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CLEARFIELD CHEESE COMPANY v. UNITED STONE AND ALLIED PRODUCTS WORKERS AMERICA (06/28/54)

June 28, 1954

CLEARFIELD CHEESE COMPANY, INC.,
v.
UNITED STONE AND ALLIED PRODUCTS WORKERS OF AMERICA, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 51, Jan. T., 1954, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, Nov. T., 1951, No. 10, in case of Clearfield Cheese Company, Inc. v. United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America, etc. Ordered reversed. Proceeding upon petition of defendants and rule to show cause why judgment entered pro confesso in equity action should not be opened and defendants permitted to answer. Order entered discharging rule, opinion by BELL, P.J. Defendants appealed.

COUNSEL

Edward T. Kelley, for appellants.

Frank A. Whitsett, with him Robert V. Maine, Frank G. Smith and Smith, Maine, Whitsett & Lee, for appellee.

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

Author: Musmanno

[ 378 Pa. Page 145]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

Counsel for the plaintiff-appellee announces in his brief: "The record is in a state of confusion."

Counsel for the defendant-appellants states in his brief: "The attorney was misled and confused somewhat by the Court's order and the National Labor Relations Board hearings."

On August 21, 1952, the court below entered an order which said, inter alia: "... whether to determine the charge of unfair labor practises, or certification of a bargaining agent, we do not know; but we presume this case may be of little further interest to either party." (Emphasis supplied.) With such seeds of indecision falling into the hot soil of partisan controversy,

[ 378 Pa. Page 146]

    it was inevitable that eventually a tangled growth of uncertainty would cover this entire litigation. However, cutting through the maze of pleadings and orders which frequently are self-contradictory and overlapping, we find the following salient facts:

On October 17, 1951, the employes of the Clearfield Cheese Company, claiming certain grievances against their employers, went out on strike. On October 29, 1951, the plaintiff, Clearfield Cheese Company filed a bill in equity against the defendants claiming damages for interference with its business and asking for an injunction to prohibit further interferences. The injunction was granted but no disposition was made of the claim for damages. Picketing at the plant ceased on November 13, 1951.

The Union petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to intervene and on March 30, 1953, after a 12 days' hearing (June 23 to July 5, 1952) the Board concluded that the Clearfield Cheese Company had engaged in "unfair labor practices" ...


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