That leads us to the question of whether they may safely rely upon what has been a line of testimony, that an assistant United States attorney, Mr. Casey, had advised one of them as late as July, 1954, that if payments were made there might be a criminal prosecution under the Taft-Hartley Act. I feel that the assistant United States attorney made one fundamental mistake. He did not realize that there is, broadly speaking, a denial of statutory injunctive power. Until this particular Section 186 came into being no power lay, and no trust funds had ever been created. To enforce it a criminal penalty was attached, because, apparently, as both sides have argued, and argued very fluently, there was potential vice in these funds not being properly deposited, not being properly supervised, not being properly audited, not being properly distributed, and in the fact that they could become a slush fund. They could become the source of crime, embezzlement, and they might be used for many improper things. He may have had that in mind.
There is in the preamble of this section the language that he probably overlooked, and that is, that 'it will be unlawful for any employer to pay, or for any representative of any employees to receive from the employer, money or other thing of value in an industry affecting commerce except with respect to money or other thing of value paid to a trust fund.'
That language was very deliberately intended to prevent kickbacks, prevent bribes, prevent things which would make for labor racketeering. And the business of exculpating the trust was put in there, that beyond the penalties which are purely criminal, there could be injunctive powers for quick and speedy remedy.
The Court therefore rules that the advice, as such, was not sound, it was not true, and that the while the plaintiffs in good faith acted upon it, they were not entitled to do so as a matter of complete defense.
Accordingly, this Court now holds that there was a contract in being in the year 1947 in which the conditions of work and all except journeymen's wages were settled, on the 1st day of April, 1947. That was supplemented by the provision which came later as to what journeymen wages should be, and it was supplemented in October by the creation of a trust fund to which the payment of 3 per cent of wages should be made in periodic payments, to wit, quarterly. It was in effect and was honored. Even if one argues that there was defect in formal execution, there was still a contract, on the basis of a quasi-contract, and equitable estoppel will prevent assertion that the payments are not now due.
The Court will accordingly hold as a matter of law that the plaintiffs are in breach of this contract by not having paid the sums at the rate of 10 cents per hour during the period from January 1 until the point of quitting and the formation of the new contract which came into being in 1953.
The Court will hold as a matter of law, since there is a breach and the breach lies on the part of the plaintiffs, that the plaintiffs are not entitled to a judgment declaring that their's is the correct interpretation and that there was no contract of trust in being.
The Court holds that one who breaches a contract as here may not enjoin labor which has a right to assert its main weapon of the strike.
The Court will hold further that if there are in fact picket lines about a building, to wit, Arlington Towers, it is a labor dispute, and the Court is ousted of jurisdiction by Sections 113(c) and 107 of Title 29, United States Code Annotated, and that it is a matter which would have to come before another tribunal.
There is a cross-claim in this case for money damages on behalf of the defendants. The Court will enter a judgment to be fixed by a reference to the Auditor of the Court to determine how much the amount is. In the event that counsel can agree on the amount themselves, the Court will enter that amount as a judgment.
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