The defendants, a labor union and two of its officers, appealed from a judgment, entered October 16, 1957, granting a permanent injunction restraining them "from picketing the place of business of the plaintiff ... for the purpose of coercing the plaintiff to sign a contract with the defendant union which would force the plaintiff to require its employees to become members of the defendant union as a condition of continuing their employment with the plaintiff."
The finding, with such corrections as the defendants have shown themselves entitled to under our rules, may be summarized as follows: There was not, and at no time had there been, any dispute between the plaintiff and any of its employees concerning hours, wages, conditions of employment or any other matter. No past or present employee of the plaintiff took any part in the picketing of the plaintiff's place of business or went on strike. The picketing was peaceful and was enjoined on the ground that it was for an unlawful purpose. Peaceful picketing as such was not enjoined, but only that having the specific purpose carefully set out in the judgment file. See International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Hanke, 339 U.S. 470, 480, 70 S.Ct. 773, 94 L. Ed. 995; International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Vogt, Inc., 354 U.S. 284, 294, 77 S.Ct. 1166, 1
Thereafter, in the spring of 1956, two of the three employees withdrew from the union and turned in their union books. A union placard which had been on the premises was removed. After the withdrawal of the two employees from the union, it filed charges of unfair labor practices with the state labor relations board. Parenthetically, it may be observed that it does not appear that there was then any thought or claim that the plaintiff's business had an interstate character which would preclude state jurisdiction. At about the same time, in May, 1956, the union commenced picketing. After a meeting between representatives of the plaintiff, the union and
The defendants attack the findings as to union membership mainly on the claim that since all three employees had been members of the union prior to the spring of 1956, they necessarily would have remained members but for intimidation or coercion on the part of Neary. There was neither direct nor circumstantial evidence of intimidation or coercion on his part, and the court was fully justified in finding, as in effect it did, that the employees themselves
"[E]ven peaceful picketing may be unlawful if it is for an unlawful purpose." Kenmike Theatre, Inc. v. Moving Picture Operators, 139 Conn. 95, 98, 90 A.2d 881. If the object of picketing is to compel the employer to violate the provisions of subdivision (10) of § 7392 of the General Statutes,
There was no error in the court's conclusion that picketing for the purpose prohibited in the injunction was unlawful. The vice in the picketing was the unlawfulness of its purpose, not any unlawfulness in the manner in which it was conducted. Therefore the injunction, which, as already pointed out, carefully limited its prohibition to picketing for the stated unlawful purpose, provided the minimum restriction which would effectuate, and protect against violation, the law and policy of this state.
The claim that the picketing was permissible as an exercise of the right of free speech is of no avail in the face of the unlawfulness of its purpose and the limited scope of the injunction. Kenmike Theatre, Inc. v. Moving Picture Operators, 139 Conn. 95, 101, 90 A.2d 881; International Brotherhood v. Vogt, Inc., 354 U.S. 284, 293, 77 S.Ct. 1166, 1 L. Ed.2d 1347.
