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UNITED OFFICE & PROFESSIONAL WORKERS OF AMERICA V.

August 20, 1946

UNITED OFFICE AND PROFESSIONAL WORKERS OF AMERICA
v.
SMILEY et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GANEY

This matter is before the court on a petition of the United Office and Professional Workers of America for an injunction against D. W. Smiley, Leo Abernathy and Malcolm B. Petriken, constituting the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, to enjoin them in their official capacity from conducting an election for the purpose of determining who shall be the bargaining representative for the Industrial Insurance Agents of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, and from taking any other action in connection with proceedings for the election and certification of such bargaining representative.

The complainant, the United Office and Professional Workers of America (hereinafter referred to as United), an unincorporated association, is a labor union, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, and is composed, as its name indicates, of office and professional workers of all types, including insurance agents, throughout the United States. On January 15, 1943, United was designated by the Agents of the Prudential Insurance Company of America (herein after referred to as Prodential) throughout the States of the United States, with a few exceptions, *fn1" as their duly authorized collective bargaining agent. *fn2" On February 1, 1943, United and Prudential entered into a collective labor agreement covering the employees of that unit. Since that time, the employees of that unit have continued to work under labor agreements entered into between United and Prudential. At the time this action was brought, the labor agreement was still in effect

 Beginning on November 27, 1944, the American Federation of Industrial and Ordinary Insurance Agents' Council (hereinafter referred to as Council), a labor organization affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, and the International Union of Life Insurance Agents, Unaffiliated (herein after referred to as International), an independent labor organization, filed various petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (herein after referred to as the National Board) seeking certification of their union as the bargaining representative for all industrial agents of Prudential working in the States of California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Oklahoma, alleging as appropriate units the Prudential's Agents employed on a state basis. United was made a party to, and actively participated in, the proceedings before the National Board.

 On January 11, 1945, Council also presented a petition to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (herein after referred to as the State Board) for the purpose of being certified as the bargaining representative of the industrial agents of Prudential working in the State of Pennsylvania, and asked it to conduct an election among those agents.

 On May 19, 1945, the National Board dismissed the petitions for elections, filed by Council and International on the ground that state-wide units of Prudential's employees were inappropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining between United and Prudential, the highly integrated and centralized business character of Prudential, and the nation-wide organization of the Prudential's Agents by United. Matter of Prudential Insurance Company of America, Cases Nos. R-5141-45, 61 N.L.R.B. 1289.

 On January 15, 1946, the State Board, after it had concluded that 'all industrial insurance agents of the Prudential Insurance Company of America licensed and working exclusively in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including those agents whose debits are partly in Pennsylvania and partly in Ohio, or whose debits are partly in Pennsylvania and partly in Maryland, (but excluding certain named groups of employees) constitute, for the purpose of collective bargaining, an appropriate unit,' *fn3" ordered an election, by secret ballot for the purpose of ascertaining the representative for the purpose of collective bargaining, among the employees of Prudential who are engaged as industrial insurance agents, to be held on February 5th, 6th and 7th, 1946. United seeks to enjoin, in this court, the State Board from holding this election.

 The complaint contends that this action arises under the Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 8 *fn4" and the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449-57, as amended, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 to 166.

 In support of this contention, the complaint alleged that the order of the State Board to hold an election to determine who should be the bargaining representative for the industrial insurance agents of Prudential on a state-wide basis was unconstitutional and for that reason the State Board was without jurisdiction to make such an order by reason of the action taken by the National Board in Matter of Prudential Insurance Company of America, supra, which superceded the authority of the State Board in this matter.

 The prayer for relief asked for both a preliminary and a permanent injunction and for such other relief to which the complainant may be entitled.

 At a hearing on a motion for a temporary restraining order the defendant orally raised the question of improper venue, the jurisdiction of this court over the person of the defendant and the subject matter of this case. In order to meet the defendants' objection to the venue, the complainant moved to amend the complaint to bring Prudential, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of New Jersey and doing business, in addition to almost every state in the union, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on the record as § codefendant, and Prudential entered no objection. The defendant however objected to the good faith of the amendment.

 The motion for a temporary restraining order was allowed for a period of ten days. On February 5, 1946, while this order was in force, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for want of sufficient allegations on which equitable relief could be granted. On the same day Council was permitted to intervene *fn5" as a party defendant, and the temporary restraining order, by agreement of the parties, was extended to March 18, 1946, which date was set for the hearing of the application for a permanent injunction. This application was further continued and on April 25, 1946 defendants filed its supplemental motion to dismiss and by agreement of parties the matter was to be disposed of by the court on briefs filed.

 The first question for our determination is: does this court have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action?

 In my opinion, the allegations of the complaint, which must be presumed to be true, are sufficient to give this court jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action by virtue of Sec. 24(8) of the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C.A. § 41(8), which provides that the District Courts shall have jurisdiction: 'Of all suits and proceedings arising under any law regulating commerce.' American Federation of Labor, et al. v. Watson, Atty. Gen. of Florida, et al., 327 U.S. 582, 66 S. Ct. 761, 765, 90 L. Ed. 873. When the District Courts have jurisdiction under this section, the amount in controversy is immaterial and therefore ...


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