RESPONDENT: Wisconsin Employment Relations Board
DOCKET NO.: 530
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1955-1956)
ARGUED: Apr 24, 1956 / Apr 25, 1956
DECIDED: Jun 04, 1956
Facts of the case
Media for United Automobile, Aircraft & Agricultural Implement Workers of America v. Wisconsin Employment Relations BoardAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 25, 1956 in United Automobile, Aircraft & Agricultural Implement Workers of America v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Board
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 24, 1956 in United Automobile, Aircraft & Agricultural Implement Workers of America v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Board
Number 530, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America versus Wisconsin Employment Relations Board and Kohler Company.
Kurt L. Hanslowe:
Yes, Your Honor.
If the Court please.
This case is here on appeal from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
This Court, noting probable jurisdiction on January 30th of this year.
The issue in the case is the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Board to investigate and enjoin in a state unfair labor practice proceeding the kind of conduct which the National Labor Relations Board is empowered to investigate and to prohibit.
The Wisconsin tribunals upheld the state jurisdiction throughout when the appellant here has attacked such jurisdiction.
In addition, the States of Texas, Utah and Georgia had filed briefs amicus urging this Court to affirm the decision below.
The appellant is a labor organization certified by the National Labor Relations Board to represent the employees of the appellee, Kohler Company, for purposes of collective bargaining.
The certification followed a regular federal statutory representation proceeding and the certification issued on June 19th of 1952.
On April 5, 1954, a strike commenced the -- at the Kohler Company following unsuccessful negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
The employees of the Kohler Company picket at the premises.
On April 15, 1954, some 10 days after the commencement of the strike, the Kohler Company filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Board charging the appellant and others with unfair labor practices within the meaning of the Wisconsin Employment Peace Act which is the Wisconsin labor statute.
The gist of Kohler's complaint was that the appellant and others had engaged in mass picketing in the obstruction of egress and ingress in the picketing of employees' homes and threats of violence and violence and in the obstruction of traffic.
It was alleged by the Kohler Company that by so doing, the employees of the Kohler Company have been coerced, employees who did not want to work, but who -- who did not want to strike but wanted to work and that other people, in addition, were prevented from having access to the premises of the Kohler Company.
On May 21st, 1954, the Wisconsin Board entered an order finding the appellant and others to have committed these unfair labor practices and directing them to cease and desist from committing them in the future.
This order of the Wisconsin Board was enforced by the Circuit Court for Sheboygan County, Wisconsin on August 13, 1954, and by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin on May 3, 1955.
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin in its decision took cognizance of the fact that the business of the Kohler Company affected commerce within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act.
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin also took cognizance of past and pending assertion of jurisdiction by the National Labor Relations Board over the labor relations of the Kohler Company, both in representation and in unfair labor practice proceedings.
The holding of the Wisconsin Court was that although the Taft-Hartley Act regulated a union unfair labor practices, nevertheless, the action of the Wisconsin Labor Board constituted a valid exercise of the State's police power.
I should like, if I may, to -- to well briefly on the N.L.R.B.proceedings of which the Wisconsin Court took cognizance.
There were two representation proceedings, one of which I've already mentioned that resulted in the certification of the appellant.
In addition to that, there was an unfair labor practice case decided by the Labor Board on April 12, 1954, and enforced by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the decision being reported at 220 F.2d, page 3.
In addition, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint on October 26, 1954, that is to say, some six months after the commencement of the strike, this case is N.L.R.B.Case 13-CA-1780.
Now, it's indicated that N.L.R.B.proceeding resulted out of the same strike which precipitated the State Board proceeding here involved.
Hugo L. Black:
Is that proceeding against the union or the company?
Kurt L. Hanslowe:
That, Your Honor, is a proceeding against the company on charges filed by the union.
The charges are refusal to bargain, discrimination, and other forms of interference and coercion of the employees of the Kohler Company.We have added, if the Court please, to our record as Appendix C excerpts from the pleadings of that case, and we are asking the case to take judicial notice of those pleadings, they -- that those pleadings are not in the record necessarily because the state proceeding preceeded the federal proceeding.
We do not believe it is inappropriate for us to ask the Court to take notice of this pending proceeding.