Consolidated Edison Co. v. National Labor Relations Bd., No. 177

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
Writing for the CourtMANTON, SWAN, and AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit
Citation95 F.2d 390
PartiesCONSOLIDATED EDISON CO. OF NEW YORK, Inc., et al. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.
Decision Date14 March 1938
Docket Number178.,No. 177

95 F.2d 390 (1938)

CONSOLIDATED EDISON CO. OF NEW YORK, Inc., et al.
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.
*

Nos. 177, 178.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

March 14, 1938.


95 F.2d 391
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
95 F.2d 392
Whitman, Ransom, Coulson & Goetz, of New York City (William L. Ransom, of New York City, Wesley A. Sturges, of New Haven, Conn., and Pincus M. Berkson, of New York City, of counsel), for petitioners Consolidated Edison Co. and others

Isaac Lobe Straus, of Baltimore, Md., and Claude A. Hope and Delafield, Thorne & Marsh, all of New York City, for petitioners International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and others.

Charles Fahy, Gen. Counsel, Robert B. Watts, Associate Gen. Counsel, and Laurence A. Knapp, all of Washington, D. C., Samuel Edes, of Philadelphia, Pa., and H. Gardner Ingraham, of Washington, D. C., for respondent.

Louis B. Boudin, of New York City, for Intervener United Electrical & Radio Workers of America, C. I. O.

James J. O'Brien, of Philadelphia, Pa., amicus curiae.

Before MANTON, SWAN, and AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit Judges.

SWAN, Circuit Judge.

In May, 1937, United Electrical & Radio Workers of America, Local 1212, a labor organization which we shall call United, filed with the National Labor Relations Board a charge that Consolidated Edison Company of New York and its affiliated companies (together referred to as petitioners) were engaging in unfair labor practices. On May 12th the Board issued its complaint against the petitioners. Appearing specially, they challenged the Board's jurisdiction, and moved that the jurisdictional question be decided prior to hearings on the merits. This request was denied. The petitioners then answered, reserving their jurisdictional objections, and hearings were had before a trial examiner designated by the Board. Before the trial examiner had made findings of fact or filed a report, the case was transferred to the Board. On November 10, 1937, the Board issued a cease and desist order based on its finding of violations of section 8(1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 158(1, 3). Pursuant to section 10(f), 29 U.S.C.A. § 160(f), the petitioners brought the order to this court for review. A similar petition for review was also filed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and numerous local unions (together referred to as the Brotherhood). The Brotherhood is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, while United is connected with the Committee for Industrial Organization. The Brotherhood had not intervened before the Board but regards itself as a "person aggrieved" by provisions of the order which affect it. In its answers to the petitions the Board prays for enforcement of its said order. United has appeared as an intervener in support of the Board's order.

The first question to be considered is that of the Board's jurisdiction. Section 10(a) of the act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 160(a), empowers the Board "to prevent any person from engaging in any unfair labor practice (listed in section 158) affecting commerce." The terms "commerce" and "affecting commerce" are defined in section 2(6) and (7), 29 U.S.C.A. § 152(6, 7). It is not contended that the petitioners are themselves engaged in commerce as so defined. They

95 F.2d 393
are local public utility corporations and their production and distribution of electricity, gas, and steam are carried on solely within the city of New York and adjacent Westchester county. The contention of federal jurisdiction over the labor relations of such employers is rested upon the argument that an interruption of their business by an industrial labor dispute would vitally affect commerce, because (1) in producing electric energy, gas, and steam they use large quantities of raw materials originating outside the state of New York, and (2) some of their customers are engaged in interstate or foreign commerce or are instrumentalities of such commerce

The facts are not in dispute; they were stipulated in great detail. A brief summary will suffice for present purposes. Consolidated Edison Company of New York is both an operating and a holding company; it owns between 90 and 100 per cent. of the voting stock of each of six affiliates, its copetitioners. The parent corporation and each of its subsidiaries, with one exception, is a public utility company within the meaning of the Public Service Law of New York, Consol.Laws, c. 48, and is subject to regulation by the state commission. The one exception is Consolidated Telegraph & Electrical Subway Company, which maintains and leases to others of the petitioners space in subsurface ducts. The petitioners' labor relations are also subject to state regulation under a recent statute, chapter 443, Laws N.Y.1937, unless jurisdiction of the state labor relations board must yield to that of the national board. The petitioners are operated as a unitary system. A few figures will indicate the magnitude of the system's business. In 1936 it supplied 97.5 per cent. of all electric energy sold in New York City, and practically 100 per cent. of that sold in Westchester county; it supplied 55.3 per cent. of the total gas sold in New York City, and is the only utility supplying gas in Westchester county. It is the only central-station steam utility in New York City. Its employees number more than 40,000 and its total pay roll in 1936, including annuities and separation allowances, was nearly $82,000,000. It used almost 5,000,000 tons of coal and more than 114,000,000 gallons of oil in the year 1936. All of the oil and all but an insignificant portion of the coal moved to the petitioners' plants from states other than New York. The out-of-state purchases are made from independent dealers and are delivered by independent carriers. Although the bulk of the petitioners' business, in respect to both the quantity of service and the number of consumers, is supplying electricity and gas for residential and local commercial uses, they also have numerous consumers who are engaged in interstate or foreign commerce. The most striking illustrations of this class of consumers are the railroads. Thus, electric energy supplied to the New York Central, the New York, New Haven & Hartford, and the Hudson & Manhattan is used for the lighting and operation of their passenger and freight terminals and for the movement of interstate trains; and steam supplied to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company is used to operate switches in its tunnel under the Hudson river.

The construction and validity of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq., was extensively discussed in National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1, 57 S. Ct. 615, 81 L.Ed. 893, 108 A.L.R. 1352. As the Chief Justice there pointed out, the act does not impose collective bargaining upon all industry regardless of effects upon interstate or foreign commerce. It purports to reach only what may be deemed to obstruct or burden such commerce. At page 37 of 301 U.S., 57 S.Ct. 615, 624, 81 L.Ed. 893, 108 A.L.R. 1352, the opinion states: "Although activities may be intrastate in character when separately considered, if they have such a close and substantial relation to interstate commerce that their control is essential or appropriate to protect that commerce from burdens and obstructions, Congress cannot be denied the power to exercise that control. Schechter Corp. v. United States, supra 295 U.S. 495, 55 S.Ct. 837, 79 L.Ed. 1570, 97 A.L.R. 947. Undoubtedly the scope of this power must be considered in the light of our dual system of government and may not be extended so as to embrace effects upon interstate commerce so indirect and remote that to embrace them, in view of our complex society, would effectually obliterate the distinction between what is national and what is local and create a completely centralized government. Id. The question is necessarily one of degree."

Consistently with these principles it can scarcely be doubted that the labor disputes of a local merchant will not normally fall within the Board's jurisdiction, even

95 F.2d 394
though some part of his stock in trade originates outside the state or some of his local customers are engaged in...

To continue reading

Request your trial
23 practice notes
  • Press Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 7482
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 9, 1940
    ...Cf. Consolidated Edison Co. v. N. L. R. B., 1938, 305 U.S. 197, 59 S.Ct. 206, 83 L.Ed. 126, affirming in pertinent respects, 2 Cir., 1938, 95 F.2d 390, 393; N. L. R. B. v. Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, Inc., 1938, 303 U.S. 261, 58 S.Ct. 571, 82 L.Ed. 831, 115 A.L.R. 307, enforcing, 1935, 1 ......
  • Consolidated Edison Co of New York v. National Labor Relations Board International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. Same 12 8212 17, 1938, Nos. 19
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 5, 1938
    ...The United Electrical and Radio Workers of America appeared in support of the Board. The court granted the Board's petition. 2 Cir., 95 F.2d 390. We issued writs of certiorari upon applications of the companies (No. 19) and of the Brotherhood and its locals (No. 25). 304 U.S. 555, 58 S.Ct. ......
  • Texaco, Inc. v. Federal Power Commission, No. 17608
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 17, 1963
    ...have not applied to this court for the taking of additional evidence, as they might under section 10(e), 29 U.S.C.A. § 160(e)." 95 F.2d 390, 397 (2d Cir. The holding of the Second Circuit was sustained by the Supreme Court. 305 U.S. 197, 226, 59 S.Ct. 206, 83 L.Ed. 126 (1938). In neith......
  • National Labor Relations Board v. Baldwin L. Works, No. 7639.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 6, 1942
    ...file exceptions, nor was the petitioner accorded an oral argument before the Board. Yet the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said (95 F.2d 390, 395) that "* * * it must be presumed that their petitioners' brief submitted to the trial examiner came to the Board's attention * * * ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Press Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 7482
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 9, 1940
    ...Cf. Consolidated Edison Co. v. N. L. R. B., 1938, 305 U.S. 197, 59 S.Ct. 206, 83 L.Ed. 126, affirming in pertinent respects, 2 Cir., 1938, 95 F.2d 390, 393; N. L. R. B. v. Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, Inc., 1938, 303 U.S. 261, 58 S.Ct. 571, 82 L.Ed. 831, 115 A.L.R. 307, enforcing, 1935, 1 ......
  • Texaco, Inc. v. Federal Power Commission, No. 17608
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 17, 1963
    ...have not applied to this court for the taking of additional evidence, as they might under section 10(e), 29 U.S.C.A. § 160(e)." 95 F.2d 390, 397 (2d Cir. The holding of the Second Circuit was sustained by the Supreme Court. 305 U.S. 197, 226, 59 S.Ct. 206, 83 L.Ed. 126 (1938). In neither th......
  • Consolidated Edison Co of New York v. National Labor Relations Board International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. Same 12 8212 17, 1938, Nos. 19
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 5, 1938
    ...The United Electrical and Radio Workers of America appeared in support of the Board. The court granted the Board's petition. 2 Cir., 95 F.2d 390. We issued writs of certiorari upon applications of the companies (No. 19) and of the Brotherhood and its locals (No. 25). 304 U.S. 555, 58 S.Ct. ......
  • National Labor Relations Board v. Baldwin L. Works, No. 7639.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 6, 1942
    ...file exceptions, nor was the petitioner accorded an oral argument before the Board. Yet the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said (95 F.2d 390, 395) that "* * * it must be presumed that their petitioners' brief submitted to the trial examiner came to the Board's attention * * * and t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT