30 Cal.2d 643, 4733, In re Blaney

Docket Nº:4733
Citation:30 Cal.2d 643, 184 P.2d 892
Opinion Judge:[12] Carter
Party Name:In re Blaney
Attorney:[7] Clarence E. Todd, John C. Stevenson and Huston T. Carlyle for Petitioner. [8] Robert W. Gilbert, Hildebrand, Bills & McLeod, Robert W. Kenny, Attorney General, Clarence A. Linn, Assistant Attorney General, and Tobriner & Lazarus, as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioner. [9] Fred N. Howser, Di...
Case Date:October 03, 1947
Court:Supreme Court of California

Page 643

30 Cal.2d 643

184 P.2d 892

In re W. T. BLANEY, on Habeas Corpus.

Crim. No. 4733.

Supreme Court of California

Oct. 3, 1947

In Bank.

Page 644

COUNSEL

[184 P.2d 893] Clarence E. Todd, John C. Stevenson and Huston T. Carlyle for Petitioner. Robert W. Gilbert, Hildebrand, Bills &amp McLeod, Robert W. Kenny, Attorney General, Clarence A. Linn, Assistant Attorney General, and Tobriner &amp Lazarus, as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioner. Fred N. Howser, District Attorney (Los Angeles), Jere J. Sullivan, Deputy District Attorney, for Respondent. Gilford G. Rowland, Russell E. Parsons, O'Melveny &amp Myers, Homer I. Mitchell, W. B. Carman, Jr., Deane F. Johnson, Tuttle &amp Tuttle, C. W. Cornell, E. L. H. Bissinger, Eugene M. Prince, Richard E. Widekind, Burton Mason, C. W. Dooling, Latham &amp Watkins, J. L. Goddard and Olive E. Boswell, as Amici Curiae on behalf of Respondent

OPINION

[184 P.2d 894] CARTER, J.

Prior to the commencement of this proceeding, one H. C. Ramser, doing business as the Upholstery Supply Company, hereinafter referred to as Ramser, prosecuted an action for damages and injunctive relief in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County against various labor unions, W. T. Blaney, a member and business representative of Van Storage and Furniture Drivers, Packers and Helper's Local Union No. 389 (hereinafter referred to as Van Storage Union), one of the unions. Various business firms who employed labor, and who were either suppliers, carriers or customers of Ramser (hereinafter referred to as dealers) were made parties defendants. Ramser manufactures and assembles commodities that go into furniture and sells furniture supplies. The members of Van Storage Union were picketing Ramser and demanding a closed shop contract. A temporary restraining order was issued, generally forbidding Blaney from doing various acts which were aimed at persuading the dealers to refrain from dealing with Ramser. It is disputed whether most of Ramser's employees were members of the union and whether Ramser is engaged in interstate commerce, but those matters are of no significance here in view of the limited scope of the restraining order. The

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restraining order commanded Blaney and his union to refrain from attempting to do or doing any of the following: "(a) Combining or agreeing to cease performing or to cause any employee of [the dealers] to cease performing any service or services for said [dealers], or any of them, or causing or agreeing to cause or threatening to cause any loss or injury to such [dealers] or any of them, for the purpose of inducing or compelling such [dealers] or any of them to refrain from doing business with [Ramser] or furnishing any supplies to [Ramser] in his business, or purchasing any supplies from [Ramser], or carrying, shipping, or receiving any freight or merchandise for [Ramser]; or

"(b) In any way carrying out or effectuating any such combination or agreement, or in any way giving any notices or making any threats intended or tending to effectuate or carry out any such agreement.

"(c) Provided, however, that nothing herein is intended or shall be construed to prohibit peaceful picketing when the same is not done pursuant to or for the purpose of carrying out any combination or agreement herein restrained or enjoined."

After application therefor an order to show cause why Blaney should not be punished for violation of the restraining order was issued and he was found guilty of contempt and committed to the county jail. The judgment of contempt recites that Ramser's action was to secure injunctive relief against the violation by Blaney of the legislative act (approved by a referendum of the people November 3, 1942), commonly referred to as the "hot cargo law." (Lab. Code, sections 1131-1136, as added by Stats. 1941, ch. 623.) He seeks relief by way of habeas corpus. In the judgment the court found six counts of violation of the restraining order as follows: (1) that Blaney stated to a customer of Ramser that if it accepted merchandise from him the union would picket and boycott its plant and products; (2) that similar statements were made to another of Ramser's customers and also that the public and labor would be informed that the customer was selling "unfair" products and a picket line was established; (3) that Blaney told a supplier of Ramser he must not supply him because [184 P.2d 895] there was a strike at Ramser's place of business and all products of Ramser were to be picketed. The supplier complied with Blaney's demand; (4) that

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conduct similar to the above was followed as to another of Ramser's customers; (5) that Blaney told the Railway Express Agency, Inc., that if it accepted for shipment products of Ramser it would be picketed; (6) that the Southern Pacific Company, a common carrier, was informed that if it permitted Ramser to unload from its freight cars, products which had been shipped to him, it would be picketed. Thus it appears that Blaney agreed with the other members of his union to cause and threaten to cause employees of the dealers to cease performing services, and the dealers from doing business with Ramser; that on certain dates Blaney, in furtherance of the agreement, stated to Ramser's dealers that if they accepted Ramser's merchandise they also would be picketed and "tied up" by picketing and boycotting; that some dealers were picketed, the pickets claiming that dealing with Ramser was unfair to organized labor and the like.

