United Leather Workers International Union, Local Lodge or Union No 66 v. Herkert Meisel Trunk Co, No. 233

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtTAFT
Citation44 S.Ct. 623,33 A. L. R. 566,265 U.S. 457,68 L.Ed. 1104
Docket NumberNo. 233
Decision Date09 June 1924
PartiesUNITED LEATHER WORKERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL LODGE OR UNION NO. 66, et al. v. HERKERT & MEISEL TRUNK CO. et al

265 U.S. 457
44 S.Ct. 623
68 L.Ed. 1104
UNITED LEATHER WORKERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL LODGE OR UNION NO. 66, et al.

v.

HERKERT & MEISEL TRUNK CO. et al.

No. 233.
Argued April 24 and 25, 1924.
Decided June 9, 1924.

Page 458

Mr. John P. Leahy, of St. Louis, Mo., for appellants.

Messrs. Charles A. Houts and Mat J. Holland, both of St. Louis, Mo., for appellees.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 458-460 intentionally omitted]

Page 461

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

This suit was begun by a bill in equity filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri by the Herkert & Meisel Trunk Company and four others, all corporations of Missouri, engaged in making trunks and leather goods in St. Louis, against the United Leather Workers' Union, Local Lodge No. 66, an unincorporated association, its officers and agents, and a number of its members. The bill averred that each of the complainants had built up a valuable business in making, selling, and shipping in interstate commerce trunks and leather goods; that each received large quantities of raw material by interstate commerce, and employed a large

Page 462

number of persons, men and girls; that on February 28, 1920, defendants demanded that their shops be unionized and conducted as closed shops, and announced that if complainants refused they would ruin the interstate commerce business of each of them; that on April 10, 1920, the defendants acting individually and on behalf of the defendant union, in order to destroy the complainants' business and to prevent their employees from continuing in their employment, unless complainants would yield to their demands, began a strike, assaulted and threatened complainants' employees, and intimidated them so as to force them against their wills to quit complainants' employment; and that they thereby prevented complainants from engaging in and carrying on their interstate business and interfered and obstructed them in manufacture and shipment of the products of their factories sold to be shipped in interstate commerce. The bill charged that defendants were carrying out their illegal conspiracy and purposes by mass picketing and intimidation; that the interference with complainants' interstate commerce was intentional and malicious, and was intended to destroy it; that it was in violation of the Anti-Trust Law (Comp. St. § 8820 et seq.) and the Clayton Act (38 Stat. 730); and that they had already inflicted, and unless restrained would continue to inflict, irreparable injury upon such business. The bill shows that each complainant's damage threatened exceeded $3,000. The prayer was for a temporary and then a final injunction to prevent the intimidation, illegal picketing and other interference with complainants' manufacturing and interstate business and with its employees or would-be employees engaged in carrying it on.

Certain of the defendants answered the bill and denied the picketing, intimidation, and violence and the purpose to interfere with complainants' interstate business as charged, and averred that they and the fellow members of the union had lawfully quit the employment of complainants

Page 463

because they could not agree upon the terms of a new agreement. The District Court upon preliminary hearing granted a temporary injunction and upon final hearing granted a final decree enjoining defendants as prayed. The case was taken on appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals, where the decree of the District Court was affirmed, one judge dissenting. 284 Fed. 446. The cause now comes before us on appeal under section 241.

The evidence adduced before the District Court showed that the defendant, the Local Union No. 66 of the United Leather Workers, having declared a strike against the complainants and withdrawn its members from their employ, instituted an illegal picketing campaign of intimidation against their employees who were willing to remain and against others willing to take the places of the striking employees, that the effect of this campaign was to prevent the complainants from continuing to manufacture their goods needed to fill the orders they had received from regular customers and would-be purchasers in other states, that such orders covered 90 per cent. of all goods manufactured by complainants, that the character of their business was known to the defendants, and that the illegal strike campaign of defendants thus interfered with and obstructed complainants' interstate commerce business to their great loss. There was no evidence whatever to show that complainants were obstructed by the strike or the strikers in shipping to other states the products they had ready to ship or in their receipt of materials from other states needed to make their goods. While the bill averred that defendants had instituted a boycott against complainants and were prosecuting the same by illegal methods, there was no evidence whatever that any attempt was made to boycott the sale of the complainants' products in other states or anywhere, or to interfere with its interstate shipments of goods ready to ship.

Page 464

The sole question here is whether a strike against manufacturers by their employees, in tended by the strikers to provent, through illegal picketing and intimidation, continued manufacture, and having such effect, was a conspiracy to restrain interstate commerce under the Anti-Trust Act, because such products when made were, to the knowledge of the strikers, to be shipped in interstate commerce to fill orders given and accepted by would-be purchasers in other states, in the absence of evidence that the strikers interfered or attempted in interfere with the free transport and delivery of the products when manufactured from the factories to their destination in other states, or with their sale in those states.

