Local Union No. 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America v. Jewel Tea Co.

PETITIONER: Local Union No. 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America
RESPONDENT: Jewel Tea Co.
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

DOCKET NO.: 240
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 381 US 676 (1965)
ARGUED: Jan 27, 1965 / Jan 28, 1965
DECIDED: Jun 07, 1965

ADVOCATES:
Archibald Cox - Solicitor General, Department of Justice, by special leave of Court, argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, urging reversal
Bernard Dunau - for the petitioners
George B. Christensen - for the respondent

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Local Union No. 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America v. Jewel Tea Co.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 28, 1965 in Local Union No. 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America v. Jewel Tea Co.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 27, 1965 in Local Union No. 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America v. Jewel Tea Co.

Earl Warren:

Number 240, Local Union Number 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, AFL-CIO, et al. versus Jewel Tea Company, Incorporated.

Bernard Dunau:

May it please the Court.

In the Chicago area, the employment terms of butchers and meat departments, all governed by collective bargaining agreements entered into between meat cutters locals and the food store operators.

Central to the question in this case is a provision in those agreements which read like this.

Market operating hours shall be 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Saturday inclusive.

No customer shall be served who comes into the market before or after the hours set forth above.

It is said that this agreement is a contract in restraint of trade and violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

On the merits of this claim, there are two ways into this problem, one, through the National Labor Relations Act.

In our view, based upon the findings and the record, the limitation upon marketing operating hours is with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

It is a mandatory bargaining subject.

And it is our position that an agreement upon a mandatory bargaining subject is not within the coverage of the Sherman Act.

An agreement with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment is not an agreement in restraint of trade.

If we first establish and we have to establish by a record showing what this agreement is about, if we first establish that it is mandatory bargaining subject, then it is our position that under no circumstances does it come within the Sherman Act.

When one says it's being used as a façade, I think you will go to a question as to whether or not it is a mandatory bargaining subject.

I think that might be relevant to the ascertainment whether the agreement is with respect to wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment or is in restraint of trade.

But it seems to us that once you establish that it is upon a mandatory bargaining subject, then nothing else is relevant.

In our case here in Jewel, it happens that the same evidence which establishes that it's a mandatory bargaining subject also establishes that it is within the labor exemption if you look at this case via the Norris-La Guardia Act and Clayton Act exemptions in the Sherman Act.

Arthur J. Goldberg:

These that you refer to are part of the present case, suppose (Inaudible).

Bernard Dunau:

Then on those facts it would be -- he would not be negotiating a matter with respect to wages, hours and working conditions.

He would be negotiating a provision designed to regulate trading hours as such as to that kind of a provision whether it's within a -- prohibited or not by the Sherman Act seems to us to be governed by the rule of reason like any other agreement between businessmen in the heart-- in the instance that Your Honor has posed, it seems to us we are concerned with whether this business agent is in fact acting as an entrepreneur.

If he is, then there is no Sherman -- labor exemption at issue at all.

If he is acting as an entrepreneur or if a union is acting as an entrepreneur in that capacity it does not come with any Sherman Act immunity.

It's like any other businessman.

It seems --

Byron R. White:

You suggest that a -- that a group of employers who none of whom is organized, does not make an agreement saying that he will look our employees no more than six hours a day and none of us will sell any meat after 6 P.M.

Bernard Dunau:

If their agreement is about wages, let me take the illustration they -- or about hours.

They don't want to work --

Byron R. White:

I just gave you -- I just gave you what the agreement was.

Bernard Dunau:

They don't want to work their men longer than six hours, that is hours of employment.

Employers are allowed to combine with respect to that subject.