Local No. 207, International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union v. Perko

PETITIONER: Local No. 207, International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union
RESPONDENT: Perko
LOCATION: School District 187

DOCKET NO.: 482
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 373 US 701 (1963)
ARGUED: Apr 23, 1963 / Apr 24, 1963
DECIDED: Jun 03, 1963

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Local No. 207, International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union v. Perko

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 23, 1963 in Local No. 207, International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union v. Perko

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 24, 1963 in Local No. 207, International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union v. Perko

Earl Warren:

-- 7, International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union, et al., versus Jacob Perko.

Mr. Feller, you may continue your argument.

David E. Feller:

Thank you, Your Honor, may it please the Court.

At the conclusion of the argument yesterday, I think we had left only one point uncovered.

That is the respondent’s argument not referred to in the courts below but presumably made there that the National Labor Relations Act doesn’t apply to the area involved in this case because the plaintiff is a supervisor.

I would like to be brief and I think to brief this way of disposing that argument is to point out that it's flatly contradicted by the record.

It appears that a superintendent is a supervisor, I say it appears, although that question has not been decided, but the plaintiff sued not only for a loss of employment as a superintendent, but for the union’s action in preventing him from obtaining employment as a foreman, and a foreman on this record or a pusher is at least arguably and we think demonstrably an employee.

He's covered by the collective bargaining unit, he's covered by the agreement, he is required to be a member of the union, he works with the men, he has -- bears none of the indicia, normal indicia of a supervisor.

[Inaudible]

David E. Feller:

In all that, if Your Honor please, I'll move right on to that.

Despite the fact that it's clear that the jury and the Court of Appeals below and everybody consider this as a suit for loss of employment as a foreman as well as a superintendent.

It is also clear that were this not so and to had this suit only for a loss of employment as a superintendent, we think it is clear that this is also in the area which Congress has regulated by the National Labor Relations Act.

[Inaudible]

David E. Feller:

Well on the approach that supervisors are not excluded from the Act.

They are excluded from the definition of employee for a specific reason.

Congress decided and Senator Taft -- this is Senator Taft's view really that supervisors are to be identified with management.

They're a part of management.

The employer can fire him or hire him without regard to union activity or anti-union activity and they're to be identified with that.

Now that doesn't mean that Congress hasn't made a decision about supervisors or regulated supervisors, but what it means is the Congress has said they are not to be given employee protection against employer action and indeed following that theory they went further.

They said they are to be giving protection against union action because they are members of management.

And in Section 8 (b) (1) (B) of the Act they made it an unfair labor practice for a union to restrain or coerce an employer in the selection of his representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining or the adjustment of grievances.

And as we quote Senator Taft in our brief, he said, the purpose of this was to say is to prevent a union, and I quote here from the legislative history of the Act, to prevent a union from quote, saying to the employer, “You have to fire Foreman Jones, we do not like Foreman Jones and therefore you have to fire him or we will not go to work.”

That was the purpose of 8 (b) (1) (B).

Now, in other words, Congress regulated the whole area of union action affecting the employment rights of both employees and supervisors, but it regulated them differently.

I wonder whether you discuss it a little more of particularity what bearing you think Gonzales had?

David E. Feller:

Well, we think Gonzales has no bearing because we think that Gonzales is a case, Your Honor, which rested on the proposition as it was stated in the opinion.

That it was a suit concededly within state court jurisdiction --

Because it was --

David E. Feller:

-- to redress the contractual right of a member to remain a member of the union.

Damages or loss of employment rights were admitted to be within the power of the state in that case because the court did not want to separate a unitary remedy.