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JOSEPH HORNE CO. v. INTERNATIONAL UNION OPERATING ENGINEERS (10/06/77)

decided: October 6, 1977.

JOSEPH HORNE CO., A DIVISION OF ASSOCIATED DRY GOODS CORPORATION
v.
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS, LOCAL UNION NO. 95-95A, EDWARD RIMMEL, JEFFERY WHALEN, JOSEPH TIGHE, RICHARD SIWICKI, GEORGE P. KERN, JR., AND JOHN AND JANE DOE, SAID NAMES BEING FICTITIOUS; TRUE NAMES BEING UNKNOWN, AND ANY OTHER INDIVIDUALS, LABOR ORGANIZATIONS AND LABOR UNIONS ACTING IN CONCERT



No. 100-Appeal of International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 95-95A, et al. No. 139-Appeal of Joseph Horne, Co., a Division of Associated Dry Goods Corp. No. 218-Appeal of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 95-95A, et al. No. 266-Appeal of Joseph Horne, Co. a Division of Associated Dry Goods Corp., Appeals from the Order of September 8, 1976 (Nos. 100 and 139) and Order of October 8, 1976 (Nos. 218 and 266) of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, No. G.D. - 75-18810.

COUNSEL

Timothy P. O'Reilly, Pittsburgh, for appellant at Nos. 100 and 218.

Edward J. Van Allen, Pittsburgh, for appellant at Nos. 139 and 266.

Timothy P. O'Reilly, Pittsburgh, for appellee at Nos. 139 and 266.

Edward J. Van Allen, Pittsburgh, for appellee at Nos. 100 and 218.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price and Spaeth, JJ. Van der Voort, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Hoffman

[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 147]

The lower court entered two orders in the instant case. In its first order, dated September 8, 1976, the court held International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Union No. 95-95A (hereinafter "union") in civil contempt of a preliminary injunction and required the union to pay a $25,000 fine to Joseph Horne Co. (hereinafter "company"). On appeal from this contempt order, the union contends that the lower court did not afford the union due process at the hearing on the preliminary injunction and did not allow the union sufficient time to prepare a defense to the contempt

[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 148]

    charge. Moreover, the union contends that the evidence does not support a finding of contempt. The company also appealed this order; it asserts that the lower court should have granted damages in the amount of $110,530.71. We reverse the September 8, 1976 contempt order because the lower court did not allow the union sufficient time to prepare its defense to the contempt charge. On October 8, 1976, the lower court issued an order denying consideration of exceptions filed by the union to the September 8 contempt order. Both the company and the union appealed this order. We affirm the lower court's October 8 order.

On August 8, 1975, after negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement failed, the union commenced a strike against Joseph Horne Co. The union established picket lines at the company's facilities in Pittsburgh. On August 11, 1975, the company filed a complaint in equity which requested the court to issue a preliminary injunction restraining certain alleged picket line misconduct by the union and its officers. According to the company, the lower court took no immediate action on August 11, 1975, because union officers assured the court and the company that its picket line conduct would be peaceful and would not block ingress and egress to and from the company's facilities. Instead, the lower court scheduled a hearing for 1:30 p. m., on August 12, 1975.

On the morning of August 12, 1975, company attorneys appeared ex parte before the lower court and presented witnesses who testified that the union and the officers had breached their assurances by engaging in mass picketing and violence which blocked access to company property. The company asserted that it notified the union of its attempt to secure a preliminary injunction. The lower ...


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