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WEBER V. ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC., 348 U. S. 468 (1955)

U.S. Supreme Court

Weber v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 348 U.S. 468 (1955)

Weber v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

No. 97

Argued February 2-3, 1955

Decided March 28, 1955

348 U.S. 468


In a dispute between two unions over work being performed for respondent, each claiming the work for its own members, one union went on strike. Respondent filed with the National Labor Relations Board a charge of an unfair labor practice under § 8(b)(4)(D) of the Taft-Hartley Act against the striking union, but the Board held that no "dispute" existed within the meaning of that subsection and quashed the notice of a hearing. Respondent filed a complaint in a Missouri state court, alleging violations of other subsections of § 8(b)(4) of the Taft-Hartley Act and also a violation of the State's restraint of trade statute. The state court enjoined the strike as a restraint of trade.

Held: the state court was without jurisdiction to enjoin the conduct of the union, since its jurisdiction had been preempted by the authority vested in the National Labor Relations Board. Pp. 348 U. S. 469-482.

(a) Whether the Board's finding that no violation of § 8(b)(4)(D) was involved necessarily encompassed a ruling on the other subsections was a question for the Board to pass upon in the first instance. Pp. 348 U. S. 477-478.

(b) Congress has sufficiently expressed its purpose to bring the conduct here in controversy within federal control and to exclude state prohibition, even though that with which the federal law is concerned as a matter of labor relations be related by the State to the more inclusive area of restraint of trade. Pp. 348 U. S. 480-481.

(c) Where the moving party itself alleges unfair labor practices, where the facts reasonably bring the controversy within the sections prohibiting these practices, and where the conduct, if not prohibited by the federal Act, may reasonably be deemed to come within the protection afforded by that Act, a state court must decline jurisdiction in deference to the tribunal which Congress has selected for determining such issues in the first instance. P. 348 U. S. 481.

(d) Allen-Bradley Local v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Board, 315 U. S. 740, distinguished. Pp. 348 U. S. 481-182.

364 Mo. 573, 265 S.W.2d 325, reversed.

Page 348 U. S. 469

The State Supreme Court affirmed a permanent injunction issued by a lower state court against petitioner. 364 Mo. 573, 265 S.W.2d 325. This Court granted. certiorari. 348 U.S. 808. Reversed and remanded, p. 348 U. S. 482.

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