The "hot cargo act" reads: "The 'hot cargo' and 'secondary boycott' are hereby declared to be unlawful." (Lab. Code, section 1131.) "As used in this chapter, 'hot cargo' means any combination or agreement resulting in a refusal by employees to handle goods or to perform any services for their employer because of a dispute between some other employer and his employees or a labor organization or any combination or agreement resulting in a refusal by employers to handle goods or perform any services for another employer because of an agreement between such other employer and his employees or a labor organization.

"(b) ['Secondary boycott.'] As used in this chapter, 'secondary boycott' means any combination or agreement to cease performing, or to cause any employee to cease performing any services for any employer, or to cause any loss or injury to such employer, or to his employees, for the purpose of inducing or compelling such employer to refrain from doing business with, or handling the products of any other employer because of a dispute between the latter and his employees or a labor organization or any combination or agreement to cease performing, or to cause any employer to cease performing any services for another employer, or to cause any loss or injury to such other employer, or to his employees, for the purpose of inducing or compelling such other employer to refrain from doing business with, or handling the products of any other employer, because of an

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agreement between the latter and his employees or a labor organization.

"(c) ['Labor organization.'] As used in this chapter, 'labor organization' means any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.

"(d) ['Employer.'] As used in this chapter, the term 'employer' includes any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly and any association of employers, including growers and other hirers of labor.

"(e) ['Employee.'] As used in this chapter, the term 'employee' includes any natural person who works for any person for compensation." (Lab. Code, section 1134.)

"Any act, combination or agreement which directly or indirectly causes, induces or compels a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or inflicts any loss, injury or damage on anyone because of his refusal to violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be unlawful." (Lab. Code, section 1132.) Provision is made for injunctive relief and damages to a person injured by a violation of the statute. (Lab. Code, section 1133.)

The identification of the constitutional protection of the right of free speech, press and assembly, with the publicizing of labor disputes or problems through the medium of picketing, boycotting and otherwise, has been established. (Thomas v. Collins, 323 U.S. 516 [65 S.Ct. 315, 89 L.Ed. 430]; Cafeteria Union, Local 302 v. Angelos, 320 U.S. 293 [64 S.Ct. 126, 88 L.Ed. 58]; Hotel Employees' Local v. Board, 315 U.S. 437 [62 S.Ct. 706, 86 L.Ed. 946]; [184 P.2d 896] Bakery Drivers' Local v. Wohl, 315 U.S. 769 [62 S.Ct. 816, 86 L.Ed. 1178]; Carpenters' Union v. Ritter's Cafe, 315 U.S. 722 [62 S.Ct. 807, 86 L.Ed. 1143]; A. F. of L. v. Swing, 312 U.S. 321 [61 S.Ct. 568, 85 L.Ed. 855]; Carlson v. California, 310 U.S. 106 [60 S.Ct. 746, 84 L.Ed. 1104]; Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88 [60 S.Ct. 736, 84 L.Ed. 1093]; Senn v. Tile Layers' Union, 301 U.S. 468 [57 S.Ct. 857, 81 L.Ed. 1229]; In re Porterfield, 28 Cal.2d 91, 114 [167 A.L.R. 675]; Park & T. I. Corp. v. International etc. Teamsters, 27 Cal.2d 559, 608 [162 A.L.R. 1426]; James v. Marinship

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Corp., 25 Cal.2d 721, 729-730 [160 A.L.R. 900]; Emde v. San Joaquin County etc. Council, 23 Cal.2d 146, 154, 161 [150 A.L.R. 916]; People v. Dail, 22 Cal.2d 642, 651 ; Magill Bros. v. Bldg. Service etc. Union, 20 Cal.2d 506, 511 ; In re Bell, 19 Cal.2d 488, 497 ; Steiner v. Long Beach Local No. 128, 19 Cal.2d 676 ; McKay v. Retail Auto S. L. Union No. 1067, 16 Cal.2d 311, 319, 333 ; In re Lyons, 27 Cal.App.2d 293 .) It has been phrased by this court in various ways. "It is now settled law that workmen may lawfully combine to exert various forms of economic pressure upon an...

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