Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L. v. National Labor Relations Board

PETITIONER: Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L.
RESPONDENT: National Labor Relations Board
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

DOCKET NO.: 127
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 357 US 93 (1958)
ARGUED: Mar 11, 1958 / Mar 12, 1958
DECIDED: Jun 16, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L. v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 2: NLRB cases - March 12, 1958 in Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L. v. National Labor Relations Board
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 3: NLRB cases - March 12, 1958 in Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L. v. National Labor Relations Board
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 4: NLRB cases - March 12, 1958 in Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L. v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 1: NLRB cases - March 11, 1958 in Local 1976, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, A.F.L. v. National Labor Relations Board

Earl Warren:

Number 273, National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner versus General Drivers, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers Union.

And Number 324, Local 850, International Association of Machinists, AFL-CIO, Petitioner versus National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Manoli.

Dominick L. Manoli:

May it please the Court.

Cases 273 and 324, which arise out of the same set of facts are here on a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In general, these cases like the one that follows these two cases, deal with the effect of the hot cargo clause and a collective bargaining agreement between a union and an employer which purports to excuse employees from handling disfavored goods, the effect of that clause upon the reach of the so-called "secondary boycott provisions" of the National Labor Relations Act.

Section 8 (b) (4) (A) of the statute which is often referred to us the "secondary boycott provisions" of the Taft-Hartley Act, basing to unfair labor practice for a union to engage in a strike or to induce or encourage employees of any employer to engage in a strike or in a concerted refusal to perform services or to handle goods where an object thereof is to force or require any employer or other person to cease handling the goods of any producer or to cease doing business with any other person.

The principal question which we have here is whether union inducement, union appeals, union directions to employees not to handle these favorite goods, which would normally be within the reach of Section 8 (b) (4) (A) of the statute are outside or removed from the reach of the statue by virtue of the so-called "hot cargo agreement" between the union and the employer which as I say purports to excuse the employees from having disfavored goods.

The subsidiary question in this case, particularly in 327, is whether the protection, if any, which extends to the union which is a party to the contract -- to the contract which is a part to the hot cargo clause also extends to a union which is not a party to the agreement but is engaged in conduct which normally would be violative of Section 8 (b) (4) (A) of the statute.

Now, let me summarize the facts briefly which give rise to these issues before this Court.

In 1954, the Machinists Union which represented the employees of the American Iron Company, went out on strike.

And in connection with that strike, it set a picket line around the premises of the company.

As a result of the picket line around the premises of the American Machinery Company, a number of carrier -- a number of common carriers who normally serviced the American Iron Company discontinued making deliveries or pickups at the American Iron plant.

And thereafter, the American Iron Company hauled its own freight and its own trucks to the loading platforms of these various common carriers.

These trucks were followed by the Machinists Union to the loading platforms of the common carriers and there, there was some sort of a picket line established in the vicinity of the truck as well as the loading platform of the carriers, and the Machinists representatives went to the employees of the carriers and requested them not to handle the American Iron Freight.

Now, the employees of the carriers were represented by the Teamsters Union.

The Teamsters Union and these various carriers, five in number, had an agreement -- had a collective bargaining agreement and one of the clauses in the collective bargaining agreement provided that the employees were not allowed to handle -- not allowed to handle freight from an unfair company.

When the freight from the American Iron Company came to this American --

(Inaudible)

Dominick L. Manoli:

All right.

American Iron Company came to the platform to this common carrier, the representatives of the Teamsters Union directed the employees not to handle this freight all but one of the five common carriers requested or directed their employees to handle the freight.

But despite the instructions of the employer, the employees however obeyed the instructions of their union -- the Teamsters Union and refused to handle the freight which has been brought to the loading platforms of various common carriers.

These are briefly the facts of this case.

And on these facts, the Board found that the Machinists Union by their appeals to the employees of the carriers, and the Teamsters Union by their directions to the employees of the carriers not to handle the American Iron Freight had violated Section 8 (b) (4) (A) of the statute regardless, regardless of the hot cargo clause between the Teamsters and the common carriers.

The court below disagreed with the Board with Judge Prettyman dissenting on this aspect of the case, disagreed with the Board with respect to the Teamsters.

It held that the contract, the hot cargo clause between the Teamsters and the carriers was not unlawful and that the Teamsters, under cover of that clause, could appeal or instruct or direct the employees not to handle the unfair -- the disfavored freight.

As to the Machinists, however, and here Judge Washington dissented, asked the Machinists the majority of the court below agreed with the Board that they had committed a violation of the statute, and the reasoning of the court below on this -- on this phrase of the case was that the Machinists were not parties to collective bargaining agreement between the Teamsters and carriers which contained the hot cargo clause and therefore they could not rely upon that clause to legalize or justify their conduct which otherwise throw within the prohibition of the Section 8 (b) (4) (A) of the statute.

Felix Frankfurter:

Will you take out of the consideration of the case the Railway Labor Act of the Interstate Commerce Act?

Dominick L. Manoli:

Oh, no, we will come to the Interstate Commerce Act.

Felix Frankfurter:

(Inaudible)