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Benz v. Compania Naviera Hidalgo, S.A., 353 U.S. 138 (1957)

Benz v. Compania Naviera Hidalgo, S.A.

No. 204

Argued March 6, 1957

Decided April 8, 1957

353 U.S. 138


The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 does not apply to a controversy involving damages resulting from the picketing of a foreign ship operated entirely by foreign seamen under foreign articles while the vessel is temporarily in an American port, though American unions to which the foreign seamen did not belong participated in the picketing, and the Act therefore does not preclude a remedy under state law for such damages. Pp. 353 U. S. 138-147.

(a) Congress could have made the Labor Management Relations Act applicable to wage disputes arising on foreign vessels between nationals of other countries when the vessel comes within territorial waters of the United States, but Congress did not do so. Pp. 353 U. S. 142-147.

(b) The cases of Sailors' Union of the Pacific, 92 N.L.R.B. 547, and Norris Grain Co. v. Seafarers' International Union, 232 Minn. 91, 46 N.W.2d 94, are inapposite to the question for decision here. P. 353 U. S. 143, n. 5.

(c) An intent on the part of Congress to change the contractual agreement made by the foreign shipowner and the foreign seamen in this case cannot be read into the Labor Management Relations Act. Pp. 353 U. S. 146-147.

233 F.2d 62 affirmed.

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