Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Rychlik

PETITIONER: Pennsylvania Railroad Company
RESPONDENT: Rychlik
LOCATION: Selma, Alabama

DOCKET NO.: 56
DECIDED BY:
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 352 US 480 (1957)
ARGUED: Dec 10, 1956 / Dec 11, 1956
DECIDED: Feb 25, 1957

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Rychlik

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1956 in Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Rychlik

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 11, 1956 in Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Rychlik

Earl Warren:

Number 56, Pennsylvania Railroad Company and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Petitioners, versus N. P. Rychlik.

Mr. Spindelman.

Norman M. Spindelman:

Thank you sir.

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

At the outset of my argument today, I would like to clarify a question asked yesterday.

The question was put concerning Appendix F to respondent's brief which is correspondence dealing with UROC's attempt to get a seat on the Board.

Now this appendix was inserted only for one reason and that was to show how complete the control of the qualified organizations is if qualifying for a seat on the Board is the exclusively way in which “national in scope” status can be obtained.

Now, Rychlik not UROC is the respondent in this case.

And whatever action was taken by UROC to get a seat on the Board has nothing whatsoever to do with Rychlik's right to hold his job if he belongs to a “national in scope” union.

Now just because coincidentally a union must be among other things “national in scope” to get a seat on the Board does not mean that qualifying for such a seat is the exclusive way that “national in scope” status can be obtained.

That it is not the exclusively way is convincingly demonstrated by past authority and by reading of the Act.

In 1939, the Railroad Retirement Board published regulations which concerned the meaning of the phrase “national in scope” as it was used in the Railroad Retirement Act.

Those regulations are very specific that Section 3, First (f) qualifying for a seat on the Board is not the exclusive way in which “national in scope” status can be obtained.

Now in addition, expert authority also agrees with this contention.

There was a special board of adjustment convened to decide whether the Railroad Industrial Union which is a union organized in the State of Maryland was a “national in scope” organization.

Now this special board of adjustment on which experts said decided that this union was not a “national in scope” union.

But in coming to that determination, this board examined that many, many other criteria besides the fact that this union had not qualified for a seat on the Board.

They made a very exhaustive determination of their size, their stationary, whether their officers were full or part time, how many organizers they had in the field, how many locals they had organized, and many, many other factors.

Now in addition, Court authority also confirms that this -- that getting a seat on the Board is not the exclusive way in which “national in scope” status can be obtained.

For example, this Court as a manner of fact assumed in Order of Railway conductors versus Swan, that the Railroad Yardmasters of America was a national labor organization despite the fact that that organization at that time did not have any members on the Adjustment Board.

Now in addition, a reading of the Act makes very clear that the terms of the statutes must be changed.

The wording of the statute must be changed to a great extent if this interpretation is to apply.

Now, I refer the Court --

Which case was that that you spoke of just now that had --

Norman M. Spindelman:

Order of Railway Conductors versus Swan.The Court in its statement of the facts stated that the Railroad Yardmasters of America was a “national in scope” or was a national labor organization despite the fact that it had no seat on the board.

That was specifically mentioned in the facts.

I can read that quote if --

No.

That's all right.

I just want to know what the --