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DIZE v. AMALGAMATED COUNCIL OF GREYHOUND LOCAL UNI

April 15, 1988

William Dize, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Amalgamated Council Of Greyhound Local Unions, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PENN

 JOHN GARRETT PENN, United States District Judge.

 The plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and approximately 1400 former bus drivers who were employed by Trailways Lines, Inc. (Trailways), filed this action on December 23, 1987. They seek to enjoin the Amalgamated Council of Greyhound Local Unions (Council), in conjunction with the other defendants, Greyhound Lines, Inc. (Greyhound), GLI Acquisition Company (GLIAC), and GLI Holding Company (GLI), from continuing to violate its duty of fair representation owed to the plaintiffs after the merger of Trailways and Greyhound.

 The case is now before the Court for approval of the Decision of the Special Master (Decision) filed on January 25, 1988, the motion for leave to intervene filed by Local 1202, the motion for leave to intervene filed by R.P. Evans and other original Greyhound drivers, the motion filed by R.P. Evans and other Greyhound drivers to modify the January 4, 1988 referral to the Special Master and to restore the status quo, the motion of Amalgamated Transit Union to file and participate as Amicus Curiae and several other motions including GLI's motion to strike and for sanctions.

 After giving careful consideration to the Decision and the various motions filed in this case, the Court concludes that the motions to intervene filed by Local 1202, and R.P. Evans and other original Greyhound drivers should be denied, but the Court accepts their participation as Amicus Curiae; the motion of Amalgamated Transit Union to appear as Amicus Curiae is granted; the motion to modify the referral to the Special Master filed by R.P. Evans and other original Greyhound drivers is denied. The briefs filed by the movants will be treated as having been filed as Amicus Curiae. All other motions are denied. The Decision of the Special Master is accepted as filed and is entered as the final order of the Court.

 I

 On or about March 19, 1987, GLI as successor to the original Greyhound Company, recognized the Council as the exclusive bargaining representative of its then newly hired GLI bus drivers. At that time, GLI and the Council agreed that the seniority of the former Greyhound drivers, GLI's new hires, should date back to the first day of their employment with the original Greyhound Company.

 Plaintiffs state that the recognition of seniority based on the former Greyhound drivers date of hire by the original Greyhound Company was critical to the membership of the Council since the opportunity to bid on run assignments and otherwise obtain and retain work, among other things, is governed by seniority. Seniority determines where, when, and how a driver works. Seniority determines where the driver lives, when the driver may see his or her family, and the amount, extent and regularity of the driver's earnings. New hires lack sufficient seniority to obtain work on regular runs, are subject to seasonal layoffs, and usually work as substitute drivers with assignment from what is called the "extraboard." Plaintiffs contend, apparently without contradiction, that new hires are limited to minimal earnings.

 Upon purchase of Trailways, GLI recognized the Council as the exclusive bargaining representative of the plaintiff class; thus plaintiffs contend that the Council assumed the statutory duty to represent the plaintiff class fairly and evenly with all other drivers in the GLI collective bargaining unit.

 The plaintiff class began work for GLI on and after July 14, 1987 with the Trailways date of hire seniority intact and fully recognized. After that date, GLI commenced negotiations with the Council on the subject of the retention of seniority then accorded to the plaintiff class. GLI proposed in the negotiation that the plaintiff class, with certain minor modifications, have their Trailways date of hire seniority made permanent. The GLI proposal would have accorded the former Trailways drivers the same seniority treatment that the former Greyhound drivers had been accorded four months earlier, thus merging the Trailways and Greyhound seniority lists in a system called "dovetailing."

 The plaintiffs contend that the Council "arbitrarily refused" to agree to the proposal which would have dovetailed the seniority lists. Plaintiffs state that the Council countered with a demand for contract concessions in wages and benefits estimated by GLI to cost more than 30 million dollars as the price for some limited form of seniority recognition for the plaintiff class. Finally, the dovetailing proposals were abandoned and GLI proposed another form of seniority protection for the plaintiff class. It is alleged that the Council rejected that plan as well and that the Council insisted upon "endtailing." Endtailing refers to a system under which seniority of the Trailways drivers would be determined from July 14, 1987, the date Trailways was acquired by GLI. Plaintiffs note that the GLI proposal was rejected on November 10, 1987, "when an overwhelming majority of members with pre-hire Greyhound seniority, at the urging of some elected officers, voted it down." Complaint par. 18.

 In their complaint, the plaintiffs ask that the Court issue a permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from implementing the new seniority rosters and work assignments endtailing the plaintiff class, award the plaintiff class their lost wages and future wages, reinstate seniority and wages to plaintiffs and award the members of the class the sum of $ 25,000 each. *fn2"

 II

 In Part I, supra, the Court set forth the factual allegations made by the plaintiffs which are essentially undisputed. Here, the Court sets forth the background of this litigation and the agreements entered into by the parties.

 When the plaintiffs filed their complaint, they also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order. The Court, with the agreement of the parties, did not entertain the motion for a temporary restraining order, but instead scheduled a hearing on plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction for January 4, 1988. See Order filed December 28, 1987.

 Prior to the January 4th hearing, the Court was informally advised by the parties that the parties had tentatively agreed to a procedure for handling the case which would have the Court approve and enter a Consent Order appointing a Special Master to consider this case. At the January 4th hearing, counsel for the parties advised the Court that the parties had entered into an agreement under which the case was to be referred to a Special Master, Lawrence E. Seibel, *fn3" to determine certain issues. The parties agreed to share the expenses of the Special Master. The plaintiffs also presented an unopposed motion for class certification.

 At the hearing, the parties presented the Court with the Stipulation of the Parties (Stipulation) which was signed on behalf of all parties. In the Stipulation, the parties agreed that the Court should appoint Mr. Seibel as Special Master to determine two issues raised in the case. First, under "all the circumstances of this case, did the Union [Council] violate its duty of fair representation under federal labor law." Second, if the Special Master found that the Counsel did violate its duty of fair representation, "how should seniority fairly be allocated between the Greyhound and Trailways drivers on one integrated seniority list." The Stipulation set forth a procedure to be used before the Special Master. All parties to the case were to participate in the proceedings and the record was to consist of the record in the instant case and the record in GLI Holding Company v. Amalgamated Council of Greyhound Local Unions, Civil No. 87-2144 (D.D.C.), hereinafter sometimes referred to as the GLI Holding Company case. *fn4" The Stipulation provided for the presentation of evidence before the Special Master and set forth the dates and place for hearing and the dates for specified action. It provided that the Special Master was to file his final decision on or before January 25, 1988. It also provided that the decision of the Special Master was to become "effective immediately." In addition, it provided that: "In no event shall the Special Master's award impose damages, costs, or fees on any of the parties." On January 25, 1988, the Special Master was to file his Decision for review by the Court. The Stipulation was approved, signed and filed by the Court on January 4, 1988.

 Pursuant to the agreement of the parties and the Stipulation, the Court signed and filed a Consent Order on January 4, 1988. The Consent Order provides, in part, that "the award of the Special Master shall constitute a final settlement and resolution of this controversy binding upon all parties to this litigation pending final approval of the Court." Consent Order, par. 6. The Consent Order provides also that the Court shall review the award of the Special Master "to ensure that it is consistent with [the Consent Order]."

 After the Special Master filed his Decision, the Court entered an Order based upon the Agreed Motion for Class Certification filed by the parties on January 29, 1988. In that order, the Court made the requisite findings and ...


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