National Labor Relations Board v. Fruehauf Trailer Co, Nos. 420

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHUGHES
Citation57 S.Ct. 642,81 L.Ed. 918,301 U.S. 49
Decision Date12 April 1937
Docket Number421,Nos. 420

301 U.S. 49
57 S.Ct. 642
81 L.Ed. 918



Nos. 420, 421.
Argued Feb. 11, 1937.
Decided April 12, 1937.

Page 50

Messrs. Homer S. Cummings, Atty. Gen., and Stanley F. Reed, Sol. Gen., of Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

[Argument of Counsel from page 50 intentionally omitted]

Page 51

Mr. Thomas G. Long, of Detroit, Mich., for respondent.

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

In October, 1935, charges against the respondent, Fruehauf Trailer Company, were filed with the National Labor

Page 52

Relations Board. The Board issued its complaints (in two cases) alleging that the Company was engaged in unfair labor practices as described in section 8, subdivisions (1) and (3), of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. 49 Stat. 449, 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq. (29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.). The practices were said to consist in the discharge of, and threats to discharge, employees because of their affiliation with, and activity in, the labor organization known as United Automobile Workers Federal Labor Union No. 19375.

Notice of hearing was given and the complaints were consolidated. Respondent appeared specially and filed motions to dismiss the complaints upon the ground that the Board was without jurisdiction and that the act as applied to respondent violated article 1, section 1, and the First, Fifth, Seventh and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States. Answers were also filed, denying the charges and reserving the same jurisdictional and constitutional objections. Hearing was had. The Board received evidence upon the jurisdictional issue and, reaffirming an earlier ruling, denied the motions to dismiss. Hearing upon the merits proceeded, and in December, 1935, the Board made its findings and entered its order.

The order required the respondent to cease and desist from discharging, or threatening to discharge, any of its employees because of their joining the Union; from employing detectives for the purpose of espionage within the Union; and from interfering in any other manner with or coercing its employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection as guaranteed in section 7 of the act (29 U.S.C.A. § 157). The order also required the respondent to cease and desist from discouraging membership in the Union or, in any other labor organization of its employees, by discrimination in regard to hire or tenure of employment. Respondent was directed to offer reinstatement to the employees who had been discharged, to make good their

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losses in pay, and to post for thirty days notices that it had complied with the order in ceasing the interferences set forth.

The Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the petition of the Board to enforce its order and set the order aside. 85 F.(2d) 391. This Court granted certiorari. 299 U.S. 534, 57 S.Ct. 119, 81 L.Ed. —-.

With respect to the nature of respondent's business the Board made the following findings: Respondent is a corporation organized under the laws of Michigan and is engaged in the manufacture, assembly, sale, and distribution of commercial trailers and of trailer parts and accessories. The trailers are vehicles designed for the transportation of merchandise. Respondent's plant is located in Detroit and is the largest concern of its kind in the United States. Respondent maintains 31 branch sales offices in 12 different states and has distributors and dealers in the principal cities of the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary operates in Toronto, Canada, where sales are made and considerable assembly work is done with materials obtained from the Detroit plant and in Canada. More than 50 per cent. in value of the materials used by the respondent in manufacture, assembly and shipping during the year 1934 were transported to its Detroit plant from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and other states. Most of the lumber was transported from southern states and most of the finished parts were transported from states other than Michigan. In 1934, respondent's sales amounted to $3,318,000. Its nearest competitor sold only 37 per cent. of that amount. More than 80 per cent. of its sales are of products shipped outside the state of Michigan through and to other states and to foreign countries. Between January 1 and November 1, 1935, 112 carloads of...

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49 practice notes
48 cases
1 books & journal articles
  • Federal Protection of Labor
    • United States
    • ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The Nbr. 224-1, November 1942
    • November 1, 1942
    ...Department of Labor, 17 Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U. S. 1; Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bull. 287, chap. III. Fruehauf Trailer Co., 301 U. S. 49; 44 Stat. 577, pt. 2, Texas & New Orleans Harry Marks Clothing Co., 301 U. S. 58; As- Railroad Co. v. Brotherhood of Railway and sociated P......

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