278 Mass. 125 (1932), Olympia Operating Co. v. Costello

Citation:278 Mass. 125
Party Name:OLYMPIA OPERATING COMPANY v. CHARLES J. COSTELLO & others.
Case Date:January 25, 1932
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 125

278 Mass. 125 (1932)

OLYMPIA OPERATING COMPANY

v.

CHARLES J. COSTELLO & others.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Hampden.

January 25, 1932

September 17, 1931.

Present: RUGG, C.

J., CROSBY, SANDERSON, & FIELD, JJ.

Unlawful Interference. Labor Union. Strike.

In a suit in equity by the proprietor of a theatre to enjoin a labor union from picketing before the theatre with placards, it appeared that the picketing was done with placards containing the statement: "UNION MEN AND

WOMEN DO NOT PATRONIZE THIS THEATER THIS THEATER UNFAIR TO THE BILLPOSTERS UNION. . . . UNION BILLPOSTERS LOCKED OUT. UNION SYMPATHIZERS

STAY AWAY"; that thereby the business of the plaintiff was interfered with to an appreciable extent; that the plaintiff had employed members of the union to do outside billposting, but never had employed any of them to "change the lobby," which was done by the plaintiff's own poster artist and a helper; that owing to a refusal by the plaintiff to employ members of the union to "change the lobby," the union called a strike of those employed by the plaintiff in outside posting. A decree for the plaintiff was entered and the defendants appealed. Held, that the statement in the placards, "union billposters locked out," being false, the use of such false statement was an unlawful means of conducting a strike and warranted the decree of injunction.

Whether the statement in the placards that the theatre was unfair to the billposters' union was untrue and therefore unlawful was not considered.

Section 24 of G.L.c. 149, being limited in its application to a lawful strike lawfully conducted, had no bearing in the suit above described.

BILL IN EQUITY, filed in the Superior Court on March 14, 1931, and described in the opinion.

The suit was referred to a master. Material facts found by the master are stated in the opinion.

The suit was heard by Whiting, J., by whose order there were entered an interlocutory decree confirming the master's report, and a final decree enjoining the defendants, "members of Local No. 15 International Association of Billposters and Billers, its and their officers, agents, servants, attorneys and employees, from placing the name of

Page 126

the plaintiff or the Paramount or Broadway Theaters in Springfield upon any sign, card, placard or other display so as to induce or attempt to induce persons not to patronize either of the above named theaters of the petitioner; from picketing before the theaters above named; from parading before the petitioner's premises above referred to with signs such as described in the master's report or other signs of similar purport; from interfering by word of mouth, printed articles or otherwise with the patrons and customers of the petitioner so as to induce them not to patronize the petitioner's theaters above...

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