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United States Steel Corp. v. Fraternal Association of Steel Haulers

decided: July 10, 1979.

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION AND BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION, JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION, WHEELING-PITTSBURGH STEEL CORPORATION, NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION AND YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE COMPANY
v.
FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF STEEL HAULERS, A/K/A FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL HAULERS, WILLIAM J. HILL, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN; FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF STEEL HAULERS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, WILLIAM J. HILL, CHAIRMAN; MILTON E. SCHAUDT, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT; DAVID HAUGH, SECRETARY; R. H. WILSON, ROBERT W. SCHWIRIAN, CLYDE MOSTOLLER, HARRY LUDWIG, E. E. STONER AND PAUL BURNS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MEMBERS OF A CLASS REPRESENTING OWNERS OF STEEL HAULING RIGS, APPELLANTS IN NO. 79-1055; UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION AND BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION, JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION, WHEELING-PITTSBURGH STEEL CORPORATION, NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION AND YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE COMPANY INTERVENING PLAINTIFFS, APPELLANTS IN NO. 79-1145 V. FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF STEEL HAULERS, A/K/A FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL HAULERS, WILLIAM J. HILL, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN; FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF STEEL HAULERS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, WILLIAM J. HILL, CHAIRMAN; MILTON E. SCHAUDT, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT; DAVID HAUGH, SECRETARY; R. H. WILSON, ROBERT W. SCHWIRIAN, CLYDE MOSTOLLER, HARRY LUDWIG, E. E. STONER AND PAUL BURNS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MEMBERS OF A CLASS REPRESENTING OWNERS OF STEEL HAULING RIGS, UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION AND BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION, JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION, WHEELING-PITTSBURGH STEEL CORPORATION, NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION AND YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE COMPANY INTERVENING PLAINTIFFS, V. FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF STEEL HAULERS, A/K/A FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL HAULERS, WILLIAM J. HILL, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN; FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF STEEL HAULERS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, WILLIAM J. HILL, CHAIRMAN; MILTON E. SCHAUDT, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT; DAVID HAUGH, SECRETARY; R. H. WILSON, ROBERT W. SCHWIRIAN, CLYDE MOSTOLLER, HARRY LUDWIG, E. E. STONER AND PAUL BURNS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MEMBERS OF A CLASS REPRESENTING OWNERS OF STEEL HAULING RIGS, APPELLANTS IN NO. 79-1168



APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (D.C. Civil No. 70-0418)

Before Aldisert, Van Dusen and Gibbons, Circuit Judges.

Author: Aldisert

Opinion OF THE COURT

These appeals emanate from a permanent injunction entered by consent in 1971, which enjoined the appellants from interfering with, obstructing or delaying any equipment belonging to appellee steel manufacturers, their customers, or to those serving them. The appellants were specifically enjoined from violating any prohibitions contained in any Act of Congress, particularly the Sherman and Clayton Acts. We must decide whether the district court's adjudications of contempt are appealable and whether the court misused its discretion in refusing to dissolve the 1971 permanent injunction. Appellees have cross appealed, contending that the court erred in modifying the injunction to exempt certain members of FASH from its terms. We hold that the findings of contempt are not appealable, that the court correctly refused to dissolve the injunction, and that it was error to modify the injunction.

The individual appellants at Nos. 79-1055 and 79-1168 are owners of specially equipped tractor-trailers commonly referred to as steel hauling rigs. The organizational appellants, generally known as the Fraternal Association of Steel Haulers (FASH), are associations whose members are owners and drivers of rigs. Some owners drive their own equipment; others, called fleet owners, do not. The owner-operators and fleet owners lease their equipment and furnish drivers to the common carriers of steel products who are certified by federal or state regulatory bodies, and for this service they receive a percentage of the gross revenue of the carrier.

The appellees, cross-appellants in No. 79-1145, are steel manufacturers who engage the certified carriers for the transportation of their products. The freight rates they pay are based on published tariffs approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission or, in intrastate operations, by the appropriate state regulatory agencies.*fn1

The permanent injunction dated September 10, 1971 was entered by consent and is identical in all material respects to a preliminary injunction entered by the district court on May 15, 1970, which we reviewed in United States Steel Corp. v. Fraternal Association of Steelhaulers, 431 F.2d 1046 (3d Cir. 1970).

FASH is more than one organization. Described by the district court as "a "Siamese' triplet of three separate yet combined entities,"*fn2 it is first a national federation of associations formed to promote "the mutual protection and advancement of the interests and general welfare of independent tractor-trailer owner-operators, drivers, and allied occupations in the general business of hauling and transporting steel and steel products." App. at 2289a-1. In addition, the term FASH may refer to the Fraternal Association of Steel Haulers of Western Pennsylvania, chartered as a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation in 1968, for the purpose of promoting the "desires of persons connected with the steel hauling industry whether such persons be owners of vehicles, drivers of vehicles, or owner-operators." Id. at 2282a. A third facet of FASH is the Fraternal Association of Special Haulers (Special Haulers), described by William J. Hill, President and Chairman of all the defendant associations, as "the union part of FASH." Id. at 2294a-32. By the time the permanent injunction was entered in 1971, Special Haulers had entered into two collective bargaining agreements with common carriers and had been certified by the National Labor Relations Board as a collective bargaining representative for employees of Tryon Trucking Company. Since then, Special Haulers has entered into collective bargaining agreements with two or three additional carriers.

The factual background which led to the 1970 preliminary injunction and the consent 1971 permanent injunction has been previously summarized by this court:

The confrontation between the parties was precipitated in April, 1970, when members of FASH decided to withdraw their rigs from service to the carriers. In addition, FASH members sought by concerted action to dissuade other truckers from supplying service to and from appellees' mills and plants. FASH contended that the withdrawal of services resulted from its disaffection with the Teamsters Union which had represented a majority of its members in past negotiations with the carriers. Appellees, however, insist that FASH's actions were designed to force the steel producers to pay higher tariffs to the carriers, thus increasing the proportionate share of FASH members.

Following the withdrawal of rigs in April, 1970, FASH established marshalling areas throughout Western Pennsylvania where other steel haulers were invited by FASH members to pull off the highway and participate in discussions. In many instances, these invitations resulted in shootings, arson, rock throwing, tire slashing, and other assorted acts of wanton vandalism.

This then was the background that precipitated the filing of the complaint for injunctive relief. The companies charged that the individual appellants and FASH combined and conspired to restrain interstate commerce in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 1 and 2 and Sections 4, 12 and 16 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 15, 22 and 26. In opposing the request for the injunction, appellants argued that they are trade unionists and, accordingly, come within the anti-injunction protection of § 13(c) of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. § 113(c).

431 F.2d at 1047.

A second massive withdrawal of these rigs from service in a campaign sponsored by FASH, this time in 1978, precipitated the present proceedings. The FASH National Committee decided on July 29, 1978 to organize a shutdown of steel hauling rigs. Thereafter President Hill and other national officers traveled throughout steel producing areas from Chicago to Philadelphia to promote the shutdown which eventually began on November 10-11, 1978 and substantially cut shipments at the appellees' mills. For ...


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