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BROTHERHOOD RAILROAD TRAINMEN v. WALKER (05/25/54)

May 25, 1954

BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN, APPELLANT,
v.
WALKER



Appeal, No. 18, May T., 1954, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, 1950, No. 167, in case of Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen et al. v. David M. Walker, Secretary of Department of Labor and Industry. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Albert D. Brandon, with him Oliver, Brandon & Shearer, for appellants.

M. Louise Rutherford, Deputy Attorney General, with her Robert H. Maurer, Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Frank F. Truscott, Attorney General, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 377 Pa. Page 397]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

The General Safety Law of 1937 (Act of May 18, 1937, P.L. 654 -- 43 PS 25-1 et seq.) directs the Department of Labor and Industry to promulgate regulations which will effectuate the object and purposes of the Act, Section 3 of which reads: "All establishments shall be adequately lighted, and ventilated.

[ 377 Pa. Page 398]

Proper sanitary facilities shall be provided in sufficient number for the persons employed, and shall include toilet facilities, washing facilities, dressing rooms, retiring rooms for women, and wholesome drinking water of approved quality." (Emphasis supplied.)

Section 1 of the Act defines establishment: "The term 'establishment' shall mean any room, building or place within this Commonwealth where persons are employed or permitted to work for compensation of any kind to whomever payable, except farms or private dwellings, and shall include those owned or under the control of the Commonwealth, and any political subdivision thereof, as well as school districts."

The Department did issue regulations but in doing so it restricted the scope of the term "establishment" by declaring that it "shall apply only to a factory as hereinafter defined."

On June 27, 1950, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Pennsylvania State Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, et al., brought an action of mandamus against the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry to compel him (1) to change the Department's definition of establishment so as to have it conform to the terminology of the Act, and thus include railroads as well as factories; (2) to require him to promulgate rules bringing railroad personnel within the purview of the Act; and (3) directing him to prosecute railroads and "responsible officers to secure safe sanitary conditions on the railroads of this Commonwealth."

The plaintiffs filed with the Complaint numerous exhibits consisting of photographs and letters depicting and describing "unsafe and unsanitary conditions existing on the railroads in the Commonwealth of ...


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