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Supreme Court of the United States
January 27, 1965, Argued ; June 7, 1965, Decided
[*679] [***643] [**1596] MR. JUSTICE WHITE announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN join.
Like No. 48, United Mine Workers v. Pennington, decided today, ante, p. 657, this case [**1597] presents questions regarding the application of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust [***644] Act, 26 Stat. 209, as amended, 15 U. S. C. §§ 1, [****8] 2 (1958 ed.), to activities of labor unions. In particular, it concerns the lawfulness of the following restriction on the operating hours of food store meat departments contained in a collective bargaining agreement executed after joint multi-employer, multi-union negotiations:
"Market operating hours shall be 9:00 a. m. to 6:00 p. m. Monday through Saturday, inclusive. No customer [*680] shall be served who comes into the market before or after the hours set forth above."
This litigation arose out of the 1957 contract negotiations between the representatives of 9,000 Chicago retailers of fresh meat and the seven union petitioners, who are local affiliates of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, AFL-CIO, representing virtually all butchers in the Chicago area. During the 1957 bargaining sessions the employer group presented several requests for union consent to a relaxation of the existing contract restriction on marketing hours for fresh meat, which forbade the sale of meat before 9 a. m. and after 6 p. m. in both service and self-service markets. 1 The unions rejected all such suggestions, and their own proposal retaining the marketing-hours [****9] restriction was ultimately accepted at the final bargaining session by all but two of the employers, National Tea Co. and Jewel Tea Co. (hereinafter "Jewel"). Associated Food Retailers of Greater Chicago, a trade association having about 1,000 individual and independent merchants as members and representing some 300 meat dealers in the negotiations, was among those who accepted. Jewel, however, asked the union negotiators to present to their membership, on behalf of it and National Tea, a counteroffer that included provision for Friday night operations. At the same time Jewel voiced its [*681] belief, as it had midway through the negotiations, that any marketing-hours restriction was illegal. On the recommendation of the union negotiators, the Jewel offer was rejected by the union membership, and a strike was authorized. Under the duress of the strike vote, Jewel decided to sign the contract previously approved by the rest of the industry.
[****10] In July 1958 Jewel brought suit against the unions, certain of their officers, Associated, and Charles H. Bromann, Secretary-Treasurer of Associated, seeking invalidation under §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act of the contract provision that prohibited night meat market operations. The gist of the complaint was that the defendants and others had conspired together to prevent the retail sale of fresh meat before 9 a. m. and after 6 p. m. As evidence of the conspiracy Jewel relied in part on the events during the 1957 contract negotiations -- the acceptance by Associated of the market-hours restriction and the unions' imposition of the restriction on Jewel through a strike threat. Jewel also alleged that it was a part of the [***645] conspiracy that the unions would neither permit their members to work at times other than the hours specified nor allow any grocery firm to sell meat, with or without employment of their members, outside those hours; that the members of Associated, which had joined only one of the 1957 employer proposals for extended marketing hours, [**1598] had agreed among themselves to insist on the inclusion of the marketing-hours limitation in all collective [****11] bargaining agreements between the unions and any food store operator; that Associated, its members and officers had agreed with the other defendants that no firm was to be permitted to operate self-service meat markets between 6 p. m. and 9 p. m.; and that the unions, their officers and members had acted as the enforcing agent of the conspiracy.
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381 U.S. 676 *; 85 S. Ct. 1596 **; 14 L. Ed. 2d 640 ***; 1965 U.S. LEXIS 2208 ****; 51 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P19,755; 1965 Trade Cas. (CCH) P71,463; 59 L.R.R.M. 2376
LOCAL UNION NO. 189, AMALGAMATED MEAT CUTTERS & BUTCHER WORKMEN OF NORTH AMERICA, AFL-CIO, ET AL. v. JEWEL TEA CO., INC.
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 331 F.2d 547, reversed.
bargaining, collective bargaining, butchers, anti trust law, meat, wages, markets, Sherman Act, conspiracy, negotiations, exemption, night, antitrust, self-service, mandatory, court of appeals, labor union, cases, Relations, courts, coal, labor standards, employees, terms, marketing-hours, night operations, national labor, customers, parties, strikes
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