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AMALGAMATED CLOTHING & TEXTILE WORKERS UNION v. J.

August 3, 1979

AMALGAMATED CLOTHING AND TEXTILE WORKERS UNION, Plaintiff, against J. P. STEVENS & CO., INC., Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAIGHT

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union ("ACTWU") brought this action in continuance and escalation of the prolonged struggle between defendant J. P. Stevens & Co., Inc. ("Stevens") and plaintiff and its predecessor unions. Until now the battlefields have been the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"), and circuit courts of appeal asked to enforce NLRB rulings against Stevens or punish Stevens for contempt. *fn1" ACTWU now invokes the antitrust laws and the civil rights laws and prays, in aid of its efforts to organize Stevens' employees, for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as treble, compensatory, and punitive damages. Stevens has moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of standing, lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The motion is granted and the complaint dismissed.

I.

 ACTWU's complaint states six causes of action. The first two are pleaded under the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7, and the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 12 Et seq., jurisdiction in this Court being founded upon 15 U.S.C. § 15 and 28 U.S.C. § 1337. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth causes of action are said to arise under the civil rights laws, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (third cause), § 1985 (fourth cause), § 1986 (fifth cause), and all of them collectively (sixth cause); jurisdiction is alleged under 28 U.S.C. § 1343.

 Reserving the civil rights causes of action for later discussion, we analyze under this heading the antitrust allegations.

 For the first cause of action, PP 2-5 of the complaint describe ACTWU, its predecessor unions, and the union's present size and structure. Paragraph 2 alleges that ACTWU "is engaged in the trade or business of an international union"; the action is said to be brought on its own behalf and on behalf of its members.

 Paragraphs 6-8 describe Stevens as a Delaware corporation maintaining its principal offices within this district, and engaged in the interstate commerce of manufacturing, processing and selling textile goods and products.

 Paragraphs 9 and 10 describe the efforts of ACTWU and its predecessors, "for many years" and currently, to organize Stevens' non-supervisory employees and obtain collective bargaining agreements for them, as well as for employees of other textile companies.

 Paragraphs 11 and 12 allege that Stevens, "other textile manufacturers and processors and others" have opposed and resisted these efforts, and that Stevens, in furtherance of such opposition and resistance, has engaged in unlawful combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade.

 Paragraph 13 describes, without naming, *fn2" those persons or entities with whom Stevens is alleged to have combined and conspired. They are said to consist of other textile manufacturers; national and local trade and industry associations; employer-supported groups of employees; non-textile employers and businesses in areas where Stevens operates plants; chambers of commerce and similar organizations in such areas; state and local development authorities in such areas; local and state governmental officials and agencies in such areas; and "other persons and entities which are presently unknown to plaintiff."

 Paragraph 14 describes the acts, generally and without specifics, allegedly committed by Stevens and its co-conspirators. The allegations, stripped of certain verbiage, describe the following kinds of behavior:

 
(a) Fixing or limiting wages and working conditions by means of agreements between competing textile companies.
 
(b) Discharging, harassing or discriminating against employees who support ACTWU's efforts.
 
(c) Committing violations "of the national labor laws" in order to obstruct ACTWU from its organizational and representational activities, and of preventing ACTWU members from their activities, such violations of the labor laws including improper interrogation, surveillance, harassment, and improper procedures in connection with elections to have ACTWU designated as the bargaining representative of the employees.
 
(d) Refusing to hire and "blacklisting" employees and others who support ACTWU.
 
(e) Causing or inducing other employers, both within and without the textile industry, to refuse to hire and to "blacklist" employees and persons who support ACTWU.
 
(f) Discharging or refusing to hire relatives, friends and family members of employees who support ACTWU.
 
(g) Causing or inducing other employers, both within and without the textile industry, to discharge or refuse to hire relatives, friends and family members of employees who support ACTWU.
 
(h) Causing or inducing banks, lending and credit organizations, landlords, employers' insurance carriers and their representatives, and business men to discriminate against or refuse to deal with ACTWU, or employees who ...

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