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WORTEX MILLS v. TEXTILE WORKERS UNION AMERICA (01/07/52)

January 7, 1952

WORTEX MILLS, INC.
v.
TEXTILE WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA, C.I.O., APPELLANTS



Appeal, No. 166, Jan. T., 1951, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1950, No. 6392, in case of Wortex Mills, Inc., v. Textile Workers Union of America, C.I.O., et al. Decree, as modified, affirmed; reargument refused February 6, 1952.

COUNSEL

Jerome L. Markovitz, for appellants.

Paul Brandeis, with him Goff & Rubin, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 369 Pa. Page 360]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Defendants appeal from a decree which restrained and enjoined their picketing. The chancellor found, either separately or in his opinion, the following facts:

The plaintiff, a Pennsylvania corporation, manufactures and deals with wool and woolen goods at its principal place of business on the second floor of a building situate at Adams Avenue and Leiper Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has 38 employes, none of whom are members of any union nor affiliated with the defendant unions; and there was no strike or labor dispute of any kind between plaintiff and its employes.

The defendant unions are out on a strike with textile manufacturers, other than the plaintiff, in connection with some bargaining arrangements. They have no labor contract with plaintiff or its employes and no proposed contract has been submitted by defendants for the employes of the plaintiff.

The entrance into the building where plaintiff's plant is located consists of a three foot wide doorway. This doorway is not the means of ingress or egress to any other business conducted in said building.

[ 369 Pa. Page 361]

On February 19, 1951, members of the defendant unions started to picket the three foot wide entrance of plaintiff's plant, causing most of the employes to have to push their way through the picket line and the rest to refuse to enter.

On February 22, 1951, a double line of 150 pickets congregated at this doorway and had an automobile on the street with a loudspeaker which said "Why go into that two-bit concern? They will fold in a year".

On February 23, 1951, the pickets of the defendant unions again congregated about the entrance of plaintiff's plant and threatened plaintiff's employes. Most of the employes pushed their way into the plant but many of them were afraid to work as a result of the threats and intimidations of the defendants. There were however, no acts of violence.

On February 26th plaintiff's bill of complaint and rule for a preliminary injunction was filed. On that day and the next day there were 25 pickets at the three foot wide entrance to plaintiff's plant; the rest of the week, 10 pickets.

The defendant unions also picketed the loading platform at the rear of the building so that truck drivers who were members of other unions refused to unload trucks delivering goods. The defendants likewise interfered with the delivery of raw materials to be used in part for the manufacture of cloth for the Army and Navy.

During the first week of the picketing the production of the plaintiff's plant was reduced by 90 percent of its output and in the second week by 85 percent.

The chancellor further said: "The unions have called a general strike in the textile field, and in an effort to induce the employes of the plaintiff to become members of the defendant unions and to force the ...


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