Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc v. International Longshoremen Association, No. 80-1045

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMARSHALL
Citation73 L.Ed.2d 327,102 S.Ct. 2672,457 U.S. 702
Decision Date24 June 1982
Docket NumberNo. 80-1045
PartiesJACKSONVILLE BULK TERMINALS, INC. et al., Petitioners, v. INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION et al

457 U.S. 702
102 S.Ct. 2672
73 L.Ed.2d 327
JACKSONVILLE BULK TERMINALS, INC. et al., Petitioners,

v.

INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION et al.

No. 80-1045.
Argued Jan. 18, 1982.
Decided June 24, 1982.
Syllabus

After President Carter announced certain trade restrictions with the Soviet Union because of its intervention in Afghanistan, respondent International Longshoremen's Association announced that its members would not handle any cargo bound to, or coming from, the Soviet Union. When an affiliated local union refused to load certain goods (not included in the Presidential embargo) bound for the Soviet Union, petitioners (hereafter collectively referred to as the Employer) brought suit in Federal District Court against respondents, the international union, its officers and agents, and the local union (hereafter collectively referred to as the Union), pursuant to § 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act. The Employer alleged that the Union's work stoppage violated the terms of a collective-bargaining agreement which contained a no-strike clause and a provision requiring arbitration of disputes. As requested by the Employer, the court ordered the Union to arbitrate the question whether the work stoppage violated the collective-bargaining agreement, and granted a preliminary injunction pending arbitration. The court reasoned that the political motivation behind the work stoppage rendered inapplicable § 4 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which prohibits injunctions against strikes "in any case involving or growing out of any labor dispute." The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's order insofar as it required arbitration, but disagreed with the conclusion that the Norris-LaGuardia Act was not applicable.

Held :

1. The Norris-LaGuardia Act applies to this case, which involves a "labor dispute" even though the work stoppage was politically motivated. Pp. 709-720.

(a) The plain language of the Act—prohibiting injunctions in "any" labor dispute and defining "labor dispute" to include "any controversy concerning terms or conditions of employment"—does not except labor disputes having their genesis in political protests. Here, the Employer sought injunctive relief as to the dispute over whether the work stoppage violated the no-strike clause of the bargaining agreement, not as to

Page 703

the event that triggered the stoppage. The term "labor dispute" must not be narrowly construed, the critical element in determining whether the Act applies being whether, as here, "the employer-employee relationship [is] the matrix of the controversy." Columbia River Packers Assn. v. Hinton, 315 U.S. 143, 147, 62 S.Ct. 520, 522, 86 L.Ed. 750. The existence of noneconomic motives does not make the Act inapplicable. Pp. 710-715.

(b) The legislative history of both the Norris-LaGuardia Act and the 1947 amendments to the National Labor Relations Act indicates that the Norris-LaGuardia Act was intended to apply to politically motivated work stoppages. Pp. 715-719

(c) The Norris-LaGuardia Act's broad prohibitions will not be constricted, except in narrowly defined situations where accommodation of the Act to specific congressional policy is necessary. Pp. 719-720.

2. Nor may the Union's work stoppage here be enjoined, pending arbitration, under the rationale of Boys Markets, Inc. v. Retail Clerks, 398 U.S. 235, 90 S.Ct. 1583, 26 L.Ed.2d 199, and Buffalo Forge Co. v. Steelworkers, 428 U.S. 397, 96 S.Ct. 3141, 49 L.Ed.2d 1022, on the asserted ground that the dispute underlying the stoppage is arbitrable under the collective-bargaining agreement. While Boys Markets recognized an exception to the anti-injunction provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act when the employer sought to enforce the union's contractual obligation to arbitrate grievances rather than to strike over them, Buffalo Forge makes it clear that a Boys Markets injunction pending arbitration may not issue unless the dispute underlying the work stoppage is arbitrable. Here the underlying dispute, whether viewed as an expression of the Union's "moral outrage" at Soviet military policy or as an expression of sympathy for the people of Afghanistan, is plainly not arbitrable under the collective-bargaining agreement. Thus the strike may not be enjoined pending the arbitrator's ruling on the legality of the strike under the no-strike clause of the collective-bargaining agreement. Pp. 720-723

5th Cir., 626 F.2d 455, affirmed.

