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UNITED SHOE WOKERS OF AMERICA v. BROOKS SHOE MFG.

May 2, 1960

UNITED SHOE WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, et al.,
v.
BROOKS SHOE MANUFACTURING COMPANY et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WOOD

This is a suit by Local 127 of the United Shoe Workers of America, AFL-CIO, against the Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company, the Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company, Inc., and Michael Goldenberg, for breach of a collective bargaining agreement. The case was tried without a jury on the question of liability alone. It was understood by the Court and counsel that questions of remedies and whether certain individual plaintiffs are proper parties to the suit would be reserved until after the Court's determination of whether the collective bargaining agreement had been breached.

The issues in the case involve two separate provisions in the collective bargaining agreement, the interpretation of these provisions, and the question of whether the generally agreed facts prove a breach of these provisions. The provisions in question are contained in a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the plaintiff union and the Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company in the spring of 1957, which agreement was operative by its terms until December 1, 1957. Those provisions read as follows:

 '14. It is recognized that it is necessary for the firm to buy or have made for itself, on the outside, certain types of shoes. It is agreed that no contract work shall be given out and no contract work shall be performed in the shop or factory on shoes known as better grade work. It is understood that by 'contract work' is meant shoes made partially within the plant and completed on the outside, or shoes made partially on the outside and completed within the plant. It is agreed that the firm will continue to make the better grade shoes in their present plant.

 '21. It is agreed by the Employer that the shop or factory shall not be removed from the County of Philadelphia during the life of this agreement.' (Emphasis supplied.)

 The Court has jurisdiction over the parties and over the subject matter of the suit by virtue of 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185, as amended by Public Law 86-257 of 1959, 29 U.S.C.A. § 401 et seq.

 Findings of Fact

 1. The defendant, the Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company, operated an athletic shoe manufacturing and sales business in Philadelphia from 1920 to 1957. From 1950 to April 30, 1957, the business was conducted as a partnership. The partners were John and Michael Goldenberg.

 2. In 1938, the Goldenbergs incorporated the Carmen Shoe Manufacturing Company located at Hanover, Pennsylvania. The Carmen Company also manufactures and sells athletic shoes.

 3. For several years prior to 1957, and including 1957, plaintiff union represented the employees of the Philadelphia manufacturing operation, the Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company. During those years the collective bargaining agreement remained substantially the same and included paragraphs containing the same language as paragraphs 14 and 21 of the 1957 agreement.

 4. Since its inception, the Carmen Shoe Manufacturing Company's employees have not been represented by any union.

 5. The control of the Carmen Company has been in the Goldenberg family during all times material to this suit.

 6. Until the early part of 1957, the Goldenbergs' shoe business was operated as follows: In Philadelphia, better grade leather was purchased by the partnership. The 'cutters' in the Philadelphia shop placed patterns of various parts of a shoe on the leather and cut out corresponding parts. The 'fitters' stitched these parts together. Finally, the shoemakers completed the shoe.

 The Carmen Company conducted the same shoemaking operations at the Hanover shop. The leather purchased by the Carmen Company was, however, lower grade leather.


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