We think that this question was already been answered in the negative by this court. In United Mine Workers v. Coronado Co., 259 U. S. 344, 42 Sup. Ct. 570, 66 L. Ed. 975, 27 A. L. R. 762, a coal-mining company in Arkansas changed its arrangement with its employees from a closed shop to an open shop. The local union resented the change and the avowed purpose of the company to protect nonunion employees by armed guards. Violence, murder, and arson were resorted to by the union. Seventy-five per cent. of the output of the mine was to be shipped out of the state and a car of coal prepared for interstate shipment was destroyed by the mob of strikers and their sympathizers. It was contended that as the result of the conspiracy was to reduce the interstate shipment of coal from the mines by 5,000 tons or more a week, this conspiracy was directed against interstate commerce, and triple damages for the injury inflicted could be recovered under the federal Anti-Trust Law. But this court held otherwise and reversed a judgment for a large amount on the ground that the evidence did not disclose a conspiracy against interstate commerce, justifying recovery under the law. The language of the court was (page 407 [42 Sup. Ct. 570, 582]):

Page 465

'Coal mining is not interstate commerce, and the power of Congress does not extend to its regulation as such. In Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 U. S. 251, 272, we said: 'The making of goods and the mining of coal are not commerce, nor does the fact that these things are to be afterwards shipped or used in interstate commerce, make their production a part thereof. Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R. Co. v. Yurkonis, 238 U. S. 439.' Obstruction to coal mining is not a direct obstruction to interstate commerce in coal, although it, of course, may affect it by reducting the amount of coal to be carried in that commerce.'

The same rule was followed in Gable v. Tonnegut Machinery Co. (C. C. A.) 274 Fed. 66, 73, 74.

The same general principles are affirmed in Heisler v. Thomas Colliery Co., 260 U. S. 245, 259, 43 Sup. Ct. 83, 67 L. Ed. 237; Crescent Oil Co. v. Mississippi, 257 U. S. 129, 136, 42 Sup. Ct. 42, 66 L. Ed. 166; Arkadelphia Co. v. St. Louis, S. W. Ry. Co., 249 U. S. 134, 151, 39 Sup. Ct. 237, 63 L. Ed. 517; McCluskey, Adm'r, v....

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82 practice notes
  • United States v. Eason Oil Co., No. 1638.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Western District of Oklahoma
    • September 22, 1934
    ...Mine Workers v. Coronado Co., 259 U. S. 344, 408, 409, 42 S. Ct. 570, 66 L. Ed. 975, 27 A. L. R. 762; United Leather Workers v. Herkert, 265 U. S. 457, 471, 44 S. Ct. 623, 68 L. Ed. 1104, 8 F. Supp. 376 33 A. L. R. 566; Industrial Association v. United States, 268 U. S. 64, 45 S. Ct. 403, 6......
  • Bedford Cut Stone Co v. Journeyman Stone Cutters Ass of North America, No. 412
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 11, 1927
    ...182, 186. The case, therefore, is controlled, not by United Mine Workers v. Coronado Co., supra, and United Leather Workers v. Herkert, 265 U. S. 457, 44 S. Ct. 623, 68 L. Ed. 1104, 33 A. L. R. 566, as respondents contend, but by others presently to be discussed. In the United Leather Worke......
  • Craft v. Campbell Soup Co., No. 98-15060
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 2, 1998
    ...through the period of the drafting and enacting of the FAA. In United Leather Workes' Int'l Union v. Herkert & Meisel Trunk Co., 265 U.S. 457, 464, 44 S.Ct. 623, 68 L.Ed. 1104 (1924), the Court held that an illegal strike of leather workers preventing the manufacture of goods did not in......
  • Craft v. Campbell Soup Co., No. 98-15060.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 2, 1998
    ...through the period of the drafting and enacting of the FAA. In United Leather Workers' Int'l Union v. Herkert & Meisel Trunk Co., 265 U.S. 457, 464-65, 44 S.Ct. 177 F.3d 1087 623, 68 L.Ed. 1104 (1924), the Court held that an illegal strike of leather workers preventing the manufacture o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
82 cases
  • United States v. Eason Oil Co., No. 1638.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Western District of Oklahoma
    • September 22, 1934
    ...Mine Workers v. Coronado Co., 259 U. S. 344, 408, 409, 42 S. Ct. 570, 66 L. Ed. 975, 27 A. L. R. 762; United Leather Workers v. Herkert, 265 U. S. 457, 471, 44 S. Ct. 623, 68 L. Ed. 1104, 8 F. Supp. 376 33 A. L. R. 566; Industrial Association v. United States, 268 U. S. 64, 45 S. Ct. 403, 6......
  • Bedford Cut Stone Co v. Journeyman Stone Cutters Ass of North America, No. 412
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 11, 1927
    ...182, 186. The case, therefore, is controlled, not by United Mine Workers v. Coronado Co., supra, and United Leather Workers v. Herkert, 265 U. S. 457, 44 S. Ct. 623, 68 L. Ed. 1104, 33 A. L. R. 566, as respondents contend, but by others presently to be discussed. In the United Leather Worke......
  • Craft v. Campbell Soup Co., No. 98-15060
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 2, 1998
    ...through the period of the drafting and enacting of the FAA. In United Leather Workes' Int'l Union v. Herkert & Meisel Trunk Co., 265 U.S. 457, 464, 44 S.Ct. 623, 68 L.Ed. 1104 (1924), the Court held that an illegal strike of leather workers preventing the manufacture of goods did not in......
  • Craft v. Campbell Soup Co., No. 98-15060.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 2, 1998
    ...through the period of the drafting and enacting of the FAA. In United Leather Workers' Int'l Union v. Herkert & Meisel Trunk Co., 265 U.S. 457, 464-65, 44 S.Ct. 177 F.3d 1087 623, 68 L.Ed. 1104 (1924), the Court held that an illegal strike of leather workers preventing the manufacture o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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