Waterman Steamship Corp. v. National Labor R. Board, No. 8841.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtFOSTER, SIBLEY, and McCORD, Circuit
Citation103 F.2d 157
Docket NumberNo. 8841.
Decision Date11 April 1939
PartiesWATERMAN STEAMSHIP CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD et al.

103 F.2d 157 (1939)

WATERMAN STEAMSHIP CORPORATION
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD et al.

No. 8841.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

April 11, 1939.


103 F.2d 158

Gessner T. McCorvey and C. A. L. Johnstone, Jr., both of Mobile, Ala., for petitioner.

Charles Fahy, Gen. Counsel, National Labor Relations Board, Robert B. Watts, Associate Gen. Counsel, National Labor Relations Board and A. Norman Somers, Atty., National Labor Relations Board, all of Washington, D. C., for respondents.

Charles for American Federation of Labor, amicus curiæ.

William L. Standard, of New York City, for intervenor, National Maritime Union of America.

Before FOSTER, SIBLEY, and McCORD, Circuit Judges.

McCORD, Circuit Judge.

Waterman Steamship Corporation owns and operates a fleet of vessels and is engaged in interstate and foreign commerce. It is an Alabama corporation with headquarters in Mobile.

The Waterman Corporation was under contract and employed the unlicensed personnel of its crews from the membership of the International Seamen's Union of America, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor. Section 1 of the contract provided, "It is understood and agreed that as vacancies occur, members of the International Seamen's Union of America, who are citizens of the United States, shall be given preference of employment, if they can satisfactorily qualify to fill the respective positions; provided, however, that this Section shall not be construed to require the discharge of any employee who may not desire to join the Union, or to apply to prompt reshipment, or absence due to illness or accident".

Two of the vessels of the Waterman Steamship Corporation, the S. S. Fairland and the S. S. Bienville, were returning to Mobile from voyage. On July 1, 1937, they arrived at Tampa, Florida, and the majority of the members of the crews of these two vessels, under the guidance of an organizer, changed their membership from the International Seamen's Union of America to the National Maritime Union of America, an affiliate of the Committee for Industrial Organization.

The ships proceeded from Tampa to Mobile. When the Bienville reached Mobile it was laid up for extensive repairs; its crew was discharged, and the members paid and signed off before the United States Shipping Commissioner. When the Fairland reached Mobile it went immediately on dry dock and the crew was likewise paid, discharged and signed off. The Bienville was laid up for repairs from July 5th to August 1st. The Fairland was in dry dock for thirty hours and for seven days was laid up for repairs.

When these ships were ready to sail again and crews were to be signed on, the Waterman Steamship Corporation, under its existing contract with the International Seamen's Union of America, employed only members of that union. The members of the old crews, being members of the National Maritime Union of America, were not reemployed.

A complaint alleging unfair labor practices was filed against the Waterman Steamship Corporation and after a long and exhaustive hearing, the National Labor Relations Board found that the corporation had laid off and refused to reinstate forty-three members of the crews of the S. S. Fairland and S. S. Bienville for the reason that the said employees had joined and assisted the National Maritime Union of America, an affiliate of the Committee for Industrial Organization; that C. J. O'Connor, second assistant engineer on the S. S. Azalea City, had been discharged and refused reinstatement because of his participation in a collective protest and for holding membership in the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association, also an affiliate of the Committee for Industrial Organization; and that the Waterman Steamship Corporation in denying passes to delegates of the National Maritime Union of America to go upon the ships of the company to solicit members had discriminated against this union and in favor of the International Seamen's Union of America.

The Board thereupon entered its order on May 18, 1938, commanding the company to cease and desist and post notices, and to offer reinstatement to the employees who had been discharged and that...

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2 practice notes
  • Titan Metal Mfg. Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 6789.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 4, 1939
    ...Labor Relations Board, 8 Cir., 103 F.2d 147 (Board order set aside), Waterman Steamship Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 5 Cir., 103 F.2d 157 (Board order set aside except as to one employee), National Labor Relations Board v. C. A. Lund, 8 Cir., 103 F.2d 815 (Board order modified).......
  • Waterman SS Corporation v. NATIONAL LABOR R. BD., No. 8841.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • June 2, 1941
    ...have earned as wages" nothing. The question presented is not without difficulty. When the case was first before this court, 5 Cir., 103 F.2d 157, we thought a seaman's employment was measured by his signed articles, which bound him to his ship and his ship to him. The Supreme Court held tha......
2 cases
  • Titan Metal Mfg. Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 6789.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 4, 1939
    ...Labor Relations Board, 8 Cir., 103 F.2d 147 (Board order set aside), Waterman Steamship Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 5 Cir., 103 F.2d 157 (Board order set aside except as to one employee), National Labor Relations Board v. C. A. Lund, 8 Cir., 103 F.2d 815 (Board order modified).......
  • Waterman SS Corporation v. NATIONAL LABOR R. BD., No. 8841.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • June 2, 1941
    ...have earned as wages" nothing. The question presented is not without difficulty. When the case was first before this court, 5 Cir., 103 F.2d 157, we thought a seaman's employment was measured by his signed articles, which bound him to his ship and his ship to him. The Supreme Court held tha......

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