Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

PETITIONER: Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company
RESPONDENT: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
LOCATION: Riverbed of the Arkansas River

LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 398 US 281 (1970)
ARGUED: Mar 02, 1970 / Mar 03, 1970
DECIDED: Jun 08, 1970

Facts of the case


Media for Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 03, 1970 (Part 2) in Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 02, 1970 (Part 1) in Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Warren E. Burger:

Number 477, Atlantic Coast Line against Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Mr. Friedmann, you may proceed whenever you're ready.

Frank X. Friedman Jr.:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

Due to the intricate litigation, which is in the background of this case, and the complex factual setting as well as the unique procedural vehicle which was employed by the respondent Brotherhoods below, we will, with the Court's permission, make first a separate and distinct statement of the facts and of the procedural setting in this case, which will then be followed by Mr. Lyons's argument of the law as applied to those facts.

First to the background and the physical setting which we're dealing with; Physically, we are dealing with the property of three separate railroad carriers.

First, the Florida East Coast Railway; The Florida East Coast property is located in large part to the south of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, although, it is bounded on the north by the north bank of the St. Johns River.

The second parcel of the property we are dealing with is located to the north of the FEC property, and that property is of the Jacksonville Terminal Company.

Thirdly, the property which is directly involved here is the Moncrief Yard located again north of the Jacksonville Terminal Company.

By way of background and in highly capsule form if I may, in January, 1963, the FEC non-operating employees went on strike and began to picket the FEC property.

In May of 1966, these pickets moved up the land and across the St. Johns River and began to picket the Jacksonville Terminal Company.

Two series of litigation resulted from that picketing, both of which came before this Court.

First, the Jacksonville Terminal Company sought an injunction and was granted an injunction in Federal Court.

That injunction was reversed due to the Bar of Norris-LaGuardia by the Fifth Circuit and this Court affirmed full forward.

Secondly, the Jacksonville Terminal Company sought an injunction in the state court.

That injunction was granted and in March of last year, this Court reversed by a four- three decision.

In the meantime however, and in April, 1967, the FEC pickets again moved up the land and placed pickets around the ACL's Moncrief Yard.

Moncrief Yard, the facility which is involved in this case is a wholly-owned piece of property or a piece of property wholly owned by the ACL which is devoted primarily to classification and secondarily to the interchange of traffic with connecting carriers.

Classification as the term implies is the simple act of breaking down a road train which comes in to the yard, putting it into its separate classes and putting it in a road train which goes out of the yard, it comes in ACL and goes out ACL.

The interchange procedure, which is used by FEC and ACL in Moncrief Yard is also quite similar.

The FEC with its locomotives and employees bring cars across the St. Johns River north, across the Jacksonville Terminal Company, and drop them on a previously designated track in Moncrief Yard.

And on occasions, they pick up cars from Moncrief Yard and take them back to their own classification yard south of the river, back on the yard.

The operating procedure which exists as to Moncrief Yard as well as the relationship between ACL and FEC is, we respectfully submit, totally distinguishable from the situation which existed in the case decided by this Court in March of last year.

In the first place, the FEC owns no part of the ACL stock or no part of ACL property.

Secondly, the FEC obviously owns no part of Moncrief Yard and had no interest, ownership wise in Moncrief Yard.

The FEC exercises no discretion in either the overall management of ACL or in the management and operation of Moncrief Yard.

The ACL does not maintain or repair any FEC cars and engines, And very importantly, we submit in this case, no FEC employee reports to or leaves from work at the picketed premises Moncrief Yard.

The 1967 picketing, which is in issue here, took place at the ACL employee entrance into Moncrief Yard.

The request, which was made by picket signs, pamphlets and apparently by telephone calls during the night was for ACL employees to go to work, but refuse to perform the functions which they normally perform in that yard, namely classify and interchange cars which are the sole property of ACL.

There are at least three points which we believe should be made insofar as the picketing is concerned.

First, there's no relationship between the picketing, which took place at Moncrief Yard in the presence of FEC in that yard.