Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Co, MISSOURI-KANSAS-TEXAS

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWARREN
Citation4 L.Ed.2d 1379,363 U.S. 528,80 S.Ct. 1326
Docket NumberMISSOURI-KANSAS-TEXAS,No. 165
Decision Date20 June 1960
PartiesBROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS et al., Petitioners, v. R. CO. et al

363 U.S. 528
80 S.Ct. 1326
4 L.Ed.2d 1379
BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS et al., Petitioners,

v.

MISSOURI-KANSAS-TEXAS R. CO. et al.

No. 165.
Argued April 20, 1960.
Decided June 20, 1960.

Mr. Harold C. Heiss, Cleveland, Ohio, for petitioners.

Mr. Monroe E. Clinton, Dallas, Tex., for respondents.

Page 529

Mr. Chief Justice WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents a question concerning the jurisdiction of a Federal District Court to impose certain conditions upon a strike injunction issued in a railway labor dispute.

The essential facts are not complicated. The respondent Railroads operate a 302-mile branch between Wichita Falls, Texas, and Forgan, Oklahoma. The line was originally operated with steam locomotives capable of only short runs, and this necessitated the stationing of five way-freight crews along the route. After longer-range diesel locomotives were purchased to replace the steam equipment, the Railroads issued general orders which doubled the length of the way-freight runs, thereby eliminating the jobs of two of the five way-freight crews and changing the home or away-from-home terminals of the remaining crews.

The petitioner Brotherhoods, representing the engineers, firemen, conductors and brakemen affected, protested the issuance of the orders and invoked the services of the National Mediation Board. Nonetheless, the Railroads put the change into effect. After the Board advised the parties that it did not consider the dispute one subject to mediation, the unions called a strike. On the same day the Railroads filed a complaint for injunctive relief in the Federal District Court and obtained a temporary restraining order. The Railroads then submitted the dispute to the National Railroad Adjustment Board, to National Committees and Disputes Committees established by the collective bargaining agreements, and to the National

Page 530

Mediation Board. They amended their complaint in the District Court to allege the various submissions.

After a hearing, the District Court granted the injunction pending decision by the Adjustment Board, but it did so upon certain conditions which are the subject of the controversy before us. These conditions required that the Railroads either (1) restore the situation which existed prior to the General Orders, or (2) pay the employees adversely affected by the orders, the wages they would have received had the orders not been issued.

Both sides appealed, the unions from the injunction against the strike, and the Railroads from the conditions requiring preservation of the status quo. The Court of Appelas sustained the injunction but vacated the conditions, holding that the District Court had no power to attach them. 266 F.2d 335. In so holding, the Court of Appeals reasoned that imposition of conditions of this character involved a preliminary judgment on the merits of a 'minor dispute,' the resolution of which is committed by the Railway Labor Act, § 3(i), 48 Stat. 1189, 45 U.S.C. § 153, 45 U.S.C.A. § 153, subd. 1(i), to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Adjustment Board. The question of a district judge's jurisdiction to impose this type of condition upon an injunction issued to preserve the Adjustment Board's jurisdiction is both recurring and important in the field of labor-management relations. Consequently, we granted certiorari, but limited the grant to this issue.1

Page 531

This Court held in Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Chicago River & Ind. R. Co., 353 U.S. 30, 77 S.Ct. 635, 1 L.Ed.2d 622, that a Federal District Court may enjoin strikes arising out of 'minor disputes'—generally speaking, disputes relating to construction of a contract2—when they have been properly submitted to the National Railroad Adjustment Board. We concluded that such an injunction does not fall within the prohibitions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., 29 U.S.C.A. § 101 et seq., because of the superseding purpose of the Railway Labor Act to establish a system of compulsory arbitration for this type of dispute, a purpose which might be frustrated if strikes could not be enjoined during the consideration of such a dispute by the Board. This case presents a further question as to nature of the relief which may be granted under the Chicago River rule specifically, whether the injunction granted the Railroad may be qualified by conditions imposed by the District Court under traditional equitable considerations.3

If the District Court is free to exercise the typical powers of a court of equity, it has the power to impose conditions requiring maintenance of the status quo. Conditions of this nature traditionally may be made the price

Page 532

of relief when the injunctive powers of the court are invoked and the conditions are necessary to do justice between the parties.4 'The award of an interlocutory injunction by courts of equity has never been regarded as strictly a...

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168 practice notes
  • TEXAS INTERN. AIRLINES v. Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Civ. A. No. H-80-985.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • June 29, 1981
    ...See: Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R. Co. v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, 266 F.2d 335 (5th Cir. 1959), rev'd on other grounds, 363 U.S. 528, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1960). See also: Squillacole v. Graphic Arts Int'l Union, 540 F.2d 853 (7th Cir. 1976); Drywall Tapers & Painters Lo......
  • Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Intern. Union, AFL-CIO, Local 2-286 v. Amoco Oil Co. (Salt Lake City Refinery), AFL-CI
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • September 15, 1989
    ...See Lever Brothers, 554 F.2d at 120; Panoramic, 668 F.2d at 289; cf. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Ry., 363 U.S. 528, 535, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 1330, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1960) (M-K-T Railway ). This standard of review requires that we carefully examine the district cour......
  • UNITED IND. WKRS. OF SEA. IU v. Board of Tr. of Galveston Wh., No. 25081.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • August 8, 1968
    ...the district court devote considerable discussion to the M-K-T case, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engrs. v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R., 1960, 363 U.S. 528, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379. In M-K-T the district court granted an employer-requested injunction against a union strike over a minor di......
  • Burlington Northern v. Maintenance of Way Employes, No. 4:00-CV-0441-A.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
    • April 12, 2001
    ...& Indiana R.R., 353 U.S. 30, 33-39, 77 S.Ct. 635, 1 L.Ed.2d 622 (1957). See Bhd. of Locomotive Eng'rs v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Ry. Co., 363 U.S. 528, 531, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1960) ("[T]he superseding purpose of the Railway Labor Act [is] to establish a system of compulsory arbit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
168 cases
  • TEXAS INTERN. AIRLINES v. Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Civ. A. No. H-80-985.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • June 29, 1981
    ...See: Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R. Co. v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, 266 F.2d 335 (5th Cir. 1959), rev'd on other grounds, 363 U.S. 528, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1960). See also: Squillacole v. Graphic Arts Int'l Union, 540 F.2d 853 (7th Cir. 1976); Drywall Tapers & Painters Lo......
  • Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Intern. Union, AFL-CIO, Local 2-286 v. Amoco Oil Co. (Salt Lake City Refinery), AFL-CI
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • September 15, 1989
    ...See Lever Brothers, 554 F.2d at 120; Panoramic, 668 F.2d at 289; cf. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Ry., 363 U.S. 528, 535, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 1330, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1960) (M-K-T Railway ). This standard of review requires that we carefully examine the district cour......
  • UNITED IND. WKRS. OF SEA. IU v. Board of Tr. of Galveston Wh., No. 25081.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • August 8, 1968
    ...the district court devote considerable discussion to the M-K-T case, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engrs. v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R., 1960, 363 U.S. 528, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379. In M-K-T the district court granted an employer-requested injunction against a union strike over a minor di......
  • Burlington Northern v. Maintenance of Way Employes, No. 4:00-CV-0441-A.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
    • April 12, 2001
    ...& Indiana R.R., 353 U.S. 30, 33-39, 77 S.Ct. 635, 1 L.Ed.2d 622 (1957). See Bhd. of Locomotive Eng'rs v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Ry. Co., 363 U.S. 528, 531, 80 S.Ct. 1326, 4 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1960) ("[T]he superseding purpose of the Railway Labor Act [is] to establish a system of compulsory arbit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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