Attig v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, No. 45619.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSAGER
Citation300 N.W. 636,231 Iowa 1
Decision Date18 November 1941
Docket NumberNo. 45619.
PartiesATTIG et al. v. INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, STABLEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL NO. 90 et al.

231 Iowa 1
300 N.W. 636

ATTIG et al.
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, STABLEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL NO. 90 et al.

No. 45619.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Nov. 18, 1941.


Appeal from District Court, Polk County; John J. Halloran, Judge.

This is an action in equity to restrain defendants from depriving plaintiffs of their membership in a labor union and from otherwise causing harm to them in their rights in person and property. They also ask for equitable relief. The issues will appear in the progress of this opinion. From a decree dismissing plaintiffs' petition they appeal.

Affirmed.

Frank D. Bianco and Reed & Elick, all of Des Moines, for appellants.

Addison M. Parker, of Des Moines, for appellee Grocers' Wholesale Co-op., Inc.


John Connolly, Jr., George E. O'Malley, Irvin I. Schlesinger, and C. I. McNutt, all of Des Moines, for all other appellees.

SAGER, Justice.

For convenience appellees will be referred to as Local No. 90. The Grocers' Wholesale Co-op., Inc., being somewhat in the position of the innocent bystander, will have no attention. Some or all of the appellants have been members of a union termed Warehouse Union 18381. About 1938 by a “one-sided” vote, members were transferred to Local No. 90, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor. The shift did not appear to be as advantageous as thought it would be. Dissatisfaction arose among a group of which appellants were members. Things came to a climax on or about April 11, 1939, when Houke and appellant Attig received notices by registered mail to appear before the executive board in Des Moines at 10:00 o'clock A. M., April 25, 1939. This notice stated that it was the two weeks notice required by international by-laws, and cited the sections which enumerate the charges against them. Enclosed with the notice was a copy of the constitution and by-laws of the union. While it is claimed by appellants that no specific charges were made, this move on the part of the union was construed by the dissidents as intending to suppress discontent and discussion.

Thereupon, for purposes which are differently construed by the parties, twenty-nine members of the union among them appellants, turned their cards over to Houke, a prominent and respected member of the group. All but these appellants got their cards back in the progress of further events and returned to work. Appellants argue that their surrender of their cards was for a temporary purpose only and as a protest against any action which might be taken against Houke. Appellees on the contrary say that it was the purpose of appellants to surrender their membership in the union and either form an independent one or join a competing one. There is no dispute that

[300 N.W. 637]

advances were made to the C. I. O. These were rejected.

About nine o'clock P. M. on April 13, 1939, two officers of Local No. 90 appeared at the home of Houke and demanded the cards which had been received by him. The parties differ as to the method employed to secure the result, but the fact is that the cards were surrendered. Whether this was accomplished by the sweet persuasion of fraternal love as seems to be argued by appellees, or by threat of the mailed fist...

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