United Leather Workers' International Union v. Herkert & Meisel Trunk Co.

Decision Date19 October 1922
Docket Number5865.
Citation284 F. 446
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit

John P Leahy, of St. Louis, Mo. (Lena Frank, of St. Louis, Mo., on the brief), for appellants.

Charles A. Houts, of St. Louis, Mo. (Mat J. Holland, of St. Louis Mo., on the brief), for appellees.

Walter H. Saunders, of St. Louis, Mo., amicus curiae.

Before SANBORN and STONE, Circuit Judges, and MUNGER, District Judge.

SANBORN Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal by United Leather Workers' International Union Local Lodge No. 66, an association of about 600 union workmen of St. Louis, Mo., and about 25 individual members of that association, defendants below, from a final decree of the District Court which enjoined them from compelling or inducing any of the employes of the plaintiffs, corporations of Missouri, whose places of business were in St. Louis, by threat, intimidation, force, abusive, violent or insulting language, the threat of superior numbers or pickets, by assaulting, threateningly accosting, laying hands upon, by following them to their homes, or intimidating the members of their families, to leave the service of the plaintiffs or to fail or refuse to perform their duties to the latter as such employes.

The plaintiffs were five corporations of the state of Missouri, who for a long time had been and were on and prior to the 10th day of April, 1920, engaged in selling, on orders from their customers, the great majority of whom were residents and citizens of other states than Missouri and had their places of business therein, manufacturing and shipping to such customers at their places of business, trunks, leather goods, and bags, which by such orders the customers bought and directed the plaintiffs to make and ship to them.

This suit was founded on section 1 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which reads:

'Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, is hereby declared to be illegal. ' Comp. Stat. Sec. 8820, Act of July 2, 1890; 26 Stat. 209, c. 647, Sec. 1.

The complaint of the decree is that the evidence is insufficient to sustain it because, although it conclusively established the facts that the defendants conspired to and did by unlawful means such as too many pickets, assaults, threats, and intimidation of employes and those seeking employment of the plaintiffs, restrain and stop the theretofore continuous streams of the plaintiffs' interstate commerce, and prevent the plaintiffs' performance of their interstate commerce contracts of sale, they did this by preventing the plaintiffs from manufacturing the articles they had contracted to sell, make, and deliver in interstate commerce, and because the defendants stopped the flow of this interstate commerce in this way for the purpose of compelling the plaintiffs to employ union men only and to comply with other demands of the defendants.

The ordinary course of business of parties selling, making, and shipping goods on orders of their customers is to furnish such customers with lists of the goods they offer to make and sell and the prices thereof, for the customers to send to the vendors written orders for the goods they wish to buy at those prices, the receipt and acceptance of which the sellers acknowledge in writing. Thereupon such orders become legal and binding contracts on the part of the sellers to make and ship the articles to the customers at the places specified therein and on the part of the customers to receive and pay the specified prices for the goods. Rearick v. Pennsylvania, 203 U.S. 507, 511, 27 Sup.Ct. 159, 51 L.Ed. 295. The evidence was that when the defendants stopped the interstate commerce of the plaintiffs by stopping the making of the goods their customers had ordered the plaintiffs had such unfilled orders or contracts for the sale, manufacture, and shipment to their customers at the latters' places of business in states other than Missouri of these respective values: Herkert & Meisel Trunk Company, $200,000; James A. Quirk & Co., $15,000; F.A. Kolb Trunk & Case Company, $5,000; the Stability Leather Goods Company, $32,000; P. C. Murphy Company, $75,000-- aggregating $327,000. The Supreme Court has declared that--

'Where the contract is for the sale of the article and for its delivery in another state, the transaction is one of interstate commerce, although the vendor may have also agreed to manufacture it in order to fulfill his contract of sale. In such case a combination of this character would be properly called a combination in restraint of interstate commerce, and not one relating only to manufacture. ' Addyston Pipe & Steel Co. v. United States, 175 U.S. 211, 246, 20 Sup.Ct. 96, 109 (44 L.Ed. 136).

