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General Teleradio, Inc. v. Manuti

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

June 8, 1954

GENERAL TELERADIO, INC., et al., Appellants,
v.
AL MANUTI, as President of Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802, American Federation of Musicians of United States and Canada, et al., Respondents.

Page 401

APPEAL from (1) an order of the Supreme Court at Special Term (HAMMER, J.), entered March 12, 1954, in New York City, which denied a motion by plaintiffs for a temporary injunction, (2) an order of said court entered the same day, which granted a motion by defendants for a dismissal of the complaint under rule 106 of the Rules of Civil Practice, and (3) the judgment of dismissal entered thereon.

COUNSEL

Emanuel Dannett of counsel (Wilfred Feinberg with him on the brief; McGoldrick, Dannett, Horowitz & Golub, attorneys), for appellants.

David I. Ashe of counsel (Ashe & Rifkin, attorneys), for respondents.

Page 402

COHN, J.

Plaintiffs are engaged in the business of radio and television broadcasting, operating stations WOR and WOR-TV pursuant to authority granted by the Federal Communications Commission. The defendant union is a labor organization of professional musicians.

For a number of years peaceful relations have existed between plaintiffs and the union under collective bargaining agreements, the last of which expired in February, 1954. Under this last agreement, plaintiffs were required to employ at their stations WOR and WOR-TV a staff orchestra of forty musicians. Early in the year 1954, negotiations were had for a new agreement. The union demanded that plaintiffs continue to employ a staff orchestra of forty musicians or in the alternative, that plaintiffs use the services of single-engagement musicians in place of recorded or transcribed music on all 'live' programs. Plaintiffs took the position that they did not need a staff orchestra and had no desire to employ forty musicians or any other number on a staff basis. Negotiations broke down.

The union began picketing in front of plaintiffs' places of business in the city of New York and at Carteret, New Jersey. The pickets displayed signs charging plaintiffs with having locked out its musicians. This action in equity seeking to restrain defendants from picketing plaintiffs' premises was instituted. Plaintiffs moved for a temporary injunction and defendants made a cross motion to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiffs have appealed from the order denying their motion for temporary injunction and from the order granting the cross motion to dismiss the complaint.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that defendant union entered into a conspiracy to compel plaintiffs to comply with the union's demands, in furtherance of which, the union picketed plaintiffs' places of business, using signs stating that plaintiffs had 'Locked Out Its Musicians'. It is further alleged that there is no labor dispute existing between the parties and that the picketing is designed solely to compel plaintiffs to use employees not needed by plaintiffs to perform actual services in connection with their broadcasting business and to compel plaintiffs to discontinue the use of recorded and transcribed music.

Appellants urge that the complaint sets forth a violation of a Federal statute known as the Lea Act (U. S. Code, tit. 47, ยง 506). The pertinent provisions of the Lea Act are as follows:

'(a) It shall be unlawful, by the use or express or implied

Page 403

threat of the use of force, violence, intimidation, or duress, or by the use or express or implied threat of the use of other means, to coerce, compel or constrain or attempt to ...


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