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LAY v. INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD ELECTRICAL WORKERS (11/14/67)

decided: November 14, 1967.

LAY
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL NO. 174, APPELLANT



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Warren County, Feb. T., 1966, No. 17, in case of D. H. Lay, Blain M. Mead and Lewis L. Crippen, Commissioners of Warren County, and Commissioners of Rouse Estate v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 174, AFL-CIO and Austin G. Stafford.

COUNSEL

James P. McKenna, Jr., with him Murray R. Garber, and Lipsitz & Nassau, for appellants.

Thomas E. Waters, Jr., with him David W. Swanson, for appellees.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Roberts concurs in the result. Mr. Chief Justice Bell dissents. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: O'brien

[ 427 Pa. Page 388]

The instant appeal is from the granting of an injunction against the appellants, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 174, AFL-CIO, and Austin G. Stafford, business manager of the union. Plaintiffs are D. H. Lay, Blain M. Mead, and Lewis L. Crippen, Commissioners of Warren County, Pennsylvania and, by virtue of their offices, Commissioners of the Rouse Estate. The Rouse Estate is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation organized for the purpose of providing care for the poor of Warren County. The decree enjoined the union from picketing or committing

[ 427 Pa. Page 389]

    other acts which interfere with the present construction program for additions and alterations to the Rouse Hospital at Youngsville, Pennsylvania.

The picketing arose out of the grant to R. D. Goss, Inc., of the electrical contract for the additions to the hospital. Goss, which had submitted the low bid, $73,000, was the only nonunionized bidder. Negotiations between the union and Goss began, in which negotiations the union sought to get Goss to pay the union wage scale of $4.62. When he refused, the union peacefully picketed the construction at the Rouse Home. All work stopped when other union employees refused to cross the picket line.

Appellants contend, and we agree, that the court below had no jurisdiction to grant the injunction, since the question of the legality of the picketing is arguably within the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board and on such issues, the federal government has preempted the field. In a thorough review of the cases on federal preemption in this area, City L.O.H., Inc. v. Hotel, M. & C.E.U., 413 Pa. 420, 427, 197 A.2d 614 (1964), we said: "In order to vest the National Labor Relations Board with exclusive jurisdiction and divest State Courts of Equity jurisdiction which they have possessed for a very long period of time, it is necessary, in this class of case, for the parties who claim that the N.L.R.B. has exclusive jurisdiction to prove, inter alia, (1) that the employer was engaged in interstate commerce . . . and (2) that the challenged activities were expressly or arguably within the jurisdiction of the N.L.R.B. [citing cases]

"Furthermore, the jurisdiction of the N.L.R.B. must be readily ascertainable from the averments of fact contained in the Complaint itself, or must be affirmatively proved by the party alleging such jurisdiction."

There is no dispute that the second factor mentioned above is met, i.e., that the ...


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