HUMPHREY V. MOORE, 375 U. S. 335 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Humphrey v. Moore, 375 U.S. 335 (1964)

Humphrey v. Moore

No. 17

Argued October 16, 19, 1963

Decided January 6, 1964*

375 U.S. 335


A decision of a Joint Conference Committee purported to determine the relative seniority rights of employees of two companies under a collective bargaining contract. Respondent Moore, on behalf of himself and other aggrieved employees of one of the companies, brought this class action in a Kentucky state court for an injunction against the union and the company to prevent the decision of the Committee to dovetail seniority lists from being carried out. The Kentucky Court of Appeals decreed a permanent injunction.


1. The action is one arising under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, and is a case controlled by federal law, even though brought in the state court. Pp. 375 U. S. 342-344.

(a) Moore contends that the decision of the Committee was not one which it was empowered to make; in his view the resulting award was therefore a nullity and any discharge pursuant thereto would be a breach of the collective bargaining agreement. P. 375 U. S. 342.

(b) The complaint alleges that the Committee's decision was obtained by dishonest union conduct, and could therefore not be relied on as a basis for discharge without breaching the collective bargaining agreement. Pp. 375 U. S. 342-343.

2. The decision of the Joint Conference Committee to dovetail seniority lists was a decision which § 5 of the contract empowered the Committee to make. Pp. 375 U. S. 345-348.

3. There is not adequate support in the record in this case for the complaint's attack upon the integrity of the union and of the procedures which led to the Committee's decision. P. 375 U. S. 348.

4. The evidence in this case shows no breach by the union of its duty of fair representation. P. 375 U. S. 350.

5. The complaining employees were not inadequately represented at the hearing before the Committee and were not deprived of a fair hearing. Pp. 375 U. S. 350-351.

Page 375 U. S. 336

6. The decision of the Committee, reached after proceedings adequate under the agreement, is final and binding upon the parties, as provided by the contract. P. 375 U. S. 351.

356 S.W.2d 241 reversed.

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