Superior Court of Wash. for King Cty. v. Washington ex rel. Yellow Cab Service, Inc.

PETITIONER: Superior Court of Wash. for King Cty.
RESPONDENT: Washington ex rel. Yellow Cab Service, Inc.
LOCATION: Approximately half-way between Santa Marta, Colombia and Miami. Florida (by water)

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 361 US 373 (1960)
ARGUED: Jan 20, 1960
DECIDED: Jan 25, 1960

Facts of the case


Media for Superior Court of Wash. for King Cty. v. Washington ex rel. Yellow Cab Service, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 20, 1960 in Superior Court of Wash. for King Cty. v. Washington ex rel. Yellow Cab Service, Inc.

Earl Warren:

Number 76, the Superior Court of the State of Washington for King County et al., Petitioners, versus State of Washington on the Relation of Yellow Cab Service, Incorporated.

Mr. Donaldson.

Richard P. Donaldson:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

On September 16, 1958, more than a year ago, taxicab drivers in Local 465 (Inaudible) a strike (Inaudible) Yellow Taxicab System.

And as part of the strike (Inaudible) to picket (Inaudible) control the premises of the Seattle Yellow Cab garage which is located at 902 Madison Street in the City of Seattle.

This case raises the question of whether the National Labor Relations Board has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the strike and picketing which has taken place.

Incidentally, the strike and picketing (Inaudible)

And this case is here by a petition for certiorari.

The set of facts in the case are these.

Seattle Yellow Cab System is composed of 119 corporations.

118 corporations are engaged into the business of operating taxicabs.

Usually, one corporation operates one cab.

The main corporation which is the respondent here, the Yellow Cab Service Company is engaged in the business (Inaudible) the activities of the Yellow Cab Corporation.

It supplies the dispatching, the public relations and advertising, the supervisory, and the bookkeeping services for the other corporations.

And, together, these corporations operate the Yellow Cab Company or the Yellow Cab System in the City of Seattle.

There are approximately 120 Yellow Cabs operating on the streets of Seattle which are under the auspices of -- operate under the auspices of this system.

At the time of the strike, this system employed approximately 160 employees.

About 10 of these employees were employed as dispatchers by the service corporation and the remaining 150 employees were employed to drive the cabs, and all of these employees were members of taxicab drivers, Local 465.

Back in 1956, the Union and the -- the group of corporations began the collective bargaining contract which provided (Inaudible) working conditions for these employees.

This contract ran for two years in 1958 (Inaudible) been set down in the summer or early fall of 1958 and it (Inaudible) new contract but these negotiations were not successful and they (Inaudible) September 16, 1958, the Union called a strike against the Yellow Cab System and placed pickets at the Yellow Cab garage.

As soon as the strike was called, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service stepped into the picture and summoned the parties to a -- to a meeting at the offices of the service in Seattle, but this meeting was not successful and the strike continued.

And then a few days later, on September 23rd, 1958, the service corporation filed a complaint in the Superior Court for King County, asking that -- that the strike and picketing be enjoined.

The theory of this complaint was that the service corporation was willing to sign a contract with the Union covering dispatchers only, but it was alleged that the Union refused to sign this contract (Inaudible) all of the corporations participated in the (Inaudible)

That was as soon as the corporation (Inaudible) willingness to enter into this contract, there's no further dispute.

(Inaudible) a trial was held in early October for (Inaudible) Superior Court of King County, and then, a trial was given to introduce evidence showing (Inaudible)

They introduced other evidence showing that the cab company has agreements with the interstate railroads which operate into Seattle by the terms of which agreements, Yellow Cabs are used to transfer passengers from the train depot to the steamship dock, that is passengers who are travelling on a so-called “through ticket”.

We also introduced evidence showing that the cab company had agreements with the airports, with the railroad stations, and with the steamship dock, by which it had the exclusive right to pick up passengers who were arriving at those terminals and that the cab company earned substantial amounts of money from the exercise of these franchise or concession agreements.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court ruled that the service corporation's complaint should be dismissed.

The trial court held that it had no jurisdiction and which the employer was -- the cab system is engaged in (Inaudible) commerce and it had a complaint against the (Inaudible) As soon as the trial court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, the service corporation filed an original mandamus proceeding in the Supreme Court of Washington asking the Supreme Court to compel the trial court to take jurisdiction.

And after (Inaudible) submitted, the trial court granted that writ.