31 Cal.2d 441, 5823, N.w. Pacific R. R. Co. v. Lumber & S.w. Union

Docket Nº:5823
Citation:31 Cal.2d 441, 189 P.2d 277
Opinion Judge:[10] Carter
Party Name:N.w. Pacific R. R. Co. v. Lumber & S.w. Union
Attorney:[7] Clarence E. Todd, Henry C. Todd and Gordon W. Mallatratt for Appellants. [8] Geary & Tauzer, C. J. Tauzer and A. Dal Thomson for Respondent.
Case Date:February 05, 1948
Court:Supreme Court of California

Page 441

31 Cal.2d 441

189 P.2d 277

NORTHWESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY (a Corporation), Respondent,

v.

LUMBER & SAWMILL WORKERS' UNION, UNITED BROTHERHOOD OF CARPENTERS &amp

JOINERS OF AMERICA (an Unincorporated Association) et al., Appellants.

Sac. No. 5823.

Supreme Court of California

Feb. 5, 1948

In Bank.

Page 442

COUNSEL

Clarence E. Todd, Henry C. Todd and Gordon W. Mallatratt for Appellants. Geary &amp Tauzer, C.J. Tauzer and A. Dal Thomson for Respondent

OPINION

[189 P.2d 278] CARTER, J.

This is an appeal from an order granting a preliminary injunction issued in an action for injunctive relief against and damages for picketing. Plaintiff is a corporation operating a railroad common carrier, and particularly, in the instant case, engaged as a common carrier in hauling logs and lumber products between points in northern California for various lumber companies and mills. Defendants are unions and the representatives and members thereof between whom and the lumber companies a labor dispute exists. There is no labor dispute between plaintiff and defendants.

The complaint charges that by reason of the labor dispute with the lumber companies, defendants have caused the lumber companies and their products to be designated unfair and

Page 443

are endeavoring to cripple the business activities of those companies and prevent the transportation by plaintiff of such products; that to that end defendants have advised plaintiff that if it transports the lumber companies' products, its places of business will be picketed, including its tracks, for the purpose of coercing plaintiff's employees to cease serving plaintiff, thus preventing plaintiff from transporting the companies' products; that defendants have interrupted and interfered with plaintiff's common carrier operations, have threatened plaintiff's train crews with violence and bodily injury if they handle the companies' products; that in this connection defendants have on occasion attempted [189 P.2d 279] to stop plaintiff's trains by placing a "large number" of pickets across plaintiff's main line tracks and have stopped one of plaintiff's trains by placing a "solid phalanx" of pickets who were in a place of danger from injury by plaintiff's trains and who waved, shouted, stood close to the tracks and threatened to injure the train crew; that plaintiff's employees refused to pass through the picket lines because of defendants' threats and fear of bodily injury, and plaintiff has no means of compelling them to do so.

From the evidence and affidavits considered at the hearing prior to issuing the preliminary injunction, viewed most favorably to plaintiff as it must be inasmuch as the injunction was granted, it appears that between September 23d and 30th, 1946, defendants maintained picket lines at points where plaintiff's main line traversed highways at grade in Sonoma County, many miles removed from the location of the lumber companies with whom the labor dispute existed, while plaintiff's trains were operating as common carriers on its line. No weapons were displayed by the pickets, nor were acts of physical violence committed or directly threatened by them. The trains carried various kinds of freight including products of the lumber companies. The pickets carried banners bearing such statements as "unfair to organized labor," followed by the names of the lumber companies. There was evidence that some of the banners advised, in addition, that this operation is unfair to organized labor. The number of pickets ran as high as 90. On several occasions upon the approach of a train to the crossing the pickets would gather in a compact group directly on the tracks upon which the train was traveling and, instead of giving way for the passage of the train when the whistle and bell were sounded, the pickets

Page 444

would draw their ranks closer together. The crews of the trains brought the trains to a stop, and it may be inferred that they did so because of the picketing and the way in which it was conducted as above described. Some members of the train crews stated that they stopped their trains for fear of physical violence to themselves if they went through the picket lines, and others feared injury to the pickets if they continued operation of the trains. After a conversation between the pickets and the train crew the train was permitted to proceed if none of the freight carried by it was a product of any of the lumber companies. The vice president of plaintiff was present at the picket line a portion of the time and testified that the crews of the trains would not take them through the lines although he ordered them to do so.

The preliminary injunction restrained defendants from (1) using against plaintiff or its employees "force or violence" in connection with picketing of plaintiff's trains, premises, or goods transported by it; (2) "Hindering, delaying, interfering with, or in any manner obstructing the operation of trains, or any part thereof, of the plaintiff," by picketing upon or across plaintiff's tracks or right of way or upon grade crossings "during the approach of trains, or any part thereof, to such crossings, or in any manner whatsoever." (3) Picketing the tracks, trains or premises of plaintiff or its employees or goods transported by it "for the purpose of causing, compelling, persuading, inducing, demanding or coercing plaintiff, or its ... employees ... to refuse to ... transport, ... or handle any goods or freight, or to make or grant any preference or advantage to, or subject to any discrimination, prejudice or disadvantage, any person or corporation, in respect to services or facilities furnished or to be furnished by plaintiff, as a common carrier, or by its agents, employees or representatives." (4) Engaging in any "act, combination, agreement or concerted activity to cause, persuade, induce, compel or coerce the employees, ... of the plaintiff [or plaintiff] to refuse to handle any goods of any shipper, ... or patron of plaintiff, or to discriminate for against any ... patron of plaintiff in connection with the ... handling of ... freight ... belonging to any ... patron of plaintiff, ... and from in any manner interfering with or obstructing the trains, or any part thereof, or the tracks, switches, team tracks, sidings, or other equipment or facilities of plaintiff in order to accomplish, or for the purpose, [189 P.2d 280] or with the

Page 445

intent of carrying out or effectuating the agreement, combination or concerted activity enjoined herein."

It is true that the publicizing of a labor dispute by picketing has been identified with the constitutional guaranties of freedom of speech, press and assembly. (In re Blaney, 30 Cal.2d 643 ; Thomas v. Collins, 323 U.S. 516 [65 S.Ct. 315, 89 L.Ed. 430]; Cafeteria Union 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]; 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 [167 A.L.R. 675]; Park & T. I. Corp. v. International etc. of Teamsters, 27 Cal.2d 599 [162 A.L.R. 1426]; James v. Marinship, 25 Cal.2d 721 [160 A.L.R. 900]; Emde v. San Joaquin County etc. Council, 23 Cal.2d 146 [150 A.L.R. 916]; People v. Dail, 22 Cal.2d 642 ; Magill Bros. v. Building Service etc. Union, 20 Cal.2d 506 ; In re Bell, 19 Cal.2d 488 ; Steiner v. Long Beach Local No. 128, 19 Cal.2d 676 ; McKay v. Retail Auto S.L. Union No....

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