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AMERICAN CHAIN & CABLE CO. v. TRUCK DRIVERS UNION

September 30, 1946

AMERICAN CHAIN & CABLE CO., Inc.,
v.
TRUCK DRIVERS and HELPERS UNION, LOCAL 676, A.F.L



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MADDEN

This issue is before the court on a motion to strike the bill filed herein upon the grounds that it does not set forth a cause of action and that this court is without the power to grant the relief prayed for.

The plaintiff is a corporation of the State of New York and the defendant is an unincorporated association, having its principal place of business at Camden, New Jersey. Diversity of citizenship is established and the jurisdictional amount involved is over $ 3000, exclusive of interests and costs, so that the jurisdictional requirements are established.

 Upon filing of the bill an order to show cause was issued, with leave to either party to take testimony upon the return day of the order. On the return day the defendants moved to dismiss the bill, arguments of counsel ensued and briefs have been submitted.

 The bill alleges that the plaintiff is engaged in the manufacturing business at Camden, New Jersey, and that on April 17, 1946, after an election held pursuant to the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq., the National Labor Relations Board duly certified to plaintiff as sole collective bargaining agent for production and maintenance employees at the plant aforesaid Local Union 1737 United Steel Workers of America, C.I.O. (not the defendant) that the only votes cast were for the selected union, that the plaintiff employs approximately 180 employees of which approximately 130 are members of the selected union, that no employees of plaintiff are or have been members of defendant union. That on the 17th day of May, 1946, the selected union and plaintiff negotiated a bargaining agreement effective from May 1, 1946, according to the terms of which plaintiff undertook to recognize the union certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the sole collective bargaining agent for all the production and maintenance employees in the aforesaid plant; that on or about July 15, 1946, the defendant union demanded of plaintiff the right to be recognized as the sole collective bargaining agent for 8 employees (1 trucker, 1 shipping clerk and 6 warehousemen) all of whom were included in the contract previously entered into with the selected and certified union, and none of whom were members of the demanding defendant union. This request was refused by plaintiff and defendant made known its intention to picket the plant for the purpose of stopping shipments to and from the plant; that since that time defendant has caused the picketing of the plaintiff's plant to such an extent that shipment of materials to the plant has ceased and if the picketing and other persuasive acts continue, the plant will have to shut down and plaintiff will suffer irreparable loss to its business. The bill then prays for injunctive relief to compel the defendant to cease its activities.

 Defendant, for the purpose of the motion, admits the allegations of the bill. Counsel for plaintiff frankly states that if the controversy is a labor dispute within the terms of the so-called Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C.A. 101 § to 115, the court is without jurisdiction to grant the relief prayed for but argues that the controversy here is not a labor dispute under the terms of that Act.

 The facts simply stated are that a jurisdictional dispute has arisen with the defendant, affiliated with the A.F.L., disputing the right of the certified union, affiliated with the C.I.O., to represent the 8 employees involved. The defendant did not participate in the election held and the controversy did not arise until after certification by the National Labor Relations Board, and a contract was entered into concerning all the employees of the plaintiff between plaintiff and the certified union.

  I might say at the outset that I have attempted to read all of the cases I could find in an attempt to obtain the benefit of judicial interpretation of the meaning of labor dispute under the terms of the Norris-LaGuardia Act including Union Premier v. Retail Food Clerks, 3 Cir., 98 F.2d 821; Lauf v. Shinner, 303 U.S. 323, 58 S. Ct. 578, 82 L. Ed. 872; New Negro Alliance v. Sanitary Grocery, 303 U.S. 552, 58 S. Ct. 703, 82 L. Ed. 1012; Fur Workers v. Fur Workers, 70 App.D.C. 122, 105 F.2d 1; Apex v. Leader, 310 U.S. 469, 60 S. Ct. 982, 84 L. Ed. 1311, 128 A.L.R. 1044; Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 60 S. Ct. 736, 84 L. Ed. 1093; Carlson v. California, 310 U.S. 106, 60 S. Ct. 746, 84 L. Ed. 1104; Oberman v. United Garment Workers, D.C., 21 F.Supp. 20, Virginian R. v. Federation, 300 U.S. 515, 57 S. Ct. 592, 81 L. Ed. 789; Drivers Union v. Lake Valley, 311 U.S. 91, 61 S. Ct. 122, 85 L. Ed. 63; United States v. Hutcheson, 312 U.S. 219, 61 S. Ct. 463, 85 L. Ed. 788; Milk Wagon Drivers Union of Chicago, Local 753 v. Meadowmoor Dairies, Inc., 312 U.S. 287, 61 S. Ct. 552, 85 L. Ed. 836, 132 A.L.R. 1200; A.F.L. v. Swing, 312 U.S. 321, 61 S. Ct. 568, 85 L. Ed. 855; American Medical Association v. United States, 317 U.S. 519, 63 S. Ct. 326, 87 L. Ed. 434; United States v. American Federation of Musicians, D.C., 47 F.Supp. 304; Cafeteria Employees v. Angelos, 320 U.S. 293, 64 S. Ct. 126, 88 L. Ed. 58; Columbia River Packers v. Hinton, 315 U.S. 143, 147, 62 S. Ct. 520, 86 L. Ed. 750; Bakery and Pastry Drivers v. Wohl, 315 U.S. 769, 62 S. Ct. 816, 86 L. Ed. 1178; Donnelly Garment Co. v. International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 8 Cir., 99 F.2d 309; some of these I will hereafter discuss, the other I do not think particularly controlling in this matter.

 The Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C.A. §§ 101 to 115, March 23, 1932, Sec. 4, 29 U.S.C.A. 104 provided:

 'No court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or temporary or permanent injunction in any case involving or growing out of any labor dispute to prohibit any person or persons participating or interested in such dispute (as these terms are herein defined) from doing, whether singly or in concert, any of the following acts:

 '(a) Ceasing or refusing to perform any work or to remain in any relation of employment;

 '(b) Becoming or remaining a member of any labor organization or of any employer organization, regardless of any such undertaking or promise as is described in section 103 of this title;

 '(c) Paying or giving to, or withholding from, any person participating or interested in such labor dispute, any strike or unemployment benefits or insurance, or other moneys or things of value;

 '(d) By all lawful means aiding any person participating or interested in any labor dispute who is being proceeded against in, or is prosecuting, any action or suit in any court of the United States or of any State;

 '(e) Giving publicity to the existence of, or the facts involved in, any labor dispute, whether by advertising, speaking, patrolling, or by any other method not involving fraud or violence;

 '(f) Assembling peaceably to act or to organize to act in promotion of their interests in a labor dispute;

 '(g) Advising or notifying any person of an intention to do any of the acts heretofore specified;

 '(h) Agreeing with other persons to do or not to do any of the acts heretofore specified; and

 '(i) Advising, urging, or otherwise causing or inducing without fraud or violence the acts heretofore specified, regardless of any such undertaking or promise as is described in section 103 of this title. Mar. 23, 1932, c. 90, Sec. 4, 47 Stat. 70.'

 Section 13, 29 U.S.C.A. § 113, provides:

 '(b) A person or association shall be held to be a person participating or interested in a labor dispute if relief is sought against him or it, and if he or it is engaged in the same industry, trade, craft, or occupation in which such dispute occurs, or has a direct or indirect interest therein, or is a member, officer, or agent of any association composed in whole or in part of employers or employees engaged in such industry, trade, craft, or occupation.

 '(c) The term 'labor dispute' includes any controversy concerning terms or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment, regardless of whether or not the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.

 '(d) The term 'court of the United States' means, any court of the United States whose jurisdiction has been or may be conferred or defined or limited by Act of Congress, including the courts of the District of Columbia. Mar. 23, 1932, c. 90, Sec. 13, 47 Stat. 73.'

 The so-called Wagner-Connery Act was passed July, 1935, and it set up the machinery for collective bargaining by employees and methods of preventing unfair labor practices on the part of the employers. The Norris-LaGuardia Act was deemed necessary by Congress in order to prevent the judicial interpretation that had been placed upon the Clayton Act, Sec. 20, 29 U.S.C.A. § 52, which had been adopted in 1914 and which prohibited the granting of injunctions by Federal Courts in matters arising out of labor disputes, except in certain cases and under terms and conditions therein set forth.

 The Supreme Court, in reviewing the history of the Clayton and the Norris-LaGuardia Acts in the matter of United States v. Hutcheson (312 U.S. 219, 61 ...


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