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WILSON & CO. v. BIRL

February 8, 1939

WILSON & CO.
v.
BIRL et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KIRKPATRICK

The prayer for a temporary injunction will be denied.

This case grows out of a labor dispute.

 The plaintiff is engaged in the wholesale meat business, with a plant in Philadelphia where it receives, stores and sells meat and certain other agricultural products, and does some processing. Practically all the meat which the plaintiff handles at its Philadelphia plant is shipped to it in interstate commerce, and twenty-five per cent of the products sold by it are delivered to its customers by interstate shipments, mostly in its own delivery trucks.

 The defendants are three labor unions, their officers, and certain individuals, members of the unions.

 Local 195 includes all but five of the plaintiff's employees in its production and maintenance department. This union is on strike to obtain a closed shop agreement. The specific demand is that the plaintiff discharge the five nonunion employees or compel them to join the union.

 Local 107 includes all the plaintiff's chauffeurs, truckers and platform men. It is on strike to assist 195 in obtaining a closed shop agreement. The specific occasion of the strike of 107 was the discharge by the plaintiff of two of its members who refused to handle the plaintiff's products so long as the five nonunion men remained in its employ.

 The members of Local 18571 are not employees of the plaintiff, but of a cold storage warehouse, where the plaintiff stores a substantial quantity of its products. This union is not on strike, but its members have refused to handle the plaintiff's products, and the plaintiff is unable to get them from the warehouse. The purpose of this action on the part of 18571 is to assist 195 in obtaining its objective.

 There is no proof of any express agreement by word between the defendants, but it clearly appears that there is mutual understanding, combination and concert of action among them, and that it is their common purpose to compel the plaintiff to enter into a closed shop agreement with Local 195.

 In general, the means by which the objective of the defendants is sought is inflicting loss upon the plaintiff through as complete suspension of its business as the defendants can accomplish. The defendants are not seeking the total destruction of the plaintiff's business, but are perfectly willing to risk that rather than recede from their position on the closed shop. More specifically, the means used are:

 a. A strike; and refusal to handle or move the plaintiff's products.

 b. Picketing the plaintiff's place of business.

 c. Visiting the plaintiff's customers and requesting them not to accept deliveries of goods or place orders, and threatening them with the picketing of their places of business if they do -- a threat which, in some cases, has been carried out.

 In addition to the foregoing, members of various unions sympathetic with the defendants have refused to handle products of the plaintiff. There is no proof that this is at the request or instigation of the defendants, but there is no ...


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