Masloff v. Port Authority of Allegheny County

531 Pa. 416, 613 A.2d 1186 (1992)

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Masloff v. Port Authority of Allegheny County

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
531 Pa. 416, 613 A.2d 1186 (1992)

  • Written by Rose VanHofwegen, JD

Facts

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 (Local 85) represented transit workers who worked for the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT), which ran Pittsburgh’s public-transit systems. When negotiations over a new collective-bargaining agreement failed, Local 85 called a strike. After two weeks, mayor Sophie Masloff and the city (plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit against PAT, PAT’s director, Local 85, and Local 85’s president, Larry Klos (defendants) seeking an injunction to end the strike. During three days of hearings, witnesses testified that the strike created a clear and present danger and a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of Pittsburgh citizens. The judge found the city had presented overwhelming evidence showing the strike’s impacts, including traffic congestion that affected ambulance, fire, and police services; prevented patients from reaching medical facilities for treatment; delayed emergency medical vehicles; and endangered people who had to walk to work. Additionally, residents were forced to find alternate living accommodations near work, school, or daycare. The judge found that the strike had far-reaching effects on commercial, academic, medical, and social institutions that PAT’s evidence could not rebut. Accordingly, the judge concluded that permanently enjoining Local 85 from continuing the strike was necessary to ensure the citizens’ safety and prevent immediate and irreparable harm. The court entered an adjudication and decree enjoining the strike, establishing a schedule for the parties to engage in court-supervised negotiations, and directing the parties not to make any public statements without court approval. Local 85 and Klos appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Zappala, J.)

Dissent (Larsen, J.)

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