Howard Johnson Company, Inc. v. Detroit Local Joint Executive Board, Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union, AFL-CIO

PETITIONER: Howard Johnson Company, Inc.
RESPONDENT: Detroit Local Joint Executive Board, Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union, AFL-CIO
LOCATION: Cleveland Board of Education

DOCKET NO.: 73-631
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 417 US 249 (1974)
ARGUED: Mar 19, 1974 / Mar 20, 1974
DECIDED: Jun 03, 1974

ADVOCATES:
James D. Tracy - for petitioner
Laurence Stephen Gold - for respondent

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Howard Johnson Company, Inc. v. Detroit Local Joint Executive Board, Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union, AFL-CIO

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 19, 1974 in Howard Johnson Company, Inc. v. Detroit Local Joint Executive Board, Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union, AFL-CIO
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 20, 1974 in Howard Johnson Company, Inc. v. Detroit Local Joint Executive Board, Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union, AFL-CIO

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 03, 1974 in Howard Johnson Company, Inc. v. Detroit Local Joint Executive Board, Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union, AFL-CIO

Thurgood Marshall:

In 73-631, Howard Johnson versus the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union.

This case is here on writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Petitioner Howard Johnson purchased the assets of a restaurant and motor lodge.

In taking over operation of these facilities, Howard Johnson employed only a small fraction of the employees of the previous operator.

This action was brought by the respondent union which was the collective-bargaining representative of the predecessor's employees.

Union brought this suit under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, to compel Howard Johnson to arbitrate the extent of his obligations to the predecessor's employees under the obligation clause of the preexisting collective-bargaining agreement between the union and the previous operator.

The District Court ordered arbitration and the Court of Appeals affirmed it.

For the reasons set out more fully in our opinion, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

A recent decision in NLRB versus Burns International Security Services establish that Howard Johnson had the right not to hire any of the employees of prior owner and he commences operation of the restaurant and motor lodge with his own workforce.

That being so, the union's efforts to compel arbitration in the hope that it'd be arbitrated or ought to have Johnson to hire all of the former employees must fail.

Although, we have held that in some circumstances, a successor employer maybe compelled to arbitrate under the collective-bargaining agreement of the predecessor, Burns requires that no obligation arbitrate can be imposed on a successor employer in the absence of a substantial continuity of identity in the workforce before and after the change in ownership.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Marshall.