of the removal of plaintiffs from their union offices by defendants. Previously, in an opinion dated June 29, 1993, this court denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. In the related case, Civil Action Number 93-1970, this court denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction in an opinion dated November 16, 1993.
Following discovery, defendants have now moved for summary judgment on all counts of both complaints, and plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment on Count I of their second complaint (Civ. No. 93-1970). In this consolidated opinion, upon consideration of the parties' submissions and the relevant law, for the reasons set forth below, the court shall grant defendants' motion for summary judgment on all counts of Civil Action Number 93-1970, and on counts one through five and seven of the amended complaint in Civil Action Number 93-1054. The court shall also dismiss count six of plaintiffs' amended complaint for failing to state a proper claim. Accordingly, the court shall deny plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on count one of their complaint in Civil Action Number 93-1970. Finally, the court shall deny plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint in Civil Action Number 93-1970.
A. Internal Structure of the Teamsters
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a labor organization made up of the International Union and its affiliates, that is, the local unions, multi-state conferences, trade divisions, and members. The International Union is the parent organization that functions as an umbrella for coordinated action by the local affiliates. The officers of the International Union are the General President, the Secretary-Treasurer, and seventeen Vice-Presidents who make up the GEB, the decision-making arm of the International. Defendant Carey won the election for General President in 1991 on a "reform" platform.
Each of the local unions and state conferences is a separate labor organization with its own constitution, bylaws, officers, and dues structure. These local unions and state conferences band together by region to form five major Area Conferences: Eastern, Central, Western, Southern, and Canadian Conferences. The Central Conference of Teamsters ("CCT") is the largest and most influential, as it represents more than one-third of the entire membership.
The Area Conferences are also separate labor organizations. They are governed by committees whose members are elected at an Area Conference convention by vote of the local unions within the covered geographical area. The Central Conference of Teamsters' Policy Committee governs the Central Conference. Plaintiff Jack Yager is the former chairperson of the CCT and the former chairperson of the Policy Committee of the CCT. Yager ardently supported Carey's opponent in the 1991 elections.
The International also maintains twelve trade divisions that serve local unions and are organized along industry lines such as the freight, auto transport, and beverage and soft drink industries. The trade divisions are not separate labor organizations, but they are staff bodies organized jointly by the International and the area conferences to advise and assist local unions in multi-area or multi-employer "Master Agreements," collective bargaining, and contract administration. The Automobile Transport Division, also known as the "Car Haul" division, is the trade division relevant to this case. Plaintiff Brendan Kaiser is the former Chairperson and Director of the CCT Car Haul Division.
B. The NMATA and the Joint Committee
Many local unions within the Central Conference are signatories to a Car Haul Master Agreement known as the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement ("NMATA") and its Central-Southern Area Conference Supplement.
Pursuant to the NMATA, the Central and Southern Conferences, along with the relevant employers, formed the Central-Southern Areas Automobile Transporters Joint Arbitration Committee ("Joint Committee") to adjust grievances for all local members situated within the thirteen states of the Central Conference and the nine states of the Southern Conference.
The Joint Committee is a grievance panel that is staffed by an equal number of representatives from the Conferences' local unions and from the employers who are parties to collective bargaining agreements with those local unions. This panel hears regionally significant grievances in the car haul industry not settled at the local level. The Joint Committee is co-chaired by a representative from the employers (the "Employer Chair") and a representative from the union (the "Union Chair").
C. The Dispute
In the fall of 1992, plaintiff Jack Yager, then chairperson of the Policy Committee for the CCT named plaintiff Brendan Kaiser as the new chairperson and director of the Central Conference Car Haul Division.
The dispute between the plaintiffs and defendant Ron Carey began in November of 1992, when Kaiser, with Yager's approval, purported to remove Charles Lee from his position as Union Chair of the Joint Committee. Lee had served in this capacity since 1989; however, Kaiser had expressed his dissatisfaction with Lee's performance as Union Chair.
Kaiser then, again with Yager's approval, appointed himself to the position of Union Chair. Carey informed Kaiser in a letter dated November 25, 1992, that he, Kaiser, lacked the authority to remove or appoint the Union Chair. Both Yager and Kaiser disputed Carey's interpretation of union rules, and they refused to recognize Lee as he Union Chair.
To comply with that plaintiffs believed to be the Joint Committee's requirement that its union members elect the Union Chair, Kaiser called a meeting of local representatives of the CCT and the SCT for January 25, 1993, in Dania, Florida. The notice sent by Kaiser regarding the meeting made no reference to his plan to hold an election. At the meeting, the representatives elected Kaiser to be the Union Chair over Lee. That same day, Carey again
notified Kaiser that Kaiser had no authority to serve as Union Chair, and Carey advised the Employer Chair, James Osmer, that Lee was the duly authorized Union Chair.
At the January 26, 1993, meeting of the Joint Committee, Kaiser and Lee both demanded recognition as Union Chair. Osmer refused to recognize either and, except for a small number of cases processed with a temporary Union Chair, refused to hear the scheduled grievances.
1. The Michigan Suit
On February 2, 1993, plaintiffs, through the CCT and the SCT, brought suit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the Car Haul Employer Association. The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment recognizing Kaiser as the proper Union Chair of the Joint Committee. The employers brought a third-party action against the IBT, Carey, and the other International officers. The IBT asserts that the appointment of the Union Chair is an internal union matter, and that the IBT Constitution authorizes the IBT General President, Ron Carey, to make such appointments. This matter is still pending.
2. The General Executive Board Resolution
On March 7, 1993, Carey convened the International's General Executive Board ("GEB") to address the issue of who has the authority to appoint the Union Chair of the Joint Committee. The GEB passed a resolution that added the following provision to Article XII of the IBT Constitution in order "to reaffirm the right of the General President" under Article XII to appoint union chairs of joint arbitration committees:
In circumstances where the General President deems it necessary, the General President shall have the authority to appoint the Union Chairperson of any joint arbitration and grievance panel provided for by master agreements.
The GEB took this action pursuant to Article XII, Section 6, of the IBT Constitution, which provides:
The General Executive Board is empowered to amend, delete or add to this Article at any time it believes such action will be in the interests of the International Union or its subordinate bodies.