Avco Corporation v. Aero Lodge No. 735, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

PETITIONER: Avco Corporation
RESPONDENT: Aero Lodge No. 735, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 445
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 390 US 557 (1968)
ARGUED: Mar 11, 1968
DECIDED: Apr 08, 1968

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Avco Corporation v. Aero Lodge No. 735, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 11, 1968 in Avco Corporation v. Aero Lodge No. 735, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Earl Warren:

AVCO Corporation, petitioner, versus Aero Lodge Number 735, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers et al.

Mr. Swigert.

J. Mack Swigert:

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

This case presents the two questions that were reserved by this Court in footnote 8 of the Dowd Box decision, is a suit filed in state court to enjoin a strike in breach of contract now removable, and due to restraints of Norris-LaGuardia, now applied to state courts as well as to federal courts.

This petitioner operates a defense plant at Nashville, Tennessee and they make in that plant components for airplanes used by the defense forces of the United States.

There are about 2000 employees in the bargaining unit, and these employees are represented by the respondents.

The petitioner has a contract with the respondents, a three-year contract which contains a categorical unconditioned no strike clause effective for the duration to the agreement.

Also it has the quid pro quo, it has a grievance procedure terminating in binding arbitration.

In the summer of 1965, shortly after this contract was executed, members of the bargaining unit covered by the contract including local union officials commenced a series of work stoppages and interruptions of work in this defense plant.

The first stoppage occurred on July 29, 1965 in one department and lasted for a short period of time.

Thereafter, from time to time work stoppages occurred in other departments of the plant, one department after another, interruptions that bottlenecked production in the plant.

Finally, on October 14, 1965 a picket line was placed in front of the whole plant, and the on the following morning the morning of October 15, after this sort of interference had been going on for two and a half months the whole plant was finally shut down by a massive picket line.

Not until then did this petitioner seek injunctive relief and on October 15 they went into the Chancery Court, Davidson County, Tennessee and it filed its Bill of complaint seeking a temporary injunction.

The court granted the injunction, people went back to work and the respondents did nothing for another 20 days.

At that time they filed their petition to remove this case to the District Court.

Subsequently, about a week later they moved to dissolve the state court injunction.

Of course we filed our petition to remand pointing out to the district judge that we had filed our case under Tennessee law.

We had not alleged federal law, we had not intended to invoke federal law, but Tennessee law.

Nevertheless, the district judge after considering the matter for several months denied our application to remand.

He dissolved the state court order.

Potter Stewart:

The state court had granted what, a temporary restraining order or --

J. Mack Swigert:

Temporary injunction Your Honor.

Potter Stewart:

-- [Voice Overlap] injunction or what?

J. Mack Swigert:

Yes.

Potter Stewart:

What did he call it?

J. Mack Swigert:

Temporary injunction, it was a fiat it's called under Tennessee chancery practice, and simply granted our application for a temporary injunction.

Potter Stewart:

On an ex parte hearing or was there a --

J. Mack Swigert:

No, well Your Honor there was an ex parte hearing solely because the union didn't choose to show up.

They were --

Potter Stewart:

They were given a --