Houston Insulation Contractors Assn. v. National Labor Relations Board

PETITIONER: Houston Insulation Contractors Assn.
RESPONDENT: National Labor Relations Board
LOCATION: Leon County Jailhouse

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 386 US 664 (1967)
ARGUED: Jan 19, 1967
DECIDED: Apr 17, 1967

Facts of the case


Media for Houston Insulation Contractors Assn. v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 19, 1967 in Houston Insulation Contractors Assn. v. National Labor Relations Board

Earl Warren:

Let's get to the cases.

Number 206, Houston Insulation Contractors Association, Petitioner, versus National Labor Relations Board, Number 413, National Labor Relations Board versus Houston Insulation Contractors Association.

Mr. Deakins, you may proceed with your argument.

W. D. Deakins, Jr.:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This is a case in 206, it's similar in many respect to the Frouge case.

I think, however, this is a case that points up the fallacy in Mr. Manoli's argument this morning with reference to the determination of the dominant motive.

You'll recall that he said in answer to questions by the Court, in discussing the evil sought to be cured by the passage of Section 8 (b) (4) that that was a case where products of a nonunion employer or an employer has a dispute with a union are sought to be boycotted and he said -- and that is Sand Door.

Now the target, Mr. Manoli said, is the product of another dispute.

He said the employees of a union employer have no dispute with her own employer and seek to prevent the products of a nonunion employer from being installed and that is where Sand Door comes into effect.

I say that there -- it's not necessary that there'd be a dispute because the dominant motive according to the decisions of this Court, and as I read the statute does not control.

In this case, the petitioner in 206 is a group of contractors who formed an association that have bargained with Local 22 affiliated with the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos workers.

They entered into a contract.

The contract contains two important provisions.

Article VI says that the employer agrees that he will not sublet or contract out any work described by Article XIII.

In turn, Article XIII states that it covers rates of pay rule, working conditions of all mechanics and improvers in the preparation, distribution, and application of -- I will generalize this, insulation materials.

Now in connection with the interpretation which the union has placed on this contract, they have picked the word preparation which they say is jobsite work that they're entitled to have and that when the two members of the association purchased materials from all jobsite, nonunion suppliers that the company violated that agreement.

Now what occurred was that Johns-Manville, one of the members of the Association had a job at Texas City, Texas on a construction project.

In fact, both of these are construction projects.

They have purchased some precut metal bands that hold aluminum jacketing around piping in place.

And when they were delivered of the jobsite, the union refused to apply them.

Of course, they didn't have a decal or label attached to the box to show as I will adopt that they were union made.

Armstrong was working in Victoria, Texas under the jurisdiction of Local 13 of the same union but the contract -- there was no contract in effect between Local 113 and the Association or Armstrong, either one.

When Armstrong purchased some pre-mitered asbestos fittings to be applied to joints of pipes, those fittings were not applied by the union because they were -- did not vary union labor.

Now, as soon as that occurred, of course charges were filed and a complaint was issued, and an injunction secured in the United States District Court of Houston.

At the hearing on the Board case, certain evidence was introduced which we think was mostly important in this case and which brings about our first point which lies under Universal Camera case but let me tell the Court first what occurred.

The current examiner held that the refusal to handle the products of Techalloy and Thorpe, the two nonunion off jobsites suppliers was unlawful because the exemption of Section 8 (e) applied only to be worked -- to work to be done at the jobsite, and not the materials manufactured off the jobsite and ship there for installation.

He said also, even if this work and the application of the products had been jobsite construction work, they refuse to handle these products was unlawful under Sand Door.

So he held that the International Union was not involved in this proceeding.

The Board then reviewed this decision and held that the strike in each case was for work preservation.

And thus, the strikes were primary and not unlawful.