Radio & Television Broadcast Technicians Local Union 1264, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO v. Broadcast Service of Mobile, Inc.

PETITIONER: Radio & Television Broadcast Technicians Local Union 1264, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO
RESPONDENT: Broadcast Service of Mobile, Inc.
LOCATION: Point of picking up hitchhiker

DOCKET NO.: 61
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 380 US 255 (1965)
ARGUED: Mar 02, 1965 / Mar 03, 1965
DECIDED: Mar 15, 1965

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Radio & Television Broadcast Technicians Local Union 1264, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO v. Broadcast Service of Mobile, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 02, 1965 in Radio & Television Broadcast Technicians Local Union 1264, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO v. Broadcast Service of Mobile, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 03, 1965 in Radio & Television Broadcast Technicians Local Union 1264, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO v. Broadcast Service of Mobile, Inc.

Earl Warren:

Number 61, Radio and Television Broadcast Technicians Local Number 1264, Petitioner, versus Broadcast Service of Mobile.

Mr. Goldthwaite you may continue your argument.

J. R. Goldthwaite, Jr.:

Mr. Chief Justice, Your Honors, in response to Mr. Justice Harlan's question with respect to the finality of the judgment in this case, I pointed out in my argument yesterday Mr. Justice Harlan that this case was tried at final trial.

The only thing which remained to be done after it was sent back to the trial court was the assessment of damages.

All other issues had been disposed of.

We urged a federal preemption in putting all of the evidence which was available on federal preemption so far as that federal question which is the only federal question in the case, the question of jurisdiction.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Alabama was final and under the rule of this Court and Common Laborers against Curry in which Your Honor concurred especially this Court determined that where the question of federal jurisdiction was the only federal question in the case that that could be brought up prior to the final disposition of the case in the state court.

Now, the case is on appeal and is presently pending on the assessment of damages on some $3000 in the Supreme Court of Alabama.

It cannot be tried before or be argued there and submitted for decision before sometime next month.

Under the decisions of this Court both in injunction cases and in damage suits -- so where federal or jurisdiction attaches to the case, state courts are controlled by the federal law, they -- the -- in the Borden case in Texas the Court held that the state court could not award damages because the subject matter was preempted and was within the competence of the Labor Board.

All of those factors are present here.

A determination of the jurisdictional question will conclude all federal questions in the case.

Additionally, there are some old decisions of this Court to the effect that where the only judicial act which remains is the assessment of damages.

The Court will go on and review the legal issues prior to the determination of that semi administrative judicial act.

But in any event, the Curry case I think is determinative of the issue of concern which you asked and I don't think in this case is any occasion to -- for any cause for concern that the Curry case will cause problems or to review that issue.

As I mentioned yesterday, the Congress in 1959 amended this statute to provide the state courts could take jurisdiction when the Labor Board had by rule of decision or by published rule declined to assert jurisdiction.

Now, we pointed out to the Alabama Court and proved that there are cases of the Labor Board which under the facts of this case would dictate that the Labor Board affirmatively has jurisdiction over this cause and controversy.

There are some older cases of the Labor Board which were relied upon by the respondent before the Alabama Court which were decided prior to 1958 which hold that there must be interchange of employees between corporations and common working conditions that is the same terms and conditions of employment.

However, the Labor Board abandoned those cases and that approach to the integrated operational theory in 1958 before Congress amended the statute and in any event the statute specifies that the Labor Board may enlarge the area which in its discretion it asserts jurisdiction, may -- it may not narrow it at the time of that statute.

The rule was that the Labor Board would assert jurisdiction and it still has a rule to more recent decisions do not require interchange of employees or common working conditions so long as there is an actual exercise of control by the common ownership and management and there is no question about that on this record.

The two owners control every material decision and act in matter of policy of the chain of radio stations which they call the whole Broadcast Service.

Now, where it is shown that the Labor Board has issued decisions to the effect that it will assert jurisdiction of the controversy, we believe that the decisions of this Court did take that the state court should yield to the competence of the Labor Board and allow the Labor Board to decide whether or not it will assert jurisdiction of the particular controversy.

I point out that the statute says that the Board may establish its rules, jurisdictional rules, the discretionary jurisdictional rules as it respects the volume of commerce by rule of decision or by published rule.

The Congressional history while we did not feel that it was necessary because the statute is palpably clear as to what its intendment is.

The congressional history indicates that some of the Congressmen, at least Mr. Thompson I believe of New Jersey, who spoke at length on several occasions and others spoke of a case by case approach on the part of the Labor Board.

Which would indicate that the term rule of decision contemplates that unless it was palpably certain on the basis of previous jurisdictional expressions of the Board that the Board would approach the question of this jurisdiction on a case by case basis wherever necessary and that if there was any doubt as to the question of the Board's jurisdiction the state court should yield and let the Board decide the question.

In furtherance of the statute, the Board in 1959 adopted rules by which it will render advisory opinions and the rule specifically provide that either party to a case or a court may apply to the Board Foreign Advisory opinion as it respects its jurisdiction in any case of controversy pending in a state court.

So that they'll -- are means whereby the state court without dismissing the case could direct that a determination of the Labor Board be procured as to the extent of his jurisdiction with respect to the particular facts and issue.

And I would like to point out --

Is there any affirmation by the Board?