246 F.2d 114 (6th Cir. 1957), 12983, Brotherhood of R. R. Trainmen v. New York Cent. R. Co.

Docket Nº:12983.
Citation:246 F.2d 114
Party Name:BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN et al., Appellants, v. The NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, Appellee.
Case Date:June 14, 1957
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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246 F.2d 114 (6th Cir. 1957)

BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN et al., Appellants,

v.

The NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, Appellee.

No. 12983.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

June 14, 1957

Railroad strike involving a controversy which does not constitute a labor dispute is properly enjoined upon showing that it will interfere with interstate commerce and will result in irreparable injury to the public and to the railroad.

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James L. Highsaw, Jr., Washington, D.C. (Joseph A. Robie, Richard R. Lyman, of Mulholland, Robie & Hickey, Toledo, Ohio, on the brief), for appellants.

Milo J. Warner, Toledo, Ohio, and Wesley A. Wilkinson, Cleveland, Ohio (D. L. Sears, of Doyle, Lewis & Warner, Toledo, Ohio on the brief), for appellee.

Before MARTIN, McALLISTER and STEWART, Circuit Judges.

McALLISTER, Circuit Judge.

The New York Central Railroad Company brought an action, seeking to enjoin the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, a union, from conducting a strike because of the closing of one of the railroad yards, by the company, at Toledo, Ohio, and further asking for a declaratory judgment that the union had no right to interfere with the closing of the yard. The district court, after a hearing, in findings of fact, conclusions of law, and in a comprehensive opinion by Judge Kloeb, held that no labor dispute was involved and granted the injunction sought, on the ground that such a strike would cause irreparable damage to the railroad, as well as to the public. New York Central Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, D.C., 140 F.Supp. 273.

The facts, insofar as pertinent to this controversy, are as follows: The strike was called to protest the closing of one of plaintiff's railroad yards. The National Mediation Board, which had sought to mediate in the case, found that there was no agreement between the carrier and any organization requiring the maintenance of the yard in question; that no request had been made, by the union, for such an agreement; that in the absence of such an agreement, the Board did not have jurisdiction; and that if any arbitrary changes were made in agreements covering allocation of services of the employees, such action would constitute a violation of those agreements, and would be referable to the National Railroad Adjustment Board. The district court, thereafter, found that there was no 'labor dispute' between the parties; that, because of that fact, the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 113, was not applicable, as that statute only came into operation to prohibit, under certain circumstances, injunctive relief in a labor dispute; and that the controversy giving

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rise to the instant case was not a labor dispute as defined in that Act.

Appellant union submits that the court erred in finding that the dispute between the parties did not involve a labor dispute within the meaning of the Railway Labor Act, Title 45 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.; and that it further erred in finding that the controversy did not involve a labor dispute within the meaning of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, and that such Act did not bar injunctive relief in the instant case; and that the court erred in holding that appellee had no effective administrative remedy available to prevent the threatened strike; and that the district court did not have jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the action.

As to the question of irreparable damage, the uncontroverted evidence disclosed that uninterrupted services of the employees represented by the defendant Brotherhoods are essential to the operation of plaintiff railway company; that the stoppage of operations would cause plaintiff thousands of dollars of damages daily, would require it to lay off approximately 2, 516 employees in the Toledo terminal area, resulting in a total wage loss to said employees in excess of $34, 800.00 for each day of said strike; that plaintiff would be compelled to embargo shipments into and out of the Toledo terminal area, thus depriving 207 industries in Toledo and vicinity of service by rail by plaintiff railway and would prevent interchange by plaintiff with The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Company, and the Toledo Terminal Railroad Company, which serve 228 industries in Toledo and vicinity; that transportation of mail by rail into and out of Toledo through plaintiff's Central Union Terminal, approximating 15, 582 sacks per day, would be halted; that such strike would paralyze all operations of plaintiff between Toledo and all points on its Western District, being the principal lines of the plaintiff running from Buffalo to Chicago, and from Toledo to Charleston, West Virginia, necessitating the laying off of approximately 16, 361 employees in addition to the employees of the Toledo terminal area, resulting in a total daily wage loss to said employees of approximately $231, 575.00; that, in addition, it would seriously disrupt passenger operations and schedules of The Erie Railroad Company, The New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Company and The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, which use plaintiff's Cleveland Union Terminal, and would necessitate the laying off of approximately 1, 177 employees of the Cleveland Union Terminal, with a daily wage loss of approximately $15, 305.00; that such strike would seriously disrupt passenger train operations of The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, and the Wabash Railroad Company, which use plaintiff's Central Union Terminal at Toledo and those of the Grand Trunk Railway System, which uses plaintiff's South Bend, Indiana, passenger station, those of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which uses plaintiff's Erie, Pennsylvania, passenger station and those of The New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Company, which uses plaintiff's LaSalle Street Station and trackage at Chicago; that it would seriously affect the passenger and freight operations of other railroads which have and use trackage rights over certain sections of the Western District, as well as the operations of connecting carriers; that it would stop service to approximately 2, 180 industries located on the Western District, many of which are engaged in the manufacture of goods essential to our economy; that it would stop service to approximately 110 industries which do not have side-track connections but which utilize plaintiff's team track facilities at various locations in its Western District; that it would prevent plaintiff's Eastern District, being the principal lines between Buffalo and Boston, from receiving cars from or delivering cars to plaintiff's lines in its Western and Northern Districts, which would necessitate disruption of train service in the plaintiff's Eastern

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District and result in laying off of numerous employees who would suffer a substantial wage loss.

We proceed first to ascertain whether, under the Railway Labor Act or the Norris-LaGuardia Act, the controversy arising out of the railroad's closing its yard, constituted a labor dispute; whether under the circumstances of this case, the district court was...

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