United States v. Teamsters Local 807
315 U.S. 521 (1942)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Teamsters Local 807, 315 U.S. 521 (1942)

United States v. Local 807, International Brotherhood of

Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Stablemen & Helpers of America

No. 131

Argued January 7, 1942

Decided March 2, 1942*

315 U.S. 521

Syllabus

Section 2 of the Federal Anti-Racketeering Act provides, inter alia, that "any person" who, in connection with or in relation to any act affecting interstate commerce or any article or commodity moving in such commerce, obtains or attempts to obtain by use or threat of force, violence or coercion, the payment of money, "not including, however, the payment of wages by a bona fide employer to a bona fide employee," shall be guilty of a felony.

Held:

1. That the legislative history of the Act shows that it was intended to suppress terroristic activities of professional gangsters, and not to interfere with traditional labor union activities. P. 315 U. S. 530.

2. The exception is not limited to those who had acquired the status of employees prior to the time when they obtained, or attempted or conspired to obtain, the payment. P. 315 U. S. 531.

3. The exception is applicable to an agreement by members of a city union of truck drivers, who, for the purpose of obtaining employment at union wages in connection with "over the road" trucks entering the city, agree to tender their services in good faith to each truck owner and to do the work if he accepts their offer, but agree further that, should he refuse it, they will nevertheless, for the protection of their union interests, require him to pay them the wages, even by resort to threats and violence. P. 315 U. S. 534.

The test of the applicability of the exception in such case is whether the objective of the conspirators was to obtain "the payment of wages by a bona fide employer to a bona fide employee," and not

Page 315 U. S. 522

whether the intent of the truck owner in making payment was to pay for services, rather than for protection. P. 315 U. S. 532.

4. Labor union activities such as those disclosed by the record in this case are not beyond the reach of federal legislative control, and the use of violence such as that here disclosed is subject to the ordinary criminal law. P. 315 U. S. 536.

118 F.2d 684 reversed.

Cross-petitions for certiorari, 314 U.S. 592, to review a judgment reversing convictions of a labor union, and individual members of it, on charges of conspiracy to violate § 2(a) and other sections of the Federal Anti-Racketeering Act of June 8, 1934.

Page 315 U. S. 524

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