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PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD v. FRIEDBERG (03/16/59)

March 16, 1959

PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, APPELLANT,
v.
FRIEDBERG



Appeals, Nos. 8 and 9, May T., 1959, from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Sept. T., 1957, No. 1151, and Jan. T., 1958, No. 455, in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Irving J. Friedberg et al. Orders reversed.

COUNSEL

Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, with him James F. Wildeman and Herbert N. Shenkin, Assistant Attorneys General, for Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, appellant.

Arthur Berman, with him Samuel Handler, and Compton, Handler & Berman, for appellee.

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

Author: Cohen

[ 395 Pa. Page 295]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

The appeals herein were taken by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County setting aside the orders made by the Board in these two companion cases.

In the first case the Board, after a hearing and an election, made an order on November 21, 1957 certifying The Building Service Employees International Union Local No. 363, AFL-CIO as the exclusive representative of the employees of the appellees, Irving J. Friedberg, Mollye Friedberg and Lee B. Friedberg trading as Harrisburg Window Cleaning Company (hereinafter referred to as "employer)". The second case involved a decision and order of the Board which found that the same employer engaged in unfair labor practices within the meaning of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, 43 P.S.

[ 395 Pa. Page 296]

ยง 211.1 et seq., in the discharge of one of its employees. Following these decisions, the employer filed petitions for review of the Board's final orders in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County. The court held that the Board had no jurisdiction over the employer and set aside the orders.

The facts are not in dispute. Employer is engaged in the furnishing of local window cleaning services in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and employs five persons to do this work. Its total business for the year 1956 (the last full year prior to the institution of these proceedings) amounted to $40,165.70, of which $12,462.00 represented services performed for enterprises engaged in commerce within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act and $28,003.70 represented services performed for purely intrastate customers. Of their customers engaged in interstate commerce only a few were in the production of goods or in the transportation industry. The others were mostly retail establishments.

The question presented by these appeals is whether the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has jurisdiction over this employer.

After recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court, it is unquestionable that where the activity of an employer affects or may affect commerce, State Labor Relations Boards do not have jurisdiction over a labor dispute. The field is pre-empted by the Federal Government which invested the National Labor Relations Board with exclusive jurisdiction. The exclusiveness exists even though the National Board refused to assert its jurisdiction because of its self-imposed standards. Guss v. Utah Labor Relations Board, 353 U.S. 1 ...


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