Moreover, the release fails to contain any statement or indication that the harvest labor wage rates established under the 1970 Louisiana wage determination continued to be fair and reasonable with regard to labor performed during the 1971 harvest.
4. Even if this Court were to conclude that defendants are not required by the Sugar Act and its implementing regulations to issue an annual wage determination which is effective on or about the beginning of the harvest season, defendants' failure to issue the 1971 wage determination until December 28, 1971, and their failure to make that determination effective until after the completion of the entire 1971 harvest season constitute an abuse of defendants' discretion to select both the date of issuance and effective date of the wage determination.
5. In view of defendants' duty to issue an annual determination and to make that determination effective on or about the beginning of the harvest season, defendants were obligated, upon issuance of the 1971 wage determination on December 28, 1971, to apply the harvest labor wage rates established under that determination to all labor performed after October 1, 1971, in the harvest of the 1971 Louisiana sugarcane crop. Application of the 1971 harvest labor wage rates to labor performed during Phase I of the Economic Stabilization Program was permitted under section 201.16 of the Pay Board regulations which prevailed at that time. See 36 Fed. Reg. 23219 (Dec. 7, 1971). Moreover, retroactive application of the 1971 harvest wage rates to labor performed during Phase I by plaintiffs and the members of the class they represent could not have been restricted by the Pay Board regulations which prevailed at the time the determination was issued since Congress had specifically exempted plaintiffs and other members of the "working poor" from the restrictions upon wage and salary increases under the Economic Stabilization Act and its implementing regulations. See Economic Stabilization Act § 203(d), as amended, Pub. L. No. 92-210, 85 Stat. 744 (Dec. 22, 1971); see also id. § 203(f)(2)(A).
6. Defendants' apparent reliance upon the restrictions on wage and salary increases during Phase II to limit the amount of the increases under the 1971 wage determination (for planting and cultivation as well as harvest labor) to 5.5% was unlawful and erroneous for two reasons. First, the four substantive standards established for defendants' consideration under section 301 (c)(1) of the Sugar Act (see Findings of Fact, para. 4, supra) do not permit defendants to consider the impact of the Economic Stabilization Program in making their initial determination of fair and reasonable wage rates. Defendants are legally obligated under the Sugar Act first to determine what increases are required to maintain fair and reasonable wage rates by consideration of the evidence in light of these four substantive standards. Defendants should then determine whether implementation of those increases is consistent with the regulations issued by the Pay Board during Phase II. Second, the general limitation of wage and salary increases to 5.5% under Phase II did not apply to plaintiffs and the members of the class they represent since they were exempt from any restriction on wage and salary increases under sections 203(d) and 203(f)(2) of the Economic Stabilization Amendments of 1971, Pub. L. No. 92-210, 85 Stat. 744 (Dec. 22, 1971).
7. Issuance of the preliminary relief which plaintiffs seek is required. Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law and have satisfied the prerequisites to the issuance of preliminary injunctions under such established authorities as A Quaker Action Group v. Hickel, 137 U.S. App. D.C. 176, 421 F.2d 1111 (1969) and Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. FPC, 104 U.S. App. D.C. 106, 259 F.2d 921 (1958). There is a substantial likelihood that plaintiffs will prevail on the merits. Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury unless the preliminary relief which they seek is granted. Issuance of this preliminary relief will promote the public interest as reflected in the legislative history and language of the Sugar Act. Finally, the irreparable injury which plaintiffs would suffer if preliminary relief were denied clearly outweighs any injury which either the defendants or the sugarcane producers might experience if the preliminary relief is granted.
Upon consideration of plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction, the memorandum and other documents submitted in support thereof, defendants' memorandum and other documents submitted in opposition thereto, and oral argument of counsel for plaintiffs and defendants concerning the motion, it appearing to this Court that plaintiffs' motion should be granted; it is now therefore
Ordered, adjudged and decreed that plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction be, and the same hereby is, granted; and
Ordered, adjudged and decreed that a preliminary injunction be, and the same hereby is, issued:
(a) restraining defendants and their agents, employees, successors in office, and all persons acting in concert with them from making any further subsidy payments under the Sugar Act of 1948 for the 1971 Louisiana sugarcane crop or any future sugarcane crop until final disposition of this cause on the merits; and
(b) ordering defendants and their agents, employees, successors in office, and all persons acting in concert with them to issue, within 30 days from the date of the Court's order, an amended 1971 Louisiana wage determination (establishing fair and reasonable wage rates for Louisiana sugarcane workers) which (i) shall be based solely upon consideration of appropriate factors prescribed by the Sugar Act of 1948 and (ii) shall apply to all labor performed on or after October 1, 1971, in the harvest of the 1971 Louisiana sugarcane crop and the planting and cultivation of the 1972 Louisiana sugarcane crop.
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