« ForrigeFortsett »
244 U. S.
Argument for Appellants.
The facts establish a combination to cause strikes against customers of complainants for the purpose of preventing the sale of their products as long as they operate an open shop, and is, in effect, a secondary boycott of the complainants, which is unlawful. [Citing many authorities].
The combination of defendants to bring about the employment of members of their organization exclusively in their industry throughout an entire community is unlawful. [Counsel here went into an analysis of the means employed and the rights affected and dangers involved, referring to numerous authorities.]
The relief prayed for will not interfere with the legal provisions of any of the arbitration agreements.
Complainants are entitled to an injunction under § 16 of the Clayton Act, of October 15, 1914. This section is declaratory of ancient common-law principles and is highly remedial, and should be construed so as to advance the remedy. It was meant to remove doubt arising from divergent federal decisions, and is to be taken as a legislative construction of the prior law, of retrospective operation, applicable to pending suits like this. Bailey v. Clark, 21 Wall. 284; Tiger v. Western Investment Co., 221 U. S. 286; Missouri Pacific Ry. Co. v. United States, 189 U. S. 274; Dinsmore v. Southern Express Co., 183 U. S. 115; Sampeyreac v. United States, 7 Pet. 222; United States v. The Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch, 105.
It was not the intention by § 6 of the Clayton Act to change in any respect the Sherman Anti-Trust Act as it had been construed and applied by this court in any case. The history of the legislation, shown by the committee reports and even the debates in Congress, establishes this. Moreover, the act in § 4 re-enacts, word for word, §7 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, under which the Loewe Case was brought to and decided by this court, without excepting that or any other case from its provisions,
Counsel for Appellees.
which action, upon established principles of construction, is an adoption by Congress of the doctrines of that
244 U. S.
The presence of § 6 in the act is due to the fact that it was thought desirable to put at rest the contentions of some, that the existence of labor unions for legitimate purposes was forbidden by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
Section 20 of the Clayton Act has obviously no application since here the relation of employer and employee does not exist actually or prospectively between the contending parties.
It is further obvious that the various acts mentioned in §20, against which injunctions shall not issue in this limited class of cases, are most of them acts which in and of themselves are ordinarily lawful, and that this section accomplishes no other purpose than to declare the previously existing law on this subject. The recognition of a right by a statute, such as the Clayton Act, will not justify the exercise of that right in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy, which is expressly defined by the same statute. Aikens v. Wisconsin, 195 U. S. 194; Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U. S. 439.
Otherwise construed, the Clayton law would be unconstitutional as class legislation, and depriving persons of property without due process of law. Cleland v. Anderson, 66 Nebraska, 252; Connolly v. Union Pipe Co., 184 U. S. 540.
It is proper for the complainants to unite as co-plaintiffs since they were all similarly affected by the same combination.
Mr. Charles Maitland Beattie for the labor union appellees.
Mr. Frederick Hulse for appellees.
Mr. Anthony Gref, Mr. Charles J. Hardy and Mr. Fred
erick P. Whitaker filed a brief in behalf of appellee James Elgar, Inc.
MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the court.
This is a bill in equity brought by corporations, of States other than New York, engaged in the manufacture of doors, sash, etc., in open shops, against officers and agents of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and of the New York branch of the same, certain union manufacturers of doors, sash, etc., members of the Manufacturing Wood Workers' Association, and many master carpenters, members of the Master Carpenters' Association, whose business is to install such products in buildings. The bill was dismissed by the District Court, 212 Fed. Rep. 259, and the decree was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. 214 Fed. Rep. 82; 130 C. C. A. 522.
The bill alleges a conspiracy of the members of the Brotherhood and the New York branch to prevent the exercise of the trade of carpenters by any one not a member of the Brotherhood, and to prevent the plaintiffs and all other employers of carpenters not such members from engaging in interstate commerce and selling their goods outside of the State where the goods are manufactured, and it sets out the usual devices of labor unions as exercised to that end. In 1909 the Master Carpenters, coerced by the practical necessities of the case, made an agreement with the New York branch, accepting a previously established joint arbitration plan to avoid strikes and lockouts. This agreement provides that "there shall be no restriction against the use of any manufactured material except non-union or prison made"; the arbitration plan is confined to shops that use union labor and the employers agree to employ union labor only. The unions will not erect material made by non-union mechanics.
Opinion of the Court.
244 U. S.
Another agreement between the Manufacturing Wood Workers' Association, the Brotherhood and the New York branch also adopts the plan of arbitration; the labor unions agree that "none of their members will erect or install non-union or prison made material," and the Wood Workers undertake that members of the Brotherhood shall "be employed exclusively in the mills of the Manufacturing Wood Workers' Association." It is found that most of the journeymen carpenters in Manhattan and part of Brooklyn belong to the Brotherhood, and that owing to their refusal to work with non-union men and to employers finding it wise to employ union men, it is very generally impracticable to erect carpenter work in those places except by union labor. It also is found that owing to the above provisions as to non-union material the sale of the plaintiffs' goods in those places has been made less. The workmen have adopted the policy complained of without malice toward the plaintiffs, as part of a plan to bring about "a nation-wide unionization in their trade."
An injunction is asked against the defendants' (other than the Master Carpenters) conspiring to refuse to work upon material made by the plaintiffs, because not made by union labor; or enforcing by-laws intended to prevent working with or upon what is called unfair material; or inducing persons to refuse to work for persons purchasing such material, or taking other enumerated steps to the same general end; or conspiring to restrain the plaintiffs' interstate business in order to compel them to refuse to employ carpenters not members of the Brotherhood. It is prayed further that the provision quoted above from the Master Carpenters' agreement and another ancillary one be declared void and the parties enjoined from carrying them out. No jother or alternative relief is prayed. The ground on which the injunction was refused by the District Court was that, although it appeared that the agreements above mentioned were parts of a comprehen
sive plan to restrain commerce among the States, the conspiracy was not directed specially against the plaintiffs and had caused them no special damage, different from that inflicted on the public at large. The Circuit Court of Appeals, reserving its opinion as to whether any agreement or combination contrary to law was made out, agreed with the judge below on the ground that no acts directed against the plaintiffs personally were shown.
In the opinion of a majority of the court if the facts show any violation of the Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209, a private person cannot maintain a suit for an injunction under § 4 of the same, Minnesota v. Northern Securities Co., 194 U. S. 48, 70, 71, and especially such an injunction as is sought; even if we should go behind what seems to have been the view of both courts below, that no special damage was shown, and reverse their conclusion of fact. No one would maintain that the injunction should be granted to parties not showing special injury to themselves. Personally, I lay those questions on one side because, while the Act of October 15, 1914, c. 323, § 16, 38 Stat. 730, 737, establishes the right of private parties to an injunction in proper cases, in my opinion it also establishes a policy inconsistent with the granting of one here. I do not go into the reasoning that satisfies me, because upon this point I am in a minority.
As this court is not the final authority concerning the laws of New York we say but a word about them. We shall not believe that the ordinary action of a labor union can be made the ground of an injunction under those laws until we are so instructed by the New York Court of Appeals. National Protective Association of Steam Fitters & Helpers v. Cumming, 170 N. Y. 315. Certainly the conduct complained of has no tendency to produce a monopoly of manufacture or building since the more successful it is the more competitors are introduced into the trade. Cases like Kellogg v. Sowerby, 190 N. Y. 370,