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ELISCO v. ROCKWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY. (12/29/56)

December 29, 1956

ELISCO, APPELLANT,
v.
ROCKWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY.



Appeal, No. 14, March T., 1957, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1956, No. 1087, in equity, in case of Guy J. Elisco et al. v. Rockwell Manufacturing Company et al. Decree affirmed. Equity. Decree entered denying petition for preliminary injunction, before WEISS and CERCONE, JJ., opinion by WEISS, J. Plaintiffs appealed.

COUNSEL

Harry Alan Sherman, for appellants.

J. Wray Connolly, with him Moorhead & Knox, for appellee.

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

Author: Jones

[ 387 Pa. Page 274]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

The sole question involved in this case is whether a Pennsylvania court has jurisdiction to issue a preliminary injunction against an employer at the instance of employees for the purpose of maintaining the

[ 387 Pa. Page 275]

    status quo with respect to the physical location of one of the manufacturing plants of the employer pending disposition by the National Labor Relations Board of a charge of unfair labor practices lodged with the Board by the employees on the ground that the employer intended to remove one of its plants from its present location in Pennsylvania in alleged violation of an existing labor relations contract. The question arose under the following circumstances.

The plaintiffs, all of whom are employees of the defendant company, are members of Local 883 of the United Auto Workers A.F. of L. The company has its principal office in Pittsburgh where it maintains a manufacturing plant as it also does in several other cities in Pennsylvania as well as in a number of other States. A labor relations contract was entered into by the company and the union acting as the bargaining agent of the company's employees. While the contract endured, the plaintiff employees caused to be lodged with the National Labor Relations Board charges that the employer was guilty of unfair labor practices in that it was about to remove one of its plants from the Pittsburgh area under circumstances which allegedly constituted a violation of the existing labor relations contract and its supplement. Regional counsel for the Board declined to seek an injunction in the federal court on the basis of the unfair labor charges lodged with the Board.*fn1 In any event, two days after the

[ 387 Pa. Page 276]

    lodging of the charge with the National Labor Relations Board, the plaintiffs filed their complaint in the instant suit for injunctive relief in the court below alleging substantially the same grounds as were set forth in the charge of unfair labor practices.

The defendant filed preliminary objections to the complaint in equity and the matter came on for argument before the court en banc. The learned court below, in an able and comprehensive opinion, held that, on the basis of the allegations in the complaint, the federal Labor Management Relations Act has preempted the particular field and that the state court is without jurisdiction in the premises. The court accordingly denied ...


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