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TERRIZZI BEVERAGE COMPANY v. LOCAL UNION NO. 830 (09/25/62)

September 25, 1962

TERRIZZI BEVERAGE COMPANY
v.
LOCAL UNION NO. 830, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 285, Jan. T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1961, No. 2333, in equity, in case of Terrizzi Beverage Company v. Local Union No. 830, Brewery and Beer Distributor Drivers, Helpers and Platform Men et al. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Richard H. Markowitz, with him Richard Kirschner, and Wilderman, Markowitz & Kirschner, for appellant.

Daniel Sherman, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 408 Pa. Page 381]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

The primary question for decision in this appeal is the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania state courts over the subject matter of the controversy.

The salient facts may be capsuled as follows:

The plaintiff-appellee, the Terrizzi Beverage Company, is a Pennsylvania Corporation engaged in the beer distributing business in the City of West Chester, Pennsylvania. On November 1, 1961, by order and under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board, an election was conducted among the Terrizzi employees to determine their future bargaining agent. The vote overwhelmingly rejected Local 830, Beer Distributor Drivers, Helpers, and Platform, Men, a labor organization affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Teamsters Council, No. 53, which had previously served as the bargaining agent for this particular group of employees.

[ 408 Pa. Page 382]

The appellee-corporation, under oral contract had for years regularly purchased large quantities of beer from the brewery of C. Schmidt & .sons, Inc., in the City of Philadelphia. Under the agreement, the beer was to be delivered at the platform of the brewery and the Schmidt employees charged with the responsibility of unloading the empty containers from appellee's trucks and reloading with filled containers.

On or about November 1, 1961, and continuing until the institution of this action, appellee's trucks ran into serious difficulty in the loading process at the brewery. The employees of the brewery, who are members of Local 830, the union rejected by Terrizzi employees, deliberately "slowed down" the loading of appellee's trucks. Various types of tactics were employed to extend the normal period of loading, so that the trucks were daily unduly delayed at the loading platform for hours. During this period also, a tire of one of the trucks was slashed, and steel filing were poured into the motors of two of the trucks. The identity of the perpetrators of the last mentioned crimes was never ascertained.

All of this resulted in a substantial loss of money to the appellee-corporation and seriously affected deliveries to its customers. This action for equitable relief followed. In the complaint, it was charged that the defendant-union, Local 830, and the defendants, Basal and Lanni, president and secretary-treasurer of the union, respectively, acting in concert with other unnamed individuals were coercing, intimidating and harassing the appellee-corporation through he commission of the unlawful acts related above, in an attempt to interfere with the contractual relations existing between Schmidt and the appellee. Preliminary ...


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