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06/21/51 Di Giorgio Fruit Corp. Et v. National Labor

June 21, 1951

DI GIORGIO FRUIT CORP. ET AL

v.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD ET AL. 1951.CDC.69 DATE DECIDED: JUNE 21, 1951

WRIT OF CERTIORARI DENIED NO

v.

5, 1951. DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE PRETTYMAN



Before WILBUR K. MILLER, PRETTYMAN and WASHINGTON, Circuit Judges.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.

PRETTYMAN, Circuit Judge.

This case is before us upon a petition for review of an order of the National Labor Relations Board, which dismissed a complaint, issued by the General Counsel of the Board, charging two unions with unfair practices under the so-called secondary boycott provision of the National Labor Relations Act. *fn1 The petitioners are the Di Giorgio Fruit Corporation, engaged in growing and selling vegetables and fruits, and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Di Giorgio Wine Company. The full name of the union which we shall call the "Farm Union" is Kern County Farm Labor Union, Local 218, National Farm Labor Union. The full name of the union which we shall call "Teamsters 87" is International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local 87. Four unions were charged in the complaint, but the Board granted relief against two of them, and they are not involved in this review.

The Farm Union is composed of harvest and field workers, irrigators, and packing shed workers, all of whom are employed by the Fruit Corporation as agricultural laborers. It is the Kern County Local of the National Farm Labor Union, the members of which National are in part agricultural laborers and in part commercial packing house employees and others.The membership of Teamsters 87 is composed of truck drivers and helpers employed by trucking and other concerns in the area.

The controversy began when the two unions demanded that the Fruit Corporation bargain collectively with them as representatives of units of workers in its employ. That demand was rejected. Thereupon the workers commenced at strike. A joint picket line was established at each point where a private road from the Fruit Corporation property joined a public road. As the result of certain events, detailed hereinafter, the petitioners filed charges against the unions, and the General Counsel of the Board thereupon issued a complaint which charged, so far as here pertinent, that the unions had engaged in and were engaging in unfair labor practices within the meaning of Section 8 of the Act *fn2 and, more particularly, that they had engaged in a secondary boycott.

Section 8(b)(4)of the Act reads as follows, so far as here pertinent:

"(b) It shall be an unfair labor practice for a labor organization or its agents -

"(4) . . . to induce or encourage the employees of any employer to engage in, a strike or a concerted refusal in the course of their employment to . . . transport, or otherwise handle or work on any . . . commodities or to perform any services, where an object thereof is: forcing or requiring . . . any employer or other person to cease using, selling, handling, transporting, or otherwise dealing in the products of any other producer, processor, or manufacturer, or to cease doing business with any other person; . . .."

From this point on, this consideration is really in two separate parts, one relating to the Farm Union and the other relating to Teamsters 87. We shall treat it that way.

Farm Union.

On several occasions during the strike, members of the Farm Union followed truckloads of produce or cars of wine from the Di Giorgio property to the plants of the purchasers and there established picket lines. Employees of the purchasers declined to cross these picket lines. The Board did not reach the question whether these activities constituted a secondary boycott. It held that the statute did not apply to the Farm Union.

The first consideration upon this point is quite simple, a matter of statutory language. The statute, as will be noted from the above quotation, relates to an unfair labor practice of "a labor organization or it agents". That is, the only unfair labor practices to which the statute applies are such practices of "a labor organization or its agents".

Section 2 of the Act contains statutory definitions. It provides, among other things:

"Sec. 2. When used in this Act -

"(3) The term 'employee' shall include any employee, . . . but shall not include any individual employed as an agricultural laborer, . . ..

"(5) The term 'labor organization' means any organization of any kind . . . in which employees participate . . .."

Thus, according to the language of the Act, "employees" must participate in an organization if it is to be deemed a labor organization within the meaning of the statute, and agricultural laborers are not included within the statutory term "employees". Hence, so far as the words of the statute are concerned, the Farm Union, being composed exclusively of agricultural laborers, is not a labor organization within the meaning of the ...


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