at its convention the jurisdiction over the beer drivers to be in the Brewery Workers Union. It is admitted also, that in pursuance of the 1913 action, the officers of the Brewery Workers Union and the Teamsters Union entered into a formal written agreement in 1915 awarding jurisdiction of these beer drivers to the Brewery Workers Union, for various considerations set forth in the agreement which is part of the record in this case. It appears also that at the 1933 convention of the American Federation of Labor, when the convention in turn undertook to award jurisdiction to the Teamsters Union as provided by the report set forth near the beginning of this opinion, that the President of the Teamsters Union solemnly denied in open convention that he had executed any such agreement.
As under the Court's decision, the action of the 1933 convention was beyond the power of the American Federation of Labor, this incident is probably unimportant, except that if the President of the Teamsters Union had admitted the 1915 agreement, the resolution passed by the 1933 convention of the American Federation of Labor would probably have never been adopted and this litigation would, therefore, have been avoided.
This opinion has discussed jurisdictional rights at between the plaintiff, the American Federation of Labor, and the Teamsters Union, but there are more fundamental considerations.This Court holds that neither the plaintiff, the American Federation of Labor, or the Teamsters Union, as an unincorporated entity, whatever that may be, has authority to pass upon which union these beer drivers should be affiliated with, or any authority to coercion of any kind, direct or indirect, to control their union affiliation. To illustrate: If any employer sees fit to employ the individual members of the Brewery Workers Union, whether they remain in that union, or join some other union, no labor union has the right, directly or indirectly, to coerce the employer on the ground that the workman is not affiliated with the union to which an award of jurisdiction has been made. The evidence clearly shows that since the adoption of the 1933 resolution of the American Federation of Labor, set forth near the beginning of this opinion, the Teamsters Union and the American Federation of Labor have endeavored to coerce, and have coerced employers of labor not to employ beer drivers affiliated with the plaintiff, the American Federation of Labor by correspondence, and the Teamsters Union by picketing and by personal violence.
An extract from a resolution of the American Federation of Labor adopted at its 1933 convention and appearing on Page 522 of the report of the American Federation of Labor in 1935, is as follows:
"It was principally these great International Unions which had brought the American Federation of Labor into existence. When the American Federation of Labor was organized, and these Unions accepted charters, and when National or International Unions have been organized since 1881, a contract was entered into between the American Federation of Labor and the National and International Unions.
"This contract called for loyalty to the purposes and policies of the American Federation of Labor. In return the National and International Unions were guaranteed two specific things: first, jurisdiction over all workmen doing the work of the specific craft or occupation covered by the organization; secondly, guaranteeing to the National or International Unions complete autonomy over all of its internal affairs.
"The American Federation of Labor could not have been organized upon any other basis of relationship between the National and International Unions and the Federation. It is recognized that where a contract is entered into between parties, it cannot be set aside or altered by one party without the consent and approval of the other."
The defendants have emphasized questions of public policy as a reason for denying the relief asked for by the plaintiff. The workers involved herein can, if they so desire, constitute the American Federation of Labor the arbiter of their destiny, but they have not done this, and for the Court to withhold substantially the relief asked for by the plaintiff would amount to a judicial recognition of authority acquired by usurpation. Whatever may be the factual situation at any time or place, whenever usurped authority comes in contact with the jurisprudence of a democracy it then and there, instantly, ceases to exist.
May the Court make the added observation that both reason and history are conclusive that there is no such thing as a benevolent despot.
The injunction will issue substantially as prayed for by the plaintiff.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.