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THE UNITED SCREENERS LOCAL ONE v. SAN FRANCISCO

October 19, 2005.

THE UNITED SCREENERS ASSOCIATION LOCAL ONE, et al. Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO; SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT COMMISSION, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JEFFREY WHITE, District Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFFS' SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
INTRODUCTION
This matter comes before the Court upon consideration of the motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") filed by the City and County of San Francisco ("City"), the San Francisco Airport Commission ("Commission"), and John L. Martin ("Mr. Martin") (collectively "City Defendants").

Having considered the parties' pleadings, relevant legal authority, the record in this case, having had the benefit of oral argument,*fn1 and for the reasons set forth in the remainder of this Order, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the motion.

  FACTUAL SUMMARY

  Covenant provides passenger and baggage security screening at the San Francisco International Airport ("SFO"), pursuant to a contract with the Department of Homeland Security and a lease with the City. (SAC, ¶¶ 15-17.) Local One is a labor union that wants to be the recognized bargaining agent for Covenant employees.

  In February 2000, the Commission adopted Resolution No. 00-0049 entitled "Resolution Approving Use of Labor Peace/Card Check Rule and Model Card Check Agreement," which is comprised of a resolution, a rule, and a model agreement (hereinafter "Card Check Resolution"). (See SAC, ¶ 17, Ex. 2.) The Card Check Resolution enables a labor organization to become the recognized representative for a group of employees through a mechanism that is separate from election procedures established by the National Labor Relations Act. (Id., ¶ 20.) Plaintiffs do not challenge the validity or constitutionality of the Card Check Resolution.

  Local One has had to compete with Service Employees International Union Local 790 ("SEIU Local 790") in its efforts to become the bargaining agent for Covenant employees. As a result of a settlement agreement regarding disputes with SEIU Local 790 and Covenant, Local One was given the right to call a secret ballot election on the question of whether Covenant employees wanted it as their bargaining representative. (See SAC, ¶¶ 44-48.) Although not set forth in the SAC, Plaintiffs lost the election. (See Opp. at 14, 15.)

  Plaintiffs allege that the City Defendants have unlawfully favored SEIU Local 790 over Local One. By way of example, Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Martin only notifies American Federation of Labor — Congress of Industrialized Organizations when the Airport selects a contractor. Plaintiffs also allege that the City Defendants did not take affirmative steps to prevent SEIU Local 790 organizers from harassing Local One members and failed to remedy this when Local One complained. Finally, Plaintiffs allege that the City Defendants apply the terms of the Card Check Resolution in an unequal fashion. (See generally SAC, ¶¶ 30-43.)

  As of the date of the filing of the SAC, neither Local One nor SEIU Local 790 had requested a Card Check Agreement with Covenant. (Declaration of Tryg McCoy, ¶ 4.)*fn2 ANALYSIS

  A. Legal Standards Applicable to Motions to Dismiss.

  A motion to dismiss is proper under Rule 12(b)(6) where the pleadings fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A motion to dismiss should not be granted unless it appears beyond a doubt that a plaintiff can show no set of facts supporting his or her claim. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also De La Cruz v. Tormey, 582 F.2d 45, 48 (9th Cir. 1978). In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint is construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all material allegations in the complaint are taken to be true. Sanders v. Kennedy, 794 F.2d 478, 481 (9th Cir. 1986). The court, however, is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged. Cleggy v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994) (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)).

  As a general rule, "a district court may not consider any material beyond the pleadings in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion." Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 453 (9th Cir. 1994), overruled on other grounds, Galbraith v. County of Santa Clara, 307 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). A district court may consider documents attached to a plaintiff's complaint without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richmond & Feiner Co., Inc., 806 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir. 1989). Unlike a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, in moving to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) a party can "attack the substance of a complaint's jurisdictional allegations despite their formal sufficiency, and in so doing rely on affidavits or any other evidence properly before the court." St. Clair v. City of Chico, 880 F.2d 199, 201 (9th Cir. 1989).

  B. Claims Against the City Defendants.

  Plaintiffs assert one cause of action against the City Defendants for violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 1985. Plaintiffs allege that the City Defendants' conduct in favoring SEIU Local 790 and in failing to enforce the Card Check Resolution in an equal manner deprives them of their rights: (1) under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"); (2) their First Amendment right to freedom of association; (3) their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection; and (4) their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process of the law. (SAC, ¶¶ 67-73.)

  The City Defendants move to dismiss portions of the Section 1983 claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) on the grounds that Plaintiffs have not been deprived of their due process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and have not been deprived of their First Amendment right to freedom of association. The City Defendants move to dismiss the Section 1985 claim under Rule 12(b)(6) on the ground that Plaintiffs are not members of a protected class. Finally, the City Defendants move to ...


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