A further basic claim of the defendants is that since the plaintiff's business affected interstate commerce, no arm of the state, judicial or otherwise, had jurisdiction to act in the matter. See Devine Bros., Inc. v. International Brotherhood, 145 Conn. 77, 82, 139 A.2d 60. The court found that the plaintiff's business was local in character and that the plaintiff was not engaged in activities affecting interstate commerce within the meaning of the Labor
The defendants correctly claim that since this controversy involves only peaceful picketing, if it is within the jurisdiction of the national labor relations board under § 10 (a) of the federal act; 61 Stat. 146, 29 U.S.C. § 160 (a); because it involves an unfair labor practice; 61 Stat. 140, 29 U.S.C. §§ 157, 158; and affects interstate commerce within the definition of the federal act; 61 Stat. 138, 29 U.S.C. § 152 (7); then state action is precluded. Garner v. Teamsters Union, 346 U.S. 485, 490, 74 S.Ct. 161, 98 L. Ed. 228; Youngdahl v. Rainfair, Inc., 355 U.S. 131, 139, 78 S.Ct. 206, 2 L. Ed.2d 151 & note, 1630. The sole method of transferring jurisdiction to state authorities in such a situation is by action by the national labor relations board in ceding
The court's finding that the plaintiff's business did not affect interstate commerce cannot, however, be successfully challenged. In both the Guss and San Diego cases, supra, it was uncontroverted that the business affected interstate commerce within the meaning of the federal act. In the Fairlawn case, supra, while the sales in the retail meat markets involved were all intrastate, out of a total of annual purchases from wholesalers of about $900,000, slightly more than $100,000 worth came directly from without the state, and as much or more comprised indirect interstate imports. In Youngdahl v. Rainfair, Inc., supra, 137, it was undisputed that the clothing factory involved was engaged in interstate commerce. Not every business so affects interstate commerce that it is under the jurisdiction of the national labor relations board. But that board does have jurisdiction in the case of any business, large or small, which, even though intrastate in basic character, "affects commerce" within the definition of the federal act. National Labor Relations Board v. Fainblatt, 306 U.S. 601, 604, 59 S.Ct. 668, 83 L. Ed. 1014; Garner v. Teamsters Union, supra, 488.
In accordance with the alternative claim of the defendants, we may assume, without in any way deciding,
While the defendants made many claims in their very extended brief, we have discussed only the three which were properly raised in the trial court. Practice Book § 154. We have, however, considered their other claims, in which they attack the power of the court to issue the injunction under the limitations of General Statutes §§ 7411 and 7412, part of our "Little Norris-LaGuardia Act," and find none of them well taken. Kenmike Theatre, Inc. v. Moving Picture Operators, 139 Conn. 95, 97, 90 A.2d 881; Devine Bros., Inc. v. International Brotherhood, supra. In one of these claims the defendants contend that money damages constituted an adequate remedy. In fact, no damages were awarded. See San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 353 U.S. 26, 29, 77 S.Ct. 607, 1 L. Ed.2d 618. It is true that a suit for the recovery of damages for a tort actionable under state law may be maintained even though the tort constitutes, or might be held to constitute, an unfair labor practice under the federal act and even though that act is applicable because the tort occured during a labor dispute of a character affecting interstate commerce. International Union v. Russell, 356 U.S. 634, 635, 78 S.Ct. 932, 2 L. Ed.2d 1030; United Construction Workers v. Laburnum Construction Corporation, 347 U.S. 656, 657, 74 S.Ct. 833, 98 L. Ed. 1025. Substantially the same rule also applies to at least some suits which sound in contract. International Assn. v. Gonzales, 356 U.S. 617, 620, 78 S.Ct. 923, 2 L. Ed.2d 1018. The recovery of damages, however, could properly be found, as it was here, an inadequate remedy, in the light of the subordinate findings that truck drivers refused to cross the picket line to make deliveries to the plaintiff,
The plaintiff, in a purported appeal, filed an assignment of error attacking the court's finding that there was a labor dispute. This appeal was wholly improper and must be dismissed. Bartlett v. Administrator, 142 Conn. 497, 509, 115 A.2d 671. If we consider the assignment of error, apart from the plaintiff's appeal, it still is unnecessary to review the court's finding, since in this opinion we have assumed, without in any way deciding, that the court correctly held that a labor dispute existed within the broad definition in our Labor Relations Act. General Statutes § 7408 (c); Kenmike Theatre, Inc. v. Moving Picture Operators, supra, 98; Devine Bros., Inc. v. International Brotherhood, supra, 80; Loew's Enterprises, Inc. v. International Alliance, 127 Conn. 415, 421, 17 A.2d 525.
There is no error on the defendants' appeal; the plaintiff's appeal is dismissed.
In this opinion the other judges concurred.