Liner v. Jafco, Inc.

LOCATION: New York Times Office

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 375 US 301 (1964)
ARGUED: Nov 21, 1963
DECIDED: Jan 06, 1964

Facts of the case


Media for Liner v. Jafco, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 21, 1963 in Liner v. Jafco, Inc.

Earl Warren:

Number 43, N.L. Liner et al., Petitioners, versus Jafco, Incorporated, et al.

Mr. Fuston.

S. Del Fuston:

My name is Fuston sir, it's a common mistake.

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This is a labor case involved in preemption that arose in the State of Tennessee.

It's a case where peaceful picketing was enjoined by a state court and the Court held that there was no labor dispute and no interstate commerce involved.

The separate injunction was made permanent.

The case was duly appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Eastern Section of Tennessee.

The case, after have been for some time, it was affirmed in the opinion of the Court of Appeals was fortified but then holding that the construction project was completed and the case was moved.

We get to the certiorari case to the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

The certiorari was denied and within certiorari, the case to this Honorable Court.

May it please the Court, the facts that precipitated this had been occurred as follows.

The Chattanooga Building Trades is composed of all the craft unions and it is interested all craft unions are in getting all the work possible for its members.

They knew back in 1960, that Jafco, was going to build a huge shopping center in the City of Cleveland, Tennessee.

It would cover several -- equivalent of several city blocks.

It would have many tenants including a bank, bowling alley, chain stores and whatnot.

The unions carefully awaited to see who the prime contractor would be and finally, it was announced that the Rea Construction Company would be the prime contractor and they learned that the Rea Construction Company was from Charlotte, North Carolina.

As in all this type of cases and in this particular case, the Chattanooga Building Trades then called the Charlotte Building Trades, trying to find out something about this contractor.

Usually, they get an answer that a contractor is what they call a fair contractor or employs union man or he employs non-union man or a combination of some kind.

And they were informed on this particular occasion, that the Jones family had two corporations.

One was called the A.J. Jones Construction Company which was union.

They also had a sister corporation called the Rea Construction Company which was strictly nonunion.

And in this particular case, they learned that it would be the nonunion corporation that had gotten this particular job and soon after work started, the Chattanooga Building Trades considered putting a picket on the job to every task, the fact that it was nonunion to advertise about their working conditions.

But before they did, a business agent for the Hod-Carriers Union with by the construction site and talked to some of the laborers working there.

They were in the rough stages at that time, bulldozing and such.

The laborers said, "Mr. Elkins, we're only getting a dollar in a half an hour on this job.

Can't you please do something for us?"

And he said, "Well, I will see what can be done."

He then went to the Chattanooga Building Trades, he learned that they had already considered placing a picket on the job and the next day, one picket arrived and again, patrolling the area.

But in just a few minutes, after the picketing had begun, the picketing was stopped by an ex parte injunction issued by a State Chancery Court.