Thomas P. Gies, Washington, D. C., for petitioners.

Page 704

Ernest Mathews, Jr., New York City, for respondents.

Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.

In this case, we consider the power of a federal court to enjoin a politically motivated work stoppage in an action brought by an employer pursuant to § 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 61 Stat. 156, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), to enforce a union's obligations under a collective-bargaining agreement. We first address whether the broad anti-injunction provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 47 Stat. 70, 29 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., apply to politically motivated work stoppages. Finding these provisions applicable, we then consider whether the work stoppage may be enjoined under the rationale of Boys Markets, Inc. v. Retail Clerks, 398 U.S. 235, 90 S.Ct. 1583, 26 L.Ed.2d 199 (1970), and Buffalo Forge Co. v. Steelworkers, 428 U.S. 397, 96 S.Ct. 3141, 49 L.Ed.2d 1022 (1976), pending an arbitrator's decision on whether the strike violates the collective-bargaining agreement.

I

On January 4, 1980, President Carter announced that, due to the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan, certain trade with the Soviet Union would be restricted. Superphosphoric acid (SPA), used in agricultural fertilizer, was not included in the Presidential embargo.1 On January 9, 1980,

Page 705

respondent International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) announced that its members would not handle any cargo bound to, or coming from, the Soviet Union or carried on Russian ships.2 In accordance with this resolution, respondent local union, an ILA affiliate, refused to load SPA bound for the Soviet Union aboard three ships that arrived at the shipping terminal operated by petitioner Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. (JBT), at the Port of Jacksonville, Fla., during the month of January 1980.

In response to this work stoppage, petitioners JBT, Hooker Chemical Corp., and Occidental Petroleum Co. (collectively referred to as the Employer) 3 brought this ac-

Page 706

tion pursuant to § 301(a) of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), against respondents ILA, its affiliated local union, and its officers and agents (collectively referred to as the Union). The Employer alleged that the Union's work stoppage violated the collective-bargaining agreement between the Union and JBT. The Employer sought to compel arbitration under the agreement, requested a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction pending arbitration, and sought damages.

The agreement contains both a broad no-strike clause and a provision requiring the resolution of all disputes through a grievance procedure, ending in arbitration.4 The no-strike clause provides:

"During the term of this Agreement, . . . the Union agrees there shall not be any strike of any kind or degree whatsoever, . . . for any cause whatsoever; such causes including but not limited to, unfair labor practices by the Employer or violation of this Agreement. The right of employees not to cross a bona fide picket line is recognized by the Employer. . . ."

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ordered the Union to process its grievance in accordance with the contractual grievance procedure. The District Court also granted the Employer's request for a preliminary injunction pending arbitration, reasoning that the political

Page 707

motivation behind the work stoppage rendered the Norris-LaGuardia Act's anti-injunction provisions inapplicable.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court's order to the extent it required arbitration of the question whether the work stoppage violated the collective-bargaining agreement. New Orleans Steamship Assn. v. General Longshore Workers, 626 F.2d 455 (1980).5 However, the Court of Appeals disagreed with the District Court's conclusion that the provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act are inapplicable to politically motivated work stoppages. Relying on Buffalo Forge, the Court of Appeals further held that the Employer was not entitled to an injunction pending arbitration because the underlying dispute was not arbitrable. We granted certiorari, 450 U.S. 1029, 101 S.Ct. 1737, 68 L.Ed.2d 223 (1981), and agree with the Court of Appeals that the provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act apply to this case, and that, under Buffalo Forge, an injunction pending arbitration may not issue.

II

Section 4 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act provides in part:

"No court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or temporary or permanent injunction in any case involving or growing out of any labor dispute to prohibit any person or persons participating or interested in such dispute . . . from doing, whether singly or in concert, any of the following acts:

"(a) Ceasing or refusing to perform any work or to remain in any relation of employment." 47 Stat. 70, 29 U.S.C. § 104.

Page 708

Congress adopted this broad prohibition to remedy the growing tendency of federal courts to enjoin strikes by narrowly construing the Clayton Act's labor exemption from the Sherman Act's prohibition against conspiracies to restrain trade, see 29 U.S.C. § 52. See, e.g., H.R.Rep.No.669, 72d Cong., 1st Sess., 7-8, 10-11 (1932). This Court has consistently given the anti-injunction provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act a broad interpretation, recognizing exceptions only in limited situations where necessary to accommodate the...

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148 practice notes
  • Burlington Northern Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, No. 86-39
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 28 April 1987
    ..."having their genesis in political protests" as opposed to economic self-interest. Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. v. Longshoremen, 457 U.S. 702, 711, 102 S.Ct. 2672, 2679, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 (1982).8 It would be particularly anomalous to adopt a narrowing construction of the phrase "growing ......
  • N.L.R.B. v. South Cent. Bell Telephone Co., No. 81-4159
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 4 October 1982
    ...Cir. 1980), aff'd sub nom. Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. v. International Longshoremen's Association, --- U.S. ----, 102 S.Ct. 2673, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 5 See, e.g., Plasterers Local No. 79, 404 U.S. at 136-37, 92 S.Ct. at 372; NLRB v. Designcraft Jewel Ind., 675 F.2d 493, 496 (2d Cir. 1982)......
  • Atlas Air, Inc. v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Civil Action No. 17–1953 (RDM)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 30 November 2017
    ...the Sherman Act's prohibition against conspiracies to restrain trade." Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. v. Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n , 457 U.S. 702, 708, 102 S.Ct. 2672, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 (1982). Among other things, the NLGA states that in any "controversy concerning terms or conditions of e......
  • Addington v. Us Airline Pilots Ass'n, No. CV-08-1633-PHX-NVW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • 20 November 2008
    ...recent years has hesitated to create similar new exceptions, see, e.g., Jacksonville Bulk Terminals. Inc. v. Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n, 457 U.S. 702, 711-12, 102 S.Ct. 2672, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 (1982), USAPA cites no case undoing the central holding of Graham. An employee may still bring suit t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
146 cases
  • Burlington Northern Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, No. 86-39
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 28 April 1987
    ..."having their genesis in political protests" as opposed to economic self-interest. Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. v. Longshoremen, 457 U.S. 702, 711, 102 S.Ct. 2672, 2679, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 (1982).8 It would be particularly anomalous to adopt a narrowing construction of the phrase "growing ......
  • N.L.R.B. v. South Cent. Bell Telephone Co., No. 81-4159
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 4 October 1982
    ...Cir. 1980), aff'd sub nom. Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. v. International Longshoremen's Association, --- U.S. ----, 102 S.Ct. 2673, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 5 See, e.g., Plasterers Local No. 79, 404 U.S. at 136-37, 92 S.Ct. at 372; NLRB v. Designcraft Jewel Ind., 675 F.2d 493, 496 (2d Cir. 1982)......
  • Atlas Air, Inc. v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Civil Action No. 17–1953 (RDM)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 30 November 2017
    ...the Sherman Act's prohibition against conspiracies to restrain trade." Jacksonville Bulk Terminals, Inc. v. Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n , 457 U.S. 702, 708, 102 S.Ct. 2672, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 (1982). Among other things, the NLGA states that in any "controversy concerning terms or conditions of e......
  • Addington v. Us Airline Pilots Ass'n, No. CV-08-1633-PHX-NVW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • 20 November 2008
    ...recent years has hesitated to create similar new exceptions, see, e.g., Jacksonville Bulk Terminals. Inc. v. Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n, 457 U.S. 702, 711-12, 102 S.Ct. 2672, 73 L.Ed.2d 327 (1982), USAPA cites no case undoing the central holding of Graham. An employee may still bring suit t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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