WISDOM, Circuit Judge.
The question for decision in each of these four appeals is whether a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from violating the Fair Labor Standards Act should be vacated. In each case the defendant has observed the law since the issuance of the injunction, but has not shown any special hardship or new or changed conditions not readily foreseeable at the time the decree was entered. We hold that when an injunction is issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, "[n]othing less than a clear showing of grievous wrong evoked by new and unforeseen conditions" is required in order to modify or vacate a permanent injunction. United States v. Swift & Co., 1932, 286 U.S. 106, 52 S.Ct. 460, 76 L.Ed. 999. The defendants-appellees made no such showing.
In all of these cases the district court entered injunctions by consent restraining the defendants from future violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq. In Guillot the court granted a permanent injunction February 28, 1947. Ten years later the court issued an amended injunction because of violations of the earlier order and new violations of minimum wage and child labor requirements. In Ellison the court enjoined the defendant five years before the motion to vacate was filed, in Graham three years before, and in Clark-Burt only one year before. The only evidence the defendants submitted consisted of a stipulation, admitted over the plaintiff's objection, that if the defendants were called as witnesses, each would testify that he was then in compliance with the Act, that he intended to remain in compliance as long as the business in which he was engaged came under its coverage, and that he had been in compliance since the issuance of the injunction. On the strength of the stipulation the district court vacated the permanent injunctions.
On a motion to vacate such an injunction, we go along with the Seventh Circuit:
The First Circuit is in accord. Goldberg v. Ross, 1 Cir., 1962, 300 F.2d 151.
United States v. Swift & Co., 1932, 286 U.S. 106, 52 S.Ct. 460, 76 L.Ed. 999, enunciated the principles controlling here. In that case the Supreme Court reversed the action of a district court in relaxing a consent decree entered ten years earlier in an antitrust case. While recognizing the inherent power of a court of equity to modify an injunction, the decision established that it was an abuse of judicial discretion to modify a permanent injunction, absent a "clear showing of grievous wrong evoked by new and unforeseen conditions." Id. 286 U.S. at 119, 52 S.Ct. at 464, 76 L.Ed. 999. Compliance over a period of time and general business changes are not new conditions "so extreme and unexpected as to justify us in saying that [the defendants] are the victims of oppression". Id. 286 U.S. at 119, 52 S.Ct. at 464, 76 L.Ed. 999. It is important to remember that the decree is a permanent injunction which has already been issued. "We are not framing a decree. We are asking ourselves whether anything has happened that will justify us now in changing a decree." Id. 286 U.S. at 119, 52 S.Ct. at 464, 76 L.Ed. 999. Forty years after the injunction was issued in Swift, the defendant tried again. In refusing to modify the decree the district court stressed the continuing vitality of Swift:
For a number of reasons, injunctions under the Fair Labor Standards Act are a fortiori cases for the application of Swift. First, as noted earlier in this opinion, the injunction merely says: "in the future do what the law requires you to do." This is no hardship. Second, the injunction has a beneficial effect administratively in enforcing a law of the breadth and scope of the Fair Labor Standards Act:
Third, dissolution of the injunction has an adverse effect on the administration of the Act. The Act covers 30 million employees and over a million businesses. If a practice were made of vacating an injunction on a defendant's promise to be good, enforcement of the Act would be weakened and an undue burden of repeated investigation would be placed on enforcement officials, eventually increasing the burden on the courts. See Goldberg v. Mathews, 5 Cir., 1962, 303 F.2d 814, 817.
The injunctions in these cases are only distantly related to injunctions issued in actions between private persons. Here they are an essential part of the congressional scheme for making the Fair Labor Standards Act work in an area coterminous with the scope of the Commerce Clause. This is no small undertaking. The three departments are in a common endeavor: it is no less important for the judiciary to use its injunctive power to effectuate the national policy expressed by Congress than for the executive branch to police the Act.
The judgment below is reversed with directions to deny the defendants' motions to vacate. The judgment of this Court is without prejudice to the rights of the appellees to file other applications showing changed conditions or peculiar circumstances which, under the principles established in United States v. Swift, & Co., 1932, 286 U.S. 106, 52 S.Ct. 460, 76 L.Ed. 999, may justify lifting the injunction.
Of the Tenth Circuit, sitting by designation.