Iron Workers v. Perko
373 U.S. 701 (1963)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Iron Workers v. Perko, 373 U.S. 701 (1963)

Local No. 207, International Association of Bridge, Structural

and Ornamental Iron Workers Union v. Perko

No. 482

Argued April 23-24, 1963

Decided June 3, 1963

373 U.S. 701

Syllabus

Respondent, a union member, brought suit in an Ohio State Court against petitioners, his ironworkers local union, and certain of its officers, seeking damages under state common law. He alleged that, for several years, he had been a member in good standing of the ironworkers local union and had been employed "as a foreman" by a certain company; that petitioners, without justification, had conspired to deprive him of the right to continue to work "as a foreman"; that, pursuant to this conspiracy, they had demanded that the company discharge him from his duties "as superintendent and foreman"; that, as a result, he had been discharged; and that petitioners had since prevented him from obtaining work "as a foreman" by representing that his foreman's rights had been suspended.

Held: The case arguably involved an unfair labor practice over which the National Labor Relations Board would have exclusive jurisdiction, and the State Court was precluded from exercising jurisdiction. San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon,359 U. S. 236, followed. International Assn. of Machinists v. Gonzales,356 U. S. 617, distinguished. Pp. 373 U. S. 702-708.

(a) The exercise of state jurisdiction cannot be sustained on the ground that respondent was a "supervisor," within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, since it appeared that he worked sometimes as a regular ironworker, sometimes as a foreman, and sometimes as a superintendent, and it is entirely possible that the Board might conclude that a foreman, under the facts of this case, is an employee, and that a man whose status fluctuates, as respondent's did, is entitled to claim the protection afforded employees under the Act. Pp. 373 U. S. 706-707.

(b) Even if it be assumed that respondent was not an employee, but was solely a supervisor, there is a sufficient probability that the matter would still have been cognizable by the Board so as to compel the relinquishment of state jurisdiction, since it may well

Page 373 U. S. 702

be that a union's insistence on discharge of a supervisor for failure to comply with union rules would violate § 8(b)(1)(A) by tending to coerce nonsupervisory employees into observing those rules, and, if a union forces an employer to discharge a supervisor, such conduct might well violate § 8(b)(1)(B) because it coerces the "employer in the selection of his representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining or the adjustment of grievances." Pp. 373 U. S. 707-708.

173 Ohio St. 576,184 N.E.2d 100, reversed.

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