Indeed, the established rule is that 'interstate commerce,' within the meaning of that term in the Constitution and the Anti-Trust Act, embraces far more than the mere sale, exchange, and interstate transportation of the goods. It includes intercourse, it comprehends every contract, trade, and dealing between citizens of one state and those of another which contemplates the transportation of goods, persons, or information from one state into another, and every initiatory, negotiating, and intervening act of the parties to that trade or deal from the time the intercourse relating to it commences until the transportation and delivery have been completed. Butler Bros. Shoe Co. v. United States Rubber Co., 156 F. 1, 17, 84 C.C.A. 167; International Text-Book Co. v. Pigg, 217 U.S. 91, 107, 30 Sup.Ct. 481, 54 L.Ed. 678, 27 L.R.A. (N.S.) 493, 18 Ann.Cas. 1103; Dahnke-Walker Milling Co. v. Bondurant, 257 U.S. 282, 42 Sup.Ct. 106-108, 66 L.Ed. 239; United States v. Reading Co., 226 U.S. 324, 367, 368, 33 Sup.Ct. 90, 57 L.Ed. 243; Hopkins v. United States, 171 U.S. 578, 598, 19 Sup.Ct. 40, 43 L.Ed. 290; United States v. Swift & Co. (C.C.) 122 F. 529, 531; Welton v. State of Missouri, 91 U.S. 275, 23 L.Ed. 347; Caldwell v. North Carolina, 187 U.S. 622, 629, 23 Sup.Ct. 229, 47 L.Ed. 336; United States v. Tucker (D.C.) 188 F. 741, 742; Marienelli v. United Booking Offices of America (D.C.) 227 F. 165; In re Selman Heating & Plumbing Co. (D.C.) 204 F. 839, 840, 841-843; Robbins v. Shelby Taxing District, 120 U.S. 489, 497, 7 Sup.Ct. 592, 30 L.Ed. 694; Globe Elevator Co. v. Andrew (C.C.) 144 F. 881, 882.

Under these authorities the contracts evidenced by the unfilled orders were contracts and transactions in interstate commerce. The acts of the customers in sending the orders were initiatory acts in contracts in interstate commerce. The receipt and acknowledgment of the receipt of the orders, the manufacture of the goods pursuant thereto, the packing, loading, shipping of them were intermediate steps and parts of, and the delivery and payment for the goods were the final steps of contracts and transactions in interstate commerce, and the direct restraint, and for a time the complete prevention and thereafter the partial prevention of the taking of these steps by the unlawful means used by the defendants proved by the evidence, whether that restraint was imposed upon the selling, the making, the packing, the loading, the shipping, or the transportation of the goods, was the very restraint denounced by the Anti-Trust Act and brought the subject-matter of, the parties to the suit, and the relief the court granted far within the jurisdiction of the federal court under the Anti-Trust Act. Thus, Mr. Justice Harlan, delivering the prevailing opinion in Northern Securities Co. v. United States, 193 U.S. 197, 329, 24 Sup.Ct. 436, 453, 48 L.Ed. 679, said:

'In United States v. E. C. Knight Company (156 U.S. 1), it was held that the agreement or arrangement there involved had reference only to the manufacture or production of sugar by those engaged in the alleged combination, but if it had directly embraced interstate or international commerce, it would then have been covered by the Anti-Trust Act and would have been illegal.'

And in Addyston Pipe & Steel Co. v. United States, 175 U.S. 211, 242, 20 Sup.Ct. 96, 107 (44 L.Ed. 136), the Supreme Court said:

'When Congress has enacted a statute such as the one in question, any agreement or combination which directly operates, not alone upon the manufacture, but upon the sale, transportation and delivery of an article of interstate commerce, by preventing or restricting its sale, etc., thereby regulates interstate commerce to that extent and to the same extent trenches upon the power of the national Legislature and violates the statute.'

The execution of the combination or conspiracy of the defendants had exactly that effect. It directly operated and that operation was its patent and inevitable effect, not alone upon the manufacture, but upon the sale, transportation, and delivery of the articles the plaintiffs had contracted to sell, make and deliver in interstate commerce.

Moreover the evidence establishes the facts that for years the plaintiffs had been and were, when the operation of the defendants' combination stopped them, continuously conducting vast currents or streams of interstate commerce in such articles as they contracted to sell, make, and deliver from the state of Missouri into other states where their customers received them. The evidence shows that the great body of the goods the plaintiffs sold, made, and delivered were sold and shipped to customers in other states than Missouri; that two of the plaintiff sold goods of the value of $2,950,000. per year; and that while the exact volume of the business of the other three does not appear, it is a fair inference from the proof that...

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