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September 24, 2010

Labor organization sues local for non-payment of its membership dues

Labor organization sues local for non-payment of its membership dues
American Federation of School Administrators v Council of Administrators and Supervisors, 266 AD2d 417

The American Federation of School Administrators, AFL-CIO, sued its local affiliate in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the Council of Administrators and Supervisors, claiming it had not paid all of its dues.

Noting that federal law Federal District Courts jurisdiction over suits between labor organizations, a State Supreme Court justice dismissed the Federation’s complaint on the ground that the matter must be adjudicated in a Federal court. The Appellate Division, Second Department, disagreed and reversed the lower court’s ruling.

The Appellate Division said that the federal law did not deprive State courts of their existing jurisdiction. Further, said the Appellate Division “State remedies are not preempted where the activity is of ‘merely peripheral concern’ to the Labor Management Relations Act.”

Deciding that the dispute over the nonpayment of dues is nothing more than an internal union matter, the Appellate Division remanded the case to Supreme Court to determine if the Council’s motion for summary judgment should be granted.
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