Francis J. Reilly Records

Collection Number: 5198

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library

This collection was processed with the help of generous funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Francis J. Reilly Records,
Collection Number:
Reilly, Francis J.
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Publications, records (documents) .
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Published decisions of the National Railroad Adjustment Board, First Division, volumes 160 to 164, and papers regarding an wrongful termination of employment lawsuit filed by F. J. Reilly.
Collection material in English


Francis J. Reilly worked for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway as a brakeman in the Kankakee, Illinois Yard. In 1952, he was dismissed from service for failure to appear for his work assignment on October 6, 1952. Mr. Reilly contended that he had asked for time off because of a personal emergency, and that even though he was not granted the time off, he had no choice but not to appear for work. In an investigation, he was given a deferred thirty-day suspension on his record. Mr. Reilly did not think this was reasonable, and began to seek a way to appeal the decision. When a second hearing regarding his conduct was held, Mr. Reilly neglected to attend. As a result, his employment was terminated. He then filed a petition with the NRAB, which dismissed his case. When the Railway Labor Act was amended in 1966 to allow petitioners to appeal NRAB decisions, Mr. Reilly took the opportunity to appeal his decision. The courts dismissed his claims and his final appeal to the Supreme Court was not granted.


The National Railroad Adjustment Board [NRAB] was created by 45 U.S. Code 153. It is overseen by the National Mediation Board, which was created by the 1934 amendment to Railway Labor Act to oversee the arbitration of labor disputes in the railway and airline industries. The NRAB is tasked with arbitrating minor disputes, i.e. grievance arbitrations, in the railway industry. It has four divisions, each division having jurisdiction over specific classes of employees. The First Division has "jurisdiction over disputes involving train- and yard-service employees of carriers; that is, engineers, firemen, hostlers, and outside hostler helpers, conductors, trainmen, and yard-service employees." It has eight members, four selected by the carriers and four selected by the labor organizations.


Inclusive date range: 1950-1972
Bulk dates: 1968-1972
This collection consist of four published volumes of decision from the First Division, National Railroad Adjustment Board [NRAB] and papers from legal filings donated by Francis J. Reilly, a brakeman for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway. The four volumes contain the decisions made by the NRAB from May 1967 to December 1968. The legal filings and supplementary materials contain the original petition for reinstatement filed by Mr. Reilly in front of the NRAB in 1955, the NRAB's dismissal of his petition (Award 17167), supplementary materials collected by Mr. Reilly concerning his case, his filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois in 1968 asking for the court to overturn the NRAB's decision, and the subsequent appeals he filed after his petitions were dismissed by the courts. These records contain annotations from Mr. Reilly, explaining his reasoning in pursuing this case as well as offering his criticism when the decisions were not favorable. Also found in this collection are various newspaper clippings about the Supreme Court, the backlog of cases waiting for hearings, and reports from labor publications on the railroad industry.

Reilly, Francis J.
United States. National Railroad Adjustment Board
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway
New York Central Railroad
United States. Supreme Court.

Employees. Dismissal of

Form and Genre Terms:
Records (documents)


Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Francis J. Reilly Records #5198. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Box 1 Folder 1 1967-1968
May 1967 - February 1968
Box 1 Folder 2 1968
February 1968 - May 1968
Box 1 Folder 3 1968
May 1968 - September 1968
Box 1 Folder 4 1968
September 1968 - December 1968
Box 2 Folder 1 1968-1971
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois, Case No. CV68-74-D United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Case No. 18461 In the Supreme Court of the United States, October Term, 1971
Box 2 Folder 2 1955-1970
Box 2 Folder 3 1950-1969
Box 2 Folder 4 1954-1972