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WEST PENN TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT v. INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD ELECTRICAL WORKERS. (10/24/58)

October 24, 1958

WEST PENN TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS.



Appeal, No. 50, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, July T., 1958, No. 2, in case of School District of West Penn Township et al. v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 636, et al. Decree reversed. Equity. Before PALMER, P.J. Decree entered denying preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs appealed.

COUNSEL

Bruce E. Cooper, with him Sparks A. Reese, John Arnold Crisman, and Rhoads, Sinon and Reader, for appellants.

Harry W. Lightstone, with him John E. Lavelle, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 396 Pa. Page 410]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

The School District of West Penn Township, The West Penn Township School Authority, Boyd H. Kline, a general contractor, Robert B. Waice, a plumbing and heating contractor, and William A. Donmoyer Co., a Pennsylvania corporation which is engaged in the electrical contracting business, filed a complaint seeking a preliminary injunction against International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 686, Robert B. Reeser, John Doe, Plumbers, Steamfitters & Apprentices, A.F.L. Local 517, Vincent Zimmers, Richard Roe, to restrain the picketing which was carried on by defendants. Complainants have appealed from the order and decree of the Court of Common Pleas, which denied a preliminary injunction.

The Authority, pursuant to advertising and the receipt of sealed bids, awarded contracts on or about December 20, 1956, to Kline, as general contractor, to Waice, a plumbing and heating contractor, and to Donmoyer Co., as electrical contractor. These contracts were for the construction of, and the plumbing, heating and electrical work in, an elementary school for 400 children to be built on the premises owned by the Authority in West Penn Township.In accordance with the Act of May 2, 1945, P.L. 382, § 10, as amended, 53 PS § 312, contracts had to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. Kline, Waice and the Donmoyer Co. were respectively the lowest responsible bidders.

The contract between the Authority and the general contractor provided that the school building was

[ 396 Pa. Page 411]

    to be completed on or before February 28, 1958. The Authority has no labor contracts with any labor union. Kline has twenty-nine employees, including carpenters, masons, and laborers, all union members but none a member of a defendant union. Waice has four employees who are plumbers, none of whom is a member of any union. Donmoyer Co. has two employees who are electricians but are not members of any union.

In December, 1956, just prior to the award of the contracts, Robert B. Reeser, business agent or manager for the International Brotherhood, notified the Authority (according to the testimony) that "if they hire nonunion contractors there would be trouble". Reeser also told the Authority that he was there to have Donmoyer join the union, and that Donmoyer did not pay the prevailing union wages. Reeser also protested, by telegram, any award to Donmoyer because he was a nonunion contractor and did not pay the prevailing wage rates. Defendant Zimmers, prior to the final awarding of the bids, urged the Secretary of the Municipal Authority to reconsider the award of contracts to nonunion contractors and award them instead to union contractors, even though the Act required the Authority to accept the lowest, qualified, responsible bidder. The testimony also showed that Reeser told Donmoyer he was ...


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