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BAKERY SALES DRIVERS LOCAL UNION NO. 33 ET AL. v. WAGSHAL

decided: March 15, 1948.

BAKERY SALES DRIVERS LOCAL UNION NO. 33 ET AL
v.
WAGSHAL, TRADING AS WAGSHAL'S DELICATESSEN



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Vinson, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Murphy, Jackson, Rutledge, Burton

Author: Frankfurter

[ 333 U.S. Page 439]

 MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an action brought in a United States District Court to enjoin interference with a business, and the question is whether the complaint subjects that court to the limitations imposed by the Norris-LaGuardia Act upon its equity jurisdiction.

This is the substance of the complaint. Respondent owns a delicatessen store which sells food and serves meals. She obtained bread for the delicatessen store from Hinkle's bakery. Deliveries were made by a driver, an employee of Hinkle and a member of Local Union No. 33, one of the petitioners. The driver delivered the bread at noon, which inconvenienced the respondent, since the checking of deliveries at that hour interfered with the serving of lunches. Respondent "required" the driver to bring the bread at another hour. Shortly thereafter, Hinkle informed the respondent that it would no longer furnish her with bakery products. And so, respondent made arrangements with another bakery, which delivered at a more convenient hour.

Three weeks later, the petitioner Andre, president of the union, visited the delicatessen store and stated that the respondent owed the driver approximately $150 and requested immediate payment. Respondent replied that she had never had dealings with the driver, but had paid Hinkle directly by check, and would pay the bill in due course. Andre replied that the payment would have to be made to the driver in full; furthermore, that if the respondent did not cease carrying a certain non-union article of food he noticed on display, delivery of bread, milk, and other products necessary to the respondent's business would be cut off. Shortly thereafter the respondent sent a check to Hinkle for the balance of her bill. It was returned by the union, with a letter signed by Andre asserting that the payment was owed to its

[ 333 U.S. Page 440]

     member, the driver, and could not be accepted. The following day, the bakery which had been serving respondent after Hinkle had stopped doing so, ceased to deal with her, explaining that the union had threatened otherwise "to pull out all its drivers." Through an effective boycott, the union kept the respondent from obtaining bread from other bakeries or retail stores. The delicatessen store was also picketed.

The complaint prayed for temporary and permanent injunctions against the boycott and other interference with respondent's business, the payment of damages, and the usual catch-all relief. Petitioners moved to dismiss the action on the ground that the controversy as set forth in the complaint involved a "labor dispute" under the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 47 Stat. 70, 29 U. S. C. §§ 101 et seq. Respondent filed an "answer to motion to dismiss," attached to which were affidavits, including one of Benjamin Wagshal, manager of the delicatessen store, elaborating the incidents narrated in the complaint. Among other matters set forth, he stated that payment for bread purchased from Hinkle had always been made by check sent directly to Hinkle and was never made to a driver, and that neither the union nor any of its drivers had ever previously questioned this practice; that Andre had asserted by mail and at the delicatessen store that the check which the respondent had sent to Hinkle was $12.22 short of the amount owed; and that the non-union item on sale to which Andre had objected was not a subject of controversy but merely an excuse for Andre's attempt, on his visit to the delicatessen store, to enforce his demands concerning the bill, and that in any event its sale had been discontinued.

The District Court granted an injunction pendente lite, restraining the petitioners from interfering with respondent's business or preventing sale and delivery of bakery products to the respondent, by boycott and picketing.

[ 333 U.S. Page 441]

     At the same time, it denied the petitioners' motion to dismiss. Petitioners filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and respondents moved to dismiss the appeal.

If this case does not involve a "labor dispute" under the Norris-LaGuardia Act, an appeal as of right could not be had in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. 31 Stat. 1189, 1225, as amended, D.C. Code (1940) § 17-101. However, § 10 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 47 Stat. 70, 72, 29 U. S. C. § 110, provides for immediate review of an order granting or denying "any temporary ...


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