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CITY LINE OPEN HEARTH v. HOTEL (01/21/64)

January 21, 1964

CITY LINE OPEN HEARTH, INC.
v.
HOTEL, MOTEL & CLUB EMPLOYEES' UNION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 184, Jan. T., 1963, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1962, No. 2419, in case of City Line Open Hearth, Inc. v. Hotel, Motel & Club Employees' Union, Local No. 568, AFL-CIO, and Lawrence Stoltz. Decree, as modified, affirmed; reargument refused March 2, 1964.

COUNSEL

Alan R. Howe, with him Edward Davis, for appellants.

Arthur S. Keyser, with him Kleinbard, Bell & Brecker, for appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 413 Pa. Page 422]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BELL

This is an appeal by the defendant Union and its President from a Decree of the Court below which granted a preliminary injunction restraining the appellants

[ 413 Pa. Page 423]

    from picketing the premises of the plaintiff-appellee.

Facts

On November 19, 1962, City Line Open Hearth, Inc., hereinafter referred to as City Line, opened a restaurant and cocktail lounge at 4444 City Line Avenue, Philadelphia. On January 16, 1963, City Line filed a Complaint in Equity asking for an injunction against the defendants-appellants, because of their coercive activities and their conduct which was characterized by threats and violence.

The coercion which City Line charged and proved constituted, inter alia, a violation of Section 6(2) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act of June 1, 1937.*fn1 However, the lower Court overlooked the legally important fact that it would also have violated the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947,*fn2 as amended. Section 8(b)(7) of that Act pertinently provides: "(b) It shall be an unfair labor practice for a labor organization or its agents ... (7) to picket or cause to be picketed, or threaten to picket or cause to be picketed, any employer where an*fn3 object thereof is forcing or requiring an employer to recognize or bargain with a labor organization as the representative of his employees, or forcing or requiring the employees of an employer to accept or select such labor organization as their collective bargaining representative, ...."

Following a hearing of the Complaint and a consideration of the evidence presented, Judge MILNER entered a preliminary injunction. Defendants immediately appealed on the ground that since the activities complained of by appellee were "arguably" proscribed

[ 413 Pa. Page 424]

    as unfair labor practices under Section 8(b) of the National Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, the National Labor Relations Board had exclusive jurisdiction in the matter.

Basis of Lower Court's Injunction

While finding that the picketing conducted by the defendants was characterized by what amounted to intimidating conduct, vandalism and violence, the lower Court granted a preliminary injunction on the grounds (1) that there had been no showing of federal jurisdiction*fn4 and (2) that the defendants were endeavoring

[ 413 Pa. Page 425]

    to coerce the appellee to commit a violation of Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act, supra, by forcing its employees to join the defendant Union. The Union challenges the first ground, and denies the applicability of the second ground. We shall consider the grounds in their inverse order.

Because of the misunderstood state of the law in this field, we shall analyze and review many cases at length, in an attempt to ...


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