International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO v. Hoosier Cardinal Corporation

PETITIONER: International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO
RESPONDENT: Hoosier Cardinal Corporation
LOCATION: Belknap County Recreation Area

DOCKET NO.: 387
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 383 US 696 (1966)
ARGUED: Jan 27, 1966
DECIDED: Mar 24, 1966

Facts of the case

Question

Media for International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO v. Hoosier Cardinal Corporation

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 27, 1966 in International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO v. Hoosier Cardinal Corporation

Earl Warren:

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Petitioner, versus Hoosier Cardinal Corporation.

Mr. Schlossberg.

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

The facts which I shall detail for you here today present essentially two questions affecting national labor law.

The first question is, shall a uniform federal time limit apply to suits under Section 301 (a) of the Labor Management Relations Act as amended?

Or shall the variant state statutes of limitations apply to those suits?

The second question is, if state time limits are held to be applicable shall a suit for vacation pay on the written terms of a collective bargaining agreement be treated for the purposes of selecting the applicable time limitation be treated as a suit under federal law and governed by federal principles or be treated as a suit under state law or wages under state principles and therefore determined by state principles of law.

Earl Warren:

Is that second question here?

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

Yes, Your -- yes Your Honor, it is.

It's a --

Earl Warren:

Did he --

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

I may have stated a little differently than it is in the book but it is here.

Earl Warren:

I see.

Yes, alright.

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

In the event, the court --

Earl Warren:

There's no question about it being here?

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

I think not.

Earl Warren:

Yes.

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

On September 1st, 1955, the union -- the petitioner in this case entered into a collective bargaining agreement for the Hoosier Cardinal Company.

Among the contract provisions in that collective bargaining agreement was one which required certain vacations for employees employed under that contract.

Earl Warren:

Yes.

Stephen I. Schlossberg:

There was a further provision that employee's who were eligible for vacation on the basis of time's work -- time worked and who had not taken their vacation on the previous year should receive vacation pay at the time of termination, if they were terminated for any reason.

On June the 1st, 1957, approximately a couple of years after the contract was first entered into over 100 workers were terminated, workers who had not taken their vacations in the previous year.

The company refused to pay their vacation pay required by the agreement.

Eight months later, the union's attorneys, local counsel filed in the Indiana State Court a class action seeking recovery of the vacation pay due the employees covered by the Hoosier Cardinal-UAW collective bargaining agreement.

At that time, this Court will recall that the decision of this Court in the Association of Westinghouse employees against Westinghouse Electric Corporation appeared to the bar to preclude a Section 301 suit in the federal courts for this kind of claim.

On January 21st, 1959, the state court ruled that the class action was improper under state law.

Thereafter, each employee in the class, each employee covered by the agreement assigned his wage claim to a union representative and the complaint was amended to provide for a suit by a union representative in his name.

The court then ruled that the assignment method of suit was improper in Indiana and further amended complaints were entered.

In essence, the original class action was reinstituted.