The United States brought a civil action in the Federal District
Court charging a violation of §1 of the Sherman Act by a trade
association of Chicago lathing contractor, to of its member
contractors, and a local labor union composed of lathers. The
complaint alleged combination and conspiracy to restrain
competition in the lathing business, and charged that an effect of
the combination and conspiracy was that interstate trade and
commerce in lathing and related building materials had been
the complaint stated a cause of action on which
relief can be granted on proper proof. United States v.
Employing Plasterers Assn., ante,
p. 347 U. S. 186
347 U. S.
11 F. Supp. 38 reversed.
MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.
This civil action was brought by the Government in a Federal
District Court of Illinois against appellees, a trade association
of Chicago lathing contractors, two of
Page 347 U. S. 199
its member contractors, and a local labor union composed of
lathers. The complaint charged a violation of § 1 of the Sherman
Act, which forbids combinations or conspiