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Douds v. Milk Drivers and Dairy Employees Union Local 584
July 11, 1957
CHARLES T. DOUDS, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, SECOND REGION OF NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, FOR AND ON BEHALF OF NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
MILK DRIVERS AND DAIRY EMPLOYEES UNION LOCAL 584, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.
CLARK, Ch. J.: On this motion for a stay pending appeal of Judge Levet's grant of a temporary injunction on July 2, 1957, my function should be limited to preservation of the status quo, so far as is possible, and with as little damage to the respective interests of the parties as can be achieved. For I cannot properly find so clear a legal right either way as to require rather definitive rulings of a substantive nature. While as at present advised I find the Regional Director's construction of the "hot cargo" clause strained and only quite doubtfully within the parties' intent, I cannot say that no court will hold the word "deliveries" to have the narrow meaning in the milk trucking industry which he asserts. Nor should I here hold Judge Levet clearly in error in finding that there was no primary labor dispute between the union and the Class B distributors. And though this Court has spoken definitively, the ultimate status of hot cargo clauses in collective bargaining agreements must await further clarification by the Supreme Court.
Nor should the effect of the injunction be prevented because petitioner's claim is thus not wholly clear. For it is certain from the nature of the milk dlivery business that a stay of even a few days' duration will compel the Class C milk distributors to yield completely to the union or go out of business; in other words it will end the case in the union's favor for all practical purposes. No comparable result to the union can be anticipated. It will lose the benefit here of its bargain of the hot cargo clause during the life of the agreement which expires October 24, 1957, and may experience difficulties in negotiating for a new agreement; but these difficulties seem less decisive and less permanent than those which granting the stay will occasion its opponents. But since there well may be serious losses either way, I am willing to consider a motion, if promptly made and with some assurance that argument can be quickly had, for the designation of a special panel for the immediate hearing of this appeal. Meanwhile I am clear that Judge Levet's disposition of this matter should stand until this Court acts on the appeal. The motion for a stay is accordingly denied.
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