Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, ICC, and Erie Lackawanna Briefs Regarding the Railroad Merger

Collection Number: 5347

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).
DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, ICC, and Erie Lackawanna Briefs Regarding the Railroad Merger, 1960
Collection Number:
5347
Creator:
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE);
Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC);
Erie Lackawanna Railroad (EL)
Quantity:
0.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Briefs (legal documents).
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Consists of proceedings and papers filed before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes and the Railway Labor Executives' Association, contesting a railroad merger between the Erie Railroad Company and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, on the grounds that it would result in loss of jobs guaranteed to union members.
Language:
Collection material in English


ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The merger between the Erie Railroad Company and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad [DLW] was approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission [ICC] on September 15, 1960. The DLW, its properties and franchises, were put under the complete control of the Erie Railroad Company, resulting in the creation of the Erie-Lakawanna Railroad Company [ELRR]. Both the Erie and the DLW had been losing revenue in the post-war period due to a decline in passenger and freight traffic, most notably the decline in use of anthracite coal which had been the mainstay of DLW's freight operations. This was compunded by the rise of the interstate highway system and the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which provided direct access to the Great Lakes and further eroded their customer base. The Erie and DLW, long-time rivals and covering similar geographic areas, started to merge operations in 1956 in an attempt to make the company profitable. As a result of this merger, an estimated 4,000 jobs would be abolished or transferred to other locations, resulting in hardship for both the affected employees as well as any employee of lesser seniority who would be displaced, or "bumped," by an employee with greater seniority.
In an attempt to protect their members, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees [BMWE] and the Railroad Labor Executives Association [RLEA], filed suit in U.S. District Court, seeking to halt the merger. The BMWE was the authorized collective bargaining representative for maintenace of way workers on both the Erie and the DLW; the RLEA, an association of 22 railroad union executives, filed as party-intervenor in the proceedings before the ICC. Their efforts ultimately proved fruitless, as the merger was allowed to proceed as planned, and the employees were compensated by the so-called "New Orleans conditions" as originally delineated by the ICC.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Inclusive date range: 1960
Bulk date: 1960
This collection includes a brief filed with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, involving the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees [BMWE] (plaintiff) and the Railway Labor Executives' Association [RLEA] (intervenors/plaintiffs) vs. the Interstate Commerce Commission [ICC] (defendant), and the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company [ELRR] (intervenors/defendants). The arguments concern the effect of a merger on the employees of the Erie Railroad and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, and the union's request that the court uphold the 1940 Transportation Act guaranteeing four years of employment for all current employees. The brief, filed by the BMWE, includes the history of the merger that created the ELRR, arguments against the merger, a history of employee protection in the railraod industry, the history of the 1940 Transportation Act, and the application of the "New Orleans conditions," whereby employees adversely affected by the merger may be granted compensatory protection if their employeement is terminated rather than being guaranteed at their current level for a period not exceeding four years. The collection also includes the lifting of the injunction by the court, allowing the merger to be completed as per the original plan approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission, including the "New Orleans conditions" with regards to the railroad employees.
PROCESSING INFORMATION:

Legal brief in folder 1 is warped.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.
Interstate Commerce Commission
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company
Erie Railroad Company
Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company
Railway Labor Executives' Association
United States. Interstate Commerce Commission.

Subjects:
Railroad law -- United States.
Railroads -- United States x Consolidation.
Railroads -- Employees
Job security. Railroads. United States.
Railroad law. United States.
Railroads. United States. Consolidation.
Railroad employees.
Trade-unions. Railroads. United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Briefs (legal documents)


INFORMATION FOR USERS

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:
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, ICC, and Erie Lackawanna Briefs Regarding the Railroad Merger #5347. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5005: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Miscellaneous Records
5448: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Lodge 1179 (Cadosia, NY ) Records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1960
Box 1 Folder 2 1960