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Marine Engineers v. Interlake Co., 370 U.S. 173 (1962)

Marine Engineers Beneficial Association v. Interlake Steamship Co.

No. 166

Argued April 16, 1962

Decided June 11, 1962

370 U.S. 173


The two petitioner labor unions represented marine engineers employed on the Great Lakes and elsewhere. Respondents owned and operated a fleet of bulk cargo vessels on the Great Lakes, and the marine engineers employed by them were not represented by any union. In a suit brought by respondents, a State Court enjoined peaceful picketing and other activities by the petitioner unions of a kind arguably prohibited by § 8(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, if the petitioner unions were "labor organizations" within the contemplation of § 8(b). Although it was shown from recent decisions of the Labor Board involving these unions that the Board was of the opinion that they were such "labor organizations," the State Court held that they were not, on the ground that only "supervisory" personnel were involved in the dispute.

Held: the dispute was arguably within the jurisdiction of the Labor Board, and, therefore, the State Court was precluded from exercising jurisdiction. San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U. S. 236. Pp. 370 U. S. 174-185.

(a) The principles of San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon confined the State Court to deciding only whether the evidence in this case was sufficient to show that either of the petitioner unions was arguably a "labor organization" within the contemplation of § 8(b). Pp. 370 U. S. 177-182.

(b) The evidence in this case, including recent decisions of the Labor Board, was sufficient to deprive the State Court of jurisdiction over this controversy. Pp. 370 U. S. 182-183.

(c) Evidence having been introduced to show that the petitioner unions were arguably "labor organizations" for the purposes of § 8(b), it was the duty of the State Court to defer to the Board's determination in the absence of a showing that this position had been authoritatively rejected by the courts or abandoned by the Board. P. 370 U. S. 184.

260 Minn. 1, 108 N.W.2d 627, reversed.

Page 370 U. S. 174

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