Transportation-Communication Employees Union v. Union Pacific Railroad Company

PETITIONER: Transportation-Communication Employees Union
RESPONDENT: Union Pacific Railroad Company
LOCATION: Berheldt Residence

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

CITATION: 385 US 157 (1966)
ARGUED: Oct 19, 1966
DECIDED: Dec 05, 1966

Facts of the case


Media for Transportation-Communication Employees Union v. Union Pacific Railroad Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 19, 1966 in Transportation-Communication Employees Union v. Union Pacific Railroad Company

Earl Warren:

No. 28, Transportation Communication Employees Union, petitioner vs. Union Pacific Railroad Company.

Mr. Kraemer.

Milton Kramer:

Mr. Chief Justice, May it please Court.

In 1951 or there about, the Union Pacific Railroad installed a battery of new machines in its yard at Las Vegas.

These were 11 machines of 7 types.

This battery of machines performed work that prior thereto was performed in part by telegraphers represented by the Transportation Communications Union and in part by the clerks but it assigned all this works to clerks.

Although we performed work, the midi fact was work formally by telegraphers in part.

The TCU (Transportations Communications Union) filed a claim with the railroad claiming that assigning this work or even committing it to be performed by a craft other than the telegraphers was a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The claim was in the words of every Labor Act handled in the usual manner and without agreement.

It was then submitted to the National Bureau of Adjustment, the very Division.

We asked the Board to hold that having the communications aspect of the work performed by employees other than telegraphers was a violation of the agreements and that the remedy should be that each time it happened, the senior idle telegrapher, at the time it happened, be paid a day's pay.

The Third Division gave notice of its proceeding to the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks which represented the clerks and offered them an opportunity to participate, to be heard that they care to.

The clerks replied stating that they understood the dispute was over the interpretation of the telegrapher's agreements that is whether the telegraphers’ agreement covered part of this work and our understanding is incorrect said the clerks.

We did not get a response.

The clerks’ response continued that “if my understanding with this dispute is correct, we are not involved and we do not care to be heard”.

They added that the rights of the employees represented by the brotherhood of railway clerks is predicated on the clerks’ Collective Bargaining Agreement and not on any other and that if at any time or for any reason, the carrier should assign work covered by the clerks’ agreement to employees not covered by the clerks’ agreement.

They would take the appropriate steps under the Railway Labor Act.

Now, in the proceeding, the carrier argued to the board, among other arguments that all the work was covered by the clerks’ agreement and they were committed to make that argument.

Now the Court of Appeals in this case is in error in one statement it made.

It says that evidence of the clerks’ agreement was excluded by the Adjustment Board Rules of Evidence.

Now there is not a word in the record to support that and in fact, it is not so.

The regulations of the Adjustment Board commit anybody to submit anything it wants.

Doors are wide open.

About the award of the adjustment board sustained the claim of TCU (Transportation Communication Employees Union) used to be named Order of Railroad Telegraphers.

There's been a change in name.

Potter Stewart:

No question about the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the clerks was not before the Adjustment Board in this proceeding.

Milton Kramer:


We don't know.

We do know that the carrier argued that the clerks’ agreement covered it.

Potter Stewart:

The record doesn't show whether the Adjustment Board had --