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UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASS'

October 20, 1953

UNITED STATES
v.
INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASS'N et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEINFELD

This proceeding was commenced by the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to the National Emergencies provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (The Taft-Hartley Act) 61 Stat. 155, §§ 206-210, 29 U.S.C.A. §§ 176-180 (hereinafter also referred to as the 'Act').

The defendants are one union and seven employer associations. The union and the employer groups were parties to collective bargaining agreements covering employees engaged in varied phases of water-front work in the North Atlantic ports from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Portland, Maine. The agreements expired on September 30, 1953. For many weeks prior thereto the parties attempted to negotiate a new contract, but these efforts failed. Promptly upon the expiration of the existing contracts a strike was called by the union. Its effects were so immediate and far-reaching that on October 1, 1953, the President, acting under the National Emergencies provisions of the Act, appointed a Board of Inquiry to inquire into the issues involved in the dispute. *fn1"

 The Board of Inquiry after hearing the parties to the dispute made its written report to the President on October 5, 1953. Thereupon the President directed the Attorney General to apply for relief as permitted by the Act. On the same day the Attorney General brought the present action for an injunction under § 208 of the Act and requested a temporary restraining order pending the hearing and determination of the Government's application. It appearing that a continuation of the strike would result in irreparable injury and endanger the national safety and health, this Court granted a temporary restraining order for a period of ten days; *fn2" and the matter was set down for a hearing on the injunction on October 13th. Upon the return day, the defendant-union appeared by its attorney, as did a number of the employer associations. Some of the employer associations defaulted. Counsel representing the various defendants conceded that the Government had established a prima facie case for the relief requested and further that if the affiants upon whose affidavits the temporary restraining order was based were to give oral testimony in open court at the hearing, they would testify substantially in accord with their respective affidavits. When requested to go forward to show cause why the injunction should not be granted, the employer groups consented to, and the union did not oppose, its issuance. Notwithstanding such consent and lack of opposition, the Court is required to set forth the reasons underlying the issuance of the injunction and to make appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law. *fn3"

 Discussion.

 The jurisdiction conferred upon the Court where an injunction is sought by the Government under the National Emergencies provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act is restricted. *fn4" Fundamental to the Court's jurisdiction to enjoin a strike (or a lockout) is a finding of two essential elements: (1) that the existing strike affects an entire industry or a substantial part thereof engaged in trade, commerce, transportation, transmission or communication among the several states or with foreign nations; and (2) if permitted to continue, it will imperil the national health or safety. *fn5"

 As to the first element, it is self-evident that the maritime industry is one engaged in trade, commerce, and transportation among the foreign states and with foreign nations. And a mere recital of statistics indicates that the strike affects an entire industry or a substantial part thereof. Sixty thousand men engaged in various waterfront activities affecting incoming and outgoing ocean and coastal shipping along the North Atlantic seaboard from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Portland, Maine, are involved in the dispute. Included within this area are the important ports of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Hampton Roads.

 The vessels using these ports and their facilities deliver imported supplies, materials of all descriptions and food for ultimate distribution by domestic inland carriers to governmental agencies and consignees throughout the entire country. The vessels also receive from shippers, governmental and private, all manner of cargo for delivery to foreign countries. Many of the products so imported or exported are vital directly or indirectly to our defense and security programs and foreign and activities; others are important to the healthy functioning of our domestic economy and foreign trade.

 The importance of the North Atlantic seaboard to the water-borne commerce of the United States is attested to by the fact that the total foreign trade in dry cargo tonnage handled by the five major ports for the year 1952 represented about 60% of the total dry cargo tons exported and imported in the ocean-going foreign trade of the United States. Thus the strike affects one of the most sensitive and vital industries of the nation.

 That this strike if permitted to resume will imperil the national health or safety admits of no dispute. The strike had an immediate and devastating effect. The entire North Atlantic seaboard was paralyzed. Loading and unloading of ships ceased. Men remained idle, ships were immobilized. The North Atlantic shipping industry was at a standstill. This condition continued until the men returned to work following the issuance of the temporary restraining order. The proof submitted establishes that in five days from October 1st to October 6th, various governmental programs relating to the national defense and security were profoundly affected by the delay in the receipt of critical and strategic materials imported from abroad and normally entering through one or more ports in the area of the strike. The strike, if resumed, would, according to the evidence submitted, seriously retard and imperil vital defense activities.

 The Atomic Energy Commission, for example, requires various materials from foreign sources, several of which are still under priority allocations. A prolonged delay in the receipt of these materials would not only disrupt the Commission's production program but also delay construction schedules for new production facilities. In the light of current world conditions, *fn6" any delay, however slight, in a program so vital to national defense and security irrefutably establishes that continuation of the strike in this industry is a threat to the health and safety of the nation. A delay of a substantial period may be catastrophic.

 But the proof goes much beyond this particular program, important as it is. There are other defense and related security programs authorized by the Congress in the national interest which would be seriously hampered were the strike to resume. Work stoppage on the docks would halt the import of such raw materials as chromite, manganese, antimony ore, copper, cobalt and tin, urgently needed by defense industries. These critical and strategic items which enter through the affected ports would soon be in short supply with consequent disastrous effect upon the national defense and security programs as well as on the national economy.

 A stoppage of exports from the five ports would seriously curtail our European defense program and, in addition, would reduce essential exports to Latin America, to Africa, and to the Orient. Many of these exports are utilized to increase production abroad of vital materials and supplies needed by our country, which in turn are imported in large quantities through the ports of the North Atlantic seaboard. The exports are also aids in maintaining the domestic economies of friendly nations so that they can continue to contribute to the European defense program.

 The underlying objectives and policies of the Mutual Security Act of 1951, 22 U.S.C.A. § 1651 et seq. are to maintain the security and to promote the foreign policy of the United States through military, economic and technical assistance to friendly countries in order to strengthen mutual security and individual and collective defenses of the free world. Programs aimed at carrying out these objectives will in large measure be defeated by any stoppage in the shipment of supplies, both military and nonmilitary, required by friendly countries for defense support, for the prevention of famine, and for other purposes deemed essential to United States foreign policy. The brief five day strike had, in fact, interfered with shipments of food intended for the East German Food Program, Greece, Pakistan, Jordan and other countries involved in the defense-support program.

 Separate and apart from the havoc it would visit upon the various security programs, the strike, if resumed, would result in severe damage to the domestic economy. Essential food-stuffs, minerals, and raw materials required for the maintenance of the domestic economy form an important and large part of the imports. The non-delivery of these items would interfere with industrial activity in many areas of the country and cause widespread unemployment. The strike would disrupt the major portion of foreign commerce of the United States and would lead to the complete cessation of intercoastal shipping. In this instance the physical health and well-being of our citizens are directly involved. For example, New England depends on coastal shipping for the bulk of its coal supply for industrial and domestic use. A serious fuel shortage with the approach of winter would be injurious to the health of the people in that area and cause much suffering and hardship.

 Instance after instance of disruption of our internal economy and interference with essential services are established as certain to flow from a renewal of the strike; there is no need to multiply examples here.

 The Government has fully established its right to injunctive relief in order to protect the national health and safety. Accordingly, I make the following

 Findings of Fact.

 1. On October 1, 1953, the President of the United States, acting under the National Emergencies provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, 61 Stat. 155, Section 206, 29 U.S.C.A. § 176, issued Executive Order 10490, 18 Fed.Reg. 6279 whereby he appointed a Board of Inquiry to inquire into the issues involved in labor disputes between (1) steamship companies or employers who are engaged as operators or agents for steamships engaged in service from or to North Atlantic ports from Hampton Roads, Virginia to Portland, Maine; (2) contracting stevedores; (3) contracting marine carpenters; (1) or other employers engaged in related or associated pier activities, on the one side, and on the other, certain of their employees represented by the International Longshoremen's Association (hereinafter also referred to as the 'ILA'). In said Executive Order, the President expressed the opinion that such disputes had resulted in a strike affecting a substantial part of ...


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