United States District Court, District of Columbia
L. FRIEDRICH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is a dispute between Amtrak and a union under the
Railway Labor Act, which establishes two tracks for resolving
labor disputes. “Major” disputes are within the
jurisdiction of federal district courts, but
“minor” disputes must first go to arbitration.
Because this dispute is minor, the Court lacks jurisdiction
and will grant Amtrak's Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 7.
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (the Union) is the
designated bargaining representative for employees working in
the signalman class or craft, including signalmen employed by
the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, known as Amtrak.
Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, Dkt. 1. Union signalmen install and
maintain Amtrak's railroad signal and communications
systems and equipment. Id. ¶ 5. The Union and
Amtrak have a collective bargaining agreement that
establishes the rates of pay, rules, and working conditions
for signalmen employed by Amtrak. See Id. ¶ 6;
Collective Bargaining Agreement (Agreement), Dkt. 7-3;
see also Jindal Decl. ¶ 3, Dkt. 7-2.
of the collective bargaining agreement divides Amtrak lines
and facilities into districts. Compl. ¶ 6. Relevant
here, Southern Seniority District 3 is the “Chesapeake
Division”; it covers the Amtrak lines and facilities
from Darby, Pennsylvania to the southern limits of the
Washington Terminal in Washington, D.C. See
Agreement Rule 7, Dkt. 7-3 at 6. Notably, the collective
bargaining agreement has not always covered the Washington
Terminal, which was owned by the Washington Terminal Company
until the early 1980s. Jindal Decl. ¶ 7. When Amtrak
acquired the Washington Terminal in the early 1980s, Amtrak
and the Union supplemented their collective bargaining
agreement to cover signalmen work at the Terminal.
Id. In 1984, they added Appendix B-11, which states:
In view of the transaction which will result in the
assumption by Amtrak of the Communication and Signal work
formerly performed by employees of the Washington Terminal
Company, the parties agree to the following . . .
Seniority District No. 3 - Chesapeake Division as described
in the [collective bargaining agreement] is modified to
include the former Washington Terminal Company property
within that seniority district . . . .
Agreement App. B-11, Dkt. 7-3 at 11.
of the collective bargaining agreement-the scope
rule-describes the scope of work that accrues to the Union.
As to covered districts like the Chesapeake Division, the
scope rule provides:
These Rules, subject to the exceptions hereinafter set forth,
shall constitute Agreements between Amtrak and its
Communication and Signal Department employees of the
classification herein set [forth] engaged in the installation
and maintenance of all signals, interlockings, telegraph and
telephone lines and equipment including telegraph and
telephone office equipment, wayside or office equipment of
communicating systems (not including such equipment), highway
crossing protection (excluding highway crossing gates not
operated in conjunction with track or signal circuits)
including repair and adjustment of telegraph, telephone and
signal relays and the wiring of telegraph, telephone and
signal instrument cases, and the maintenance of car retarder
systems, and all other work in connection with installation
and maintenance thereof that has generally been recognized as
telegraph, telephone or signal work-represented by the
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen and shall govern the hours
of service, working conditions and rates of pay of the
respective positions and employees of Amtrak, specified in
Rule 2 hereof, namely Electronic Specialists, Electronic
Technicians, Inspectors, Assistant Inspectors, Foremen,
Assistant Foremen, C&S Maintainers, Maintainers,
Signalmen, Assistant Signalmen, Trainees and Helpers.
The employees in the Communication and Signal Department
shall continue to install, maintain and repair, and do
testing incident thereto, of all devices and apparatus . . .
which are part of the signal or telegraph and telephone
systems, to the extent that such work is now being performed
by employees of the Communication and Signal Department. This
paragraph shall not, however, prejudice any rights which such
employees may have under the Scope Rule, exclusive of this
modification, to claim work performed by other crafts in
violation of the Scope Rule.
Agreement Rule 1, Dkt. 7-3 at 3; see also Compl.
scope rule also contemplates that Amtrak may contract out
“scope work” in certain circumstances:
Amtrak may not contract out work normally performed by an
employee in a bargaining unit covered by a contract between a
labor organization and Amtrak or a rail carrier that provided
intercity rail passenger transportation on October 30, 1970,
if contracting ...