The defendants appealed from an order of the lower court awarding a preliminary injunction which restrained the defendants from discharging or causing the discharge of the plaintiff and other Negro employees because they were not members of a labor union with which their employer has a closed shop agreement, but which will not grant Negroes full membership privileges. The defendants were: the plaintiff's employer; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders and Helpers of America which is a labor union; and certain officials of the aforementioned union. There was a written contract between the employer and the International Brotherhood containing a provision for a closed shop. This union did not admit Negroes to membership, but in 1937 it established separate Negro local lodges. The defendants insisted that plaintiff and other Negro workers must be members in good standing in these Negro locals in order to obtain work clearances for employment in the defendant employer's shipyard. The non-Negro locals supervised and controlled the Negro locals, allowing representation for the Negro locals only through the business agents of the supervising locals, but the Negro locals had no voice in the selection of these agents. The lower court found that this, and other provisions which denied the Negroes a voice in determination of union policy and in job classifications, and which denied their locals a permanent status clearly established a substantial discrimination against Negro workers who accepted membership in the auxiliary locals. Held, the order awarding the preliminary injunction is affirmed. The union may not maintain both a closed shop and an arbitrarily closed or partially closed union membership. This is not a proper labor union objective. The holders of a monopoly, such as the defendant union has here, over the supply of labor of this type in this area, must not exercise their power in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner so as to bring injury to others. James v. Marinship Corporation, (Cal. 1944) 155 P. (2d) 329.
John S. Dobson,
LABOR UNIONS-CLOSED SHOP AND ARBITRARILY CLOSED OR PARTIALLY CLOSED UNION-INJUNCTION,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol44/iss4/13