Myers v. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation

Decision Date12 February 1937
Docket NumberNo. 3189,3190.,3189
Citation88 F.2d 154
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit

Robert B. Watts, Associate Gen. Counsel, National Labor Relations Board, of Washington, D. C. (Charles Fahy, Gen. Counsel, and A. Norman Somers, both of Washington, D. C., on the brief), for appellants.

Claude R. Branch, of Boston, Mass. (John L. Hall and Choate, Hall & Stewart, all of Boston, Mass., and Hoyt A. Moore, E. Fontaine Broun, and Cravath, de Gersdorff, Swaine & Wood, all of New York City, on the brief), for appellee Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Limited.

B. A. Brickley, of Boston, Mass. (Oliver R. Waite and Brickley, Sears & Cole, all of Boston, Mass., on the brief), for appellees MacKenzie and others.

Before BINGHAM, WILSON, and MORTON, Circuit Judges.

MORTON, Circuit Judge.

These are two suits in equity to enjoin officials of the National Labor Relations Board from proceeding with hearings on a complaint against the Shipbuilding Corporation alleging unfair labor practices. The District Judge granted injunctions and the defendants have appealed.

The bill of the Shipbuilding Corporation alleges that it is engaged in shipbuilding with a plant at Fore River, Mass., at which about 5,000 persons are employed; that besides building ships it does a small amount of other manufacturing; that on April 14, 1936, it was served with a copy of complaint and notice of hearing from the National Labor Relations Board; that the complaint charged that the Shipbuilding Corporation was dominating and interfering with a labor organization formed by its employees and was preventing its employees from securing the benefits of genuine collective bargaining; that notice of hearing to take place on April 27, 1936, and subpoenas were served upon the plaintiff; that for many years there has been in existence at the plaintiff's plant an organization of its employees known as the Plan of Employees Representation, referred to as the Plan, with which 96 per cent. of the employees at said plant are affiliated; that the relations between the plaintiff and its employees are furthered and protected by said Plan; that for many years such relations have been amicable and satisfactory on both sides; that the present complaint is made by persons in no way connected with the plaintiff's business, either as workmen or in any other capacity; that a similar complaint was made in September, 1934, to the Old Labor Board; that it was fully heard at great trouble and expense to the plaintiff and by a decision on February 13, 1935, the Old Labor Board unanimously held that the complaint was not sustained and dismissed it; that there has been no change in the relations between the plaintiff and its employees since that date. The bill further alleges irreparable injury and inadequacy of legal remedy; it also alleges that the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.) is unconstitutional on several grounds.

The second bill is filed by the officers of the Plan of Employees Representation. It recites that its members have oral contracts with the shipbuilding company under which they are employed there; that harmonious relations exist between the employees and the management; that all employees who have been on the payroll of the corporation over 60 days prior to an election and are of requisite age are eligible to vote and that 96 per cent. of the employees did vote at the last election of its officers; that they desire no change to be made in their status and no interference by the National Relations Board, but, on the contrary, desire to retain their individual rights and freedom in respect to bargaining with their employer; that the proposed hearings will impair the amicable relations between the employees and the employer and will do irreparable injury. The bill also alleges the unconstitutionality of the statute. The District Judge found the allegations of fact in the bills to be true. He also found that the plaintiffs would suffer irreparable injury if the proposed hearings were held and that there was no plain, adequate, and complete remedy at law.

Motions to dismiss in each case were filed by the defendants, and after hearing were denied by the District Judge. (D.C.) 15 F.Supp. 915. The present appeal, however, brings up only the orders granting injunctions.

The case is by no means of the first impression. Cases involving the powers and jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board have already arisen and been decided in the Second, Fourth, Fifth,...

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6 cases
  • Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. v. National LR Board
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • October 8, 1940
    ...District Court an injunction against the scheduled Board hearing, which injunction this court declined to vacate, Myers v. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., 1 Cir., 88 F.2d 154; Id., 1 Cir., 89 F.2d 1000, but which the Supreme Court ultimately directed to be vacated as having been improvidently......
  • Myers v. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation Same v. Kenzie
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1938
    ...the decrees therefor are still in efect. They were affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Febru- ary 12, 1937. 88 F.2d 154. Petitions for a rehearing, based upon the conflict with the decisions of other circuit courts of appeals, were denied. And the court denied ......
  • United Ins. Co. of Chicago, Ill. v. Maloney
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 18, 1954
    ...reversing the decree of the District Court, 15 F.Supp. 915, which had been affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 88 F.2d 154, the Supreme Court referred to the fact that the employer contended that it was not engaged in the type of commerce that would bring it with......
  • Robert Hawthorne, Inc. v. UNITED STATES DEPT. OF INT., Civ. A. No. 24195.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • March 28, 1958
    ...had erred in restraining Federal Power Commission hearings. In the latter it was decided that the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 88 F.2d 154, had erroneously held that a District Court, 15 F.Supp. 915, had jurisdiction to enjoin a National Labor Relations Board It is of particular ......
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