562 F.2d 607 (9th Cir. 1977), 76-1432, California Dump Truck Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter, Inc.

Docket Nº:76-1432.
Citation:562 F.2d 607
Party Name:1977-2 Trade Cases 61,680 CALIFORNIA DUMP TRUCK OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.; Associated Independent Owner Operators, Inc.; Charles F. Baird and Robert W. Raquet, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA, SAN DIEGO CHAPTER, INC.; San Diego Building Contractors Association; Engineering and Grading Contractors Association, Inc.
Case Date:October 05, 1977
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 607

562 F.2d 607 (9th Cir. 1977)

1977-2 Trade Cases 61,680

CALIFORNIA DUMP TRUCK OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.; Associated

Independent Owner Operators, Inc.; Charles F.

Baird and Robert W. Raquet, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA, SAN DIEGO

CHAPTER, INC.; San Diego Building Contractors Association;

Engineering and Grading Contractors Association, Inc., San

Diego Chapter; and the International Brotherhood of

Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America,

Local Union # 36, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 76-1432.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 5, 1977

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Dec. 30, 1977.

Page 608

John A. Mitchell, Mitchell, Schmidt, D'Amico, McCabe & Stutz, San Diego, Cal., argued for plaintiffs-appellants.

Jerry J. Williams, Brundage, Williams & Zellman, San Diego, Cal., argued for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Before BARNES and SNEED, Circuit Judges, and WONG, [*] District Judge.

Page 609

WONG, District Judge:

This class action charges the defendant labor union and defendants trade associations with violations of the federal antitrust laws. The district court granted the union's motion to dismiss the amended complaint. We reverse and remand to the district court to afford the appellants an opportunity to further amend their complaint to state a cause of action based upon a conspiracy or contract other than a valid collective bargaining agreement.

I. FACTS

The Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter, Inc. (AGC), the Engineering and Grading Contractors, Inc., San Diego Chapter (EGC), and the San Diego Building Contractors Association (BCA) are trade associations which negotiate multi-employer collective bargaining agreements. Contractors and subcontractors (employers) comprise the membership of these associations.

The California Dump Truck Owners Association, Inc. (CDTOA) is a non-profit corporation of 800 for-hire dump-truck carriers. Appellant Baird is the chairman of the San Diego chapter of the CDTOA. The Associated Independent Owner Operators, Inc. (AIOO) is a non-profit corporation which has for-hire dump-truck owners as part of its membership. Appellant Raquet is the San Diego County chairman for the AIOO. Both Baird and Raquet own and operate trucks and equipment in their own names and have hauled material to and from construction sites in the Southern District of California. The appellants and their members are not represented by the AGC, the EGC, or the BCA.

Appellee International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local Union # 36 (Local 36) is the exclusive bargaining representative for many persons employed by the employers. Local 36 negotiated a collective bargaining agreement, entitled the Master Labor Agreement (MLA), with the AGC, the EGC, and the BCA. The MLA went into effect on June 16, 1974.

The appellants initiated this class action lawsuit on July 26, 1974. They amended their complaint on November 5, 1974. The amended complaint asserts jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, the Sherman Act, and the Clayton Act. The appellants allege that beginning on or about June 14, 1974, the defendants and unnamed co-conspirators have illegally combined and conspired in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15.

The amended complaint alleges that the defendants conspired to (1) fix prices, (2) eliminate the appellants as competitors, (3) restrain trade, and (4) boycott the appellants. As a result, the amended complaint contends (1) prices have been fixed, (2) the public has been deprived of the benefit of free and open competition, (3) competition in the relevant market has been restrained, and (4) the plaintiffs will cease to exist as competitive entities.

Local 36 filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The motion was granted. The plaintiffs have appealed.

II. JURISDICTION

There is federal jurisdiction pursuant to the Sherman Act,15 U.S.C. § 4, and the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15. 1 The National Labor Relations Board does not have exclusive jurisdiction of this case since the federal courts can decide "labor law questions that emerge as collateral issues in suits brought under independent federal

Page 610

remedies, including the antitrust laws." Connell Construction Co., Inc. v. Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union No. 100, 421 U.S. 616, 626, 95 S.Ct. 1830, 1837, 44 L.Ed.2d 418 (1975) (footnote omitted).

III. FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAWS

The appellants contend that the appellees have illegally conspired and combined in violation of the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Local 36 believes that it is protected by the labor exemption to the federal antitrust laws. There are two recognized labor exemptions; one statutory, one non-statutory.

  1. Statutory immunity

    The basic source of Local 36's statutory exemption from the federal antitrust laws is the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 17, and 29 U.S.C. § 52, and the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 101, 104, 105, 113. Connell, 421 U.S. at 621-22, 95 S.Ct. 1830; United States v. Hutcheson, 312 U.S. 219, 61 S.Ct. 463, 85 L.Ed. 788 (1941). Section 6 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 17, says:

    The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Nothing contained in the antitrust laws shall be construed to forbid the existence and operation of labor . . . organizations, instituted for the purposes of mutual help, and not having capital stock or conducted for profit, or to forbid or restrain individual members of such organizations from lawfully carrying out the legitimate objects thereof; nor shall such organizations, or the members thereof, be held or construed to be illegal combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade, under the antitrust laws.

    In the Norris-LaGuardia Act, Congress set out the public policy for the exemption. 29 U.S.C. § 102 says:

    Whereas under prevailing economic conditions, developed with the aid of governmental authority for owners of property to organize the corporate and other forms of ownership association, the individual unorganized worker is commonly helpless to exercise actual liberty of contract and to protect his freedom of labor, and thereby to obtain acceptable terms and conditions of employment, wherefore, though he should be free to decline to associate with his fellows, it is necessary that he have full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of his own choosing, to negotiate the terms and conditions of his employment, and that he shall be free from the interference, restraint, or coercion of employers of labor, or their agents, in the designation of such representatives or in self-organization or in other concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection . . . .

    This exemption is not absolute; it is subject to exceptions. In Allen Bradley Co. v. Local Union No. 3, IBEW, 325 U.S. 797, 809, 65 S.Ct. 1533, 1540, 89 L.Ed. 1939, reh. denied, 326 U.S. 803, 66 S.Ct. 11, 90 L.Ed. 489...

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