F.2d at 1121. As a practical matter, any proposed contract is viewed as having the approval of those who negotiated it, whether management or union leadership. Simply because the union chooses not to include an express endorsement of the contract does not preclude a finding that those who oppose it are discriminated against in a broad sense if they are prevented from disseminating their views in an effective manner.
The issue of whether union members were deprived of an adequate opportunity to become reasonably informed on the issues is properly analyzed under Section 411(a)(1). Bauman, supra, 117 LRRM at 2400 n. 35. Where, as here, the national membership is asked to approve supplementals affecting other regions, members of one region are deprived of an adequate opportunity to become reasonably informed on the issues before them if they cannot effectively communicate with members in another region. Certainly those affected by each supplemental pact are discriminated against if they do not have the mechanism for communicating with those who must approve the terms under which they work.
Section 411(a)(2), protecting a union member's free speech rights, is also to be given flexible application, Sadlowski, supra, 457 U.S. at 111 n. 4, 102 S. Ct. at 2345 n. 4, and encompasses the right to communicate effectively with other members concerning a vote put to the national membership. Murphy, supra, 774 F.2d at 131-32; Knox County, supra, 720 F.2d at 941; Dennis, supra, 625 F.2d at 827. The "LMRDA requires the union to give dissidents some means of reaching union members with their views. . . ." Murphy, supra, 774 F.2d at 131-32.
Due to the requirement that the national membership of the carhaulers approve supplemental contracts that affect only one region or job classification, it is essential that locals have the ability to communicate with one another concerning the impact of a proposed supplemental contract. Attendance at local membership meetings alone would not provide the inter-local communication necessary for a fully informed vote. In such a case, access to the union's national mailing list may be required to insure effective communication as guaranteed by Section 411(a)(2) and a meaningful vote under Section 411(a)(1). See Dennis, supra, 625 F.2d at 828; Blanchard, supra, 532 F.2d at 1078; Sheldon, supra, 497 F.2d at 1282.
Having determined that the right of access to the mailing list may be found under Section 411(a), the court must nonetheless determine whether the union's refusal to provide access is a reasonable rule. Sadlowski, supra, 457 U.S. at 111, 102 S. Ct. at 2345. Because of the narrowly tailored relief to be granted, the Court determines the union's refusal is unreasonable. The confidentiality of the mailing list would be protected by having the union submit the list to the mailing service of its choice. Sheldon, supra, 497 F.2d at 1282. By requiring only that the union provide the list for timely mailings to be paid for by the dissidents, and not requiring that the union actually include the dissidents' material in union mailings, union officials need not fear that the official ballots would be delayed or overburdened, or that they might be seen as sponsoring positions that are inimical to their duties as union officers.
In light of the foregoing, the Court will grant plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, and enter a limited order to the effect that defendants must make available the national union membership mailing list, by having plaintiffs submit their materials to a mailing service acceptable to defendants. Such a mailing should take place shortly before or contemporaneously with the mailing of any contract ratification ballots. Defendants will not be required, however, to include plaintiffs' materials in any ballot packet, and plaintiffs will be required to pay all expenses connected with the mailing of their materials.
Upon consideration of defendants' motions to dismiss and the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, opposition thereto, written submissions by the parties, oral argument in open Court and for the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum, it is by the Court this 11th day of June, 1986,
ORDERED that the motion by defendant International Brotherhood of Teamsters to dismiss this case as moot be, and hereby is, denied; and it is further
ORDERED that defendants' motions for summary judgment be, and hereby are, denied; and it is further
ORDERED that plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment be, and hereby is, granted, and that the Clerk shall enter judgment for plaintiffs as follows:
1. The Court declares that defendants violated 29 U.S.C. §§ 411(a)(1) and 411(a)(2) by denying plaintiffs' request to have a mailing service send, at their own expense, to all or part of the membership eligible to vote on the proposed National Automobile Transporters' Agreement, a statement of their views in opposition to the proposal.
2. The Court declares that, when defendants mail to the affected union members the ballots for ratification of a proposed collective bargaining agreement which they have negotiated, members opposed to the proposal are entitled under 29 U.S.C. §§ 411(a)(1) and 411(a)(2) to have materials expressing their views mailed before the ballots are mailed, or contemporaneously therewith, to all or a portion of the membership to whom the ballots are mailed, subject to the following conditions:
a) The mailing is done by a mailing service agreed upon by the parties that will protect the security of the mailing list;
b) The mailing is done at the members' own expense;