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Borden''s Farm Products of New Jersey Inc. v. Local Union No. 680

Decided: April 13, 1951.


Freund, J.s.c.


[13 NJSuper Page 272] The defendants have moved to dissolve the restraints contained in an order to show cause obtained

ex parte and without notice. The restraints are based upon a finding that "unlawful acts have been threatened to be committed"; not upon the commission of any unlawful act.

It is alleged that at a conference held on January 18, 1951, Lawrence McGinley, president of the defendant local union, threatened that a picket line would be placed at the plaintiffs' premises. McGinley specifically denies that he "made any threat or statement or intimation of any sort that there would be a picket line either at the creamery or at the city plants," and avers that preceding the conference he and his associates "specifically agreed that we would make no threat whatever of any kind of action, whether strike or picketing, and I know that each and every one of the union representatives observed this understanding and made no threat whatever that a picket line would be placed anywhere." Both the plaintiffs' allegations of threat to picket and defendants' denial thereof are corroborated by affidavits of persons attending the conference at which allegedly the threat was made.

The four plaintiffs sell and distribute milk and other dairy products at wholesale and retail. They employ inside workers who process and bottle or package the products, and outside workers who transport and deliver them. Plaintiffs and defendant, Local Union No. 680, have contracts covering these workers, and there is no labor dispute between them over any of the terms or conditions of employment. The contracts prohibit strikes or walkouts and provide for arbitration of "any and all disputes and controversies arising under or in connection with the terms or provisions hereof, or in respect to anything not herein expressly provided, but germane to the subject matter of this agreement, which the representatives of the union and the employer have been unable to adjust" before arbitrators selected as the contract stipulates. This provision was recently construed in Newark Milk & Cream Co. v. Local 680, 12 N.J. Super. 36 (App. Div. 1951).

The complaint alleges that the union and its officers are engaged in efforts to organize the employees of four creameries which supply the plaintiffs with milk; that these creameries

are separate and distinct entities from the plaintiffs; that the local union has not been certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the bargaining agent for these employees of the creameries, and, therefore, they decline to recognize it as such agent until an election is held at each plant, or the matter submitted to mediation before the Federal or State Mediation Boards, which the union declines to do. On the other hand, the union claims in affidavits filed in its behalf, that it represents approximately 3,500 employees in the milk and ice cream industry in Northern New Jersey, among them are employees of the creameries whom it has recently commenced to organize; that it is endeavoring to negotiate uniform contracts with all employers in the industry. They allege that the plaintiff, Borden's Farm Products of New Jersey, Inc., owns the creamery, Sussex Milk & Cream Co., Inc.; that the plaintiff, Newark Milk and Cream Co., owns and operates the creamery, Deposit Farms, Inc.; that its president is the general manager of Newark Milk and Cream Co.; that Benchester Creamery Co., Inc., is part of the plaintiff, Lotz Bros. Dairy, Inc., and that Raymond C. Lotz is the president of Benchester and the owner of Lotz Bros. Dairy, Inc.; that the plaintiff, Ideal Farms, Inc., and Ideal Farm Products, Inc., the creamery, are in effect one and the same entity, and that Jacob Tanis is president of both corporations. The defendants aver that employees of the creameries have made application to become members of Local Union No. 680 and have authorized it to engage in collective bargaining negotiations on their behalf. The affidavits of both parties establish that conferences have been held and negotiations carried on between them, but that a satisfactory agreement has not been reached. It is clear, however, that no unlawful acts have been committed by the defendants.

The restraints contained in the order are sweeping in scope and read as follows:

"(a) From in an manner whatsoever picketing, patrolling, collecting or gathering, or attempting to do the same at, on, or in the vicinity of or near any of the places or premises at which Plaintiff, Borden's Farm Products of New Jersey, Inc., operates or does

business in New Jersey, namely, 249 Orange Street, Newark, New Jersey; 806 Third Avenue, Asbury Park, New Jersey; 163 State Street, Hackensack, New Jersey; 641 Montgomery Street, Jersey City, New Jersey; 55 Nesbitt Street, Newark, New Jersey; 225 Madison Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey; or where Newark Milk and Cream Co., trading as Alderney Dairy Co., operates or does business in New Jersey, or where Lotz Bros. Dairy, Inc. operates or does business, namely 280 Piaget Avenue, Clifton, New Jersey, or where Ideal Farms Inc. operates or does business, namely, 960 Belmont Avenue, North Haledon, New Jersey, and

(b) From interfering, either directly or indirectly, with the performance of the labor contracts between said Local Union No. 680 ...

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