Heavy, Highway Bldg. & Const. Teamsters Committee for Northern Cal. v. Superior Court In and For City and County of San Francisco

Citation21 Cal.Rptr. 840,203 Cal.App.2d 591
Parties, 50 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2709, 45 Lab.Cas. P 17,695 HEAVY, HIGHWAY BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION TEAMSTERS COMMITTEE FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, for and on behalf of its affiliated Teamster Local Unions, their officers and members; J. R. Ward, chairman thereof; Western Conference of Teamsters, an unincorporated association; Einer Mohn, President thereof; Petitioners, v. The SUPERIOR COURT of the State of California IN AND FOR The CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Respondent, CALIFORNIA DUMP TRUCK OWNERS ASSOCIATION, a California corporation; Robert Bierley, Herbert Behlow, Howard T. Fry, Real Parties in Interest. Civ. 20483.
Decision Date16 May 1962
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals

LeProhn & LeProhn, Robert LeProhn, San Francisco, Albert Brundage, Los Angeles, P. H. McCarthy, Jr., Neyhart & Grodin, Duane B. Beeson, San Francisco, for petitioners.

Scott Elder, Pembroke Gochnauer, Samuel L. Holmes, Angell, Adams, Gochnauer, Elder & Holmes, San Francisco, for real parties in interest.

KAUFMAN, Presiding Justice.

Petitioners, the Heavy, Highway Building & Construction Teamsters Committee for Northern California, and the Western Conference of Teamsters, on behalf of their affiliated local unions, seek a writ of prohibition to restrain the respondent court from hearing action No. 507,496, instituted by California Dump Truck Owners Association, an association of owner-operators, the real parties in interest, to enjoin the enforcement of certain provisions of a 1959 collective bargaining agreement between the union and the A. G. C., an association of contractors in the highway and construction industry in northern California. All members of the A. G. C. are employers engaged in interstate commerce within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, 61 Statutes 140, 29 U.S.C.A. § 141 et seq.

The specific provision relating to owner-operators, adopted on July 27, 1961, pursuant to the modification clause of the collective bargaining agreement, prescribed the terms and conditions which regulated the terms under which an owner-operator drove his equipment for an individual employer in the performance of work covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

The complaint of the real parties in interest alleged that the owner-operators were not parties to the collective bargaining agreement but were individuals and an association of individuals who owned dump trucks and drove themselves for the performance of transportation services, under a permit and regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission; that the owner-operator clause unlawfully interfered with their freedom to carry on business and constituted a violation of the Cartwright Act, Bus. & Prof.Code, § 16700 et seq. Petitioners demurred to the complaint on the ground that the respondent court did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter as the provision of the contract relates to a right protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Petitioners' demurrer was overruled without opinion on October 20, 1961, and the petition for the writ ensued.

The question is whether the fact that the contract provision relating to owner-operators was contained in an agreement which was the fruit of the exercise of collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act precludes the respondent superior court from applying the Cartwright Act to prohibit application of the owner-operator provision to the real parties in interest.

It is well settled that where the trial court has determined that it had jurisdiction, prohibition will lie to prevent exercise thereof when jurisdiction is challenged in that court by demurrer, motion, plea or other objection of some kind (Harden v. Superior Court, 44 Cal.2d 630-634, 284 P.2d 9). The writ is a necessary and proper method of obtaining relief under the circumstances (Tide Water Assoc. Oil Co. v. Superior Court, 43 Cal.2d 815-820, 279 P.2d 35).

The question here presented was recently decided by the United States Supreme Court in an almost identical fact situation in Local 24 of International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, etc. v. Oliver, 358 U.S. 283, S.Ct. 297, 3 L.Ed.2d 312, and Local 24 of International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, etc. v. Oliver, 362 U.S. 605, 80 S.Ct. 923, 4 L.Ed.2d 987. In the Oliver case, an owner-operator who leased and drove his vehicle in the service of an interstate carrier, challenged the validity of a substantially identical contract provision under the Ohio Antitrust Law. The court determined that the purpose of the owner-operator provision was not price fixing but wages and that (358 U.S. at pp. 294-297, 79 S.Ct. 297, at pp. 304-305): 'The regulations embody not the 'remote and indirect approach to the subject of wages' perceived by the Court of Common Pleas but a direct frontal attack upon a problem thought to threaten the maintenance of the basic wage structure established by the collective bargaining contract. The inadequacy of a rental which means that the owner makes up his excess costs from his driver's wages not only clearly bears a close relation to labor's efforts to improve working conditions but is in fact of vital concern to the carrier's employed drivers; an inadequate rental might mean the progressive curtailment of jobs through withdrawal of more and more carrierowned vehicles from service. Cf. Bakery and Pastry Drivers and Helpers Local 802 of International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Wohl, 315 U.S. 769, 771, 62 S.Ct. 816, 817, 86 L.Ed. 1178. * * * 'The goal of federal labor policy, as expressed in the Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts, is the promotion of collective bargaining; to encourage the employer and the representative of the employees to establish, through collective negotiation, their own charter for the ordering of industrial relations, and thereby to minimize industrial strife. See National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1, 45, 57 S.Ct. 615, 628, 81 L.Ed. 893; National Labor Relations Board v. American National Ins. Co., 343 U.S. 395, 401-402, 72 S.Ct. 824, 828, 96 L.Ed. 1027. Within the area in which collective bargaining was required, Congress was not concerned with the substantive terms upon which the parties agreed. Cf. Terminal Railroad Ass'n of St. Louis v. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, 318 U.S. 1, 6, 63 S.Ct. 420, 423, 87 L.Ed. 571. The purposes of the Acts are served by bringing the parties together and establishing conditions under which they are to work out their agreement themselves. To allow the application of the Ohio anti-trust law here would wholly defeat the full realization of the congressional purpose. The application would frustrate the parties' solution of a problem which Congress has required them to negotiate in good faith toward solving, and in the solution of which it imposed no limitations relevant here. Federal law here created the duty upon the parties to bargain collectively; Congress has provided for a system of federal law applicable to the agreement the parties made in response to that duty, Textile Workers Union of America v. Lincoln Mills of Alabama, 353 U.S. 448, 77 S.Ct. 923, 1 L.Ed.2d 972; and federal law sets some outside limits (not contended to be exceeded here) on what their agreement may provide, see ...

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2 cases
  • California State Council of Carpenters v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 8 Septiembre 1970
    ...the parties to which are engaged in interstate commerce. (Heavy, Highway Bldg. Constr. Teamsters Committee v. Superior Court, 203 Cal.App.2d 591, 21 Cal.Rptr. In those areas of labor relations that are the subject of federal preemption, a writ of prohibition will issue to prevent a state co......
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    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library State Antitrust Practice and Statutes (FIFTH). Volume I
    • 9 Diciembre 2014
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