Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway & Motor Coach Employees of America v. Lockridge

PETITIONER: Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway & Motor Coach Employees of America
LOCATION: United States Court of Appeals for the Firth Circuit

DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1970-1971)

CITATION: 403 US 274 (1971)
ARGUED: Dec 15, 1970
DECIDED: Jun 14, 1971

Facts of the case


Media for Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway & Motor Coach Employees of America v. Lockridge

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 15, 1970 in Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway & Motor Coach Employees of America v. Lockridge

Warren E. Burger:

-- arguments in number 76, Amalgamated Association against Lockridge.

Mr. Groner, you may proceed whenever you’re ready.

Isaac N. Groner:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

In this case which is here on writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the State of Idaho, preemption is the issue.

Whether the state court had jurisdiction over the action which respondent Wilson P. Lockridge filed against petitioner unions, or whether the state courts had no jurisdiction because Congress has regulated the union conduct involved in this case under the Labor Management Relations Act.

For some years prior to 1959, respondent Lockridge was an interstate bus driver employed by the Greyhound Bus Company.

Pursuant to the Check-off Clause in the collective bargaining contracts between Greyhound and the petitioner local division, Lockridge had been maintaining his union dues payments, and also, his employment with the Greyhound in as much as the collective-bargaining agreements provided that all employees shall remain members as a condition precedent to continued employment.

The union constitution provided that where agreements with employing companies provide that members must be in continuous good financial standing, the member in arrears one month maybe suspended from membership and removed from employment in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

In August 1959, Lockridge and some others voluntarily revoked their check-off arrangements.

They voluntarily assumed the responsibility of maintaining their union dues payments timely to maintain their membership in the union and also to maintain their employment.

In August 1959 and also in October 1959, the union in writing advised the -- Lockridge of the provisions to which I have adverted and pointed out that he had the responsibility to maintain these payments.

Nevertheless, he permitted his payments to become delinquent and the union so advised Greyhound, and in November 1959, being delinquent in his dues for the month of October, the union advised Greyhound of the delinquency and Greyhound discharged Lockridge.

Warren E. Burger:

How long after his delinquency arose for the October dues did the union terminate him?

Isaac N. Groner:

The union, Your Honor, did not terminate him.

The union advised the company -- the union advised the company on November 2nd, his delinquency having arisen on November 1st.

Warren E. Burger:

When did they notify him that he was out of the union?

Isaac N. Groner:

They --

Warren E. Burger:

For non-payment of dues?

Isaac N. Groner:

They had advised him, Your Honor, in advanced that he would be out of the union if he permitted his delinquency to be in arrears more than one month.

Warren E. Burger:

Oh, what I’m trying to do that is how many hours or days was he delinquent when the acts fell?

Isaac N. Groner:

He was delinquent --

Warren E. Burger:

24 hours, does it?

Isaac N. Groner:

About 48 hours.

Warren E. Burger:

48 hours?

Isaac N. Groner:

Yes, that is correct Your Honor.

After having --

Warren E. Burger:

Does the union uniformally act in that way on every dues -- non-payment of dues every case, or does this record show anything on that score?

Isaac N. Groner:

The record indicates two things with respect to that Mr. Chief Justice.

First of all that it acted uniformally with respect to everyone who had been given these notifications and were in this precise delinquency.

There was only one other such member, an employee named Elmer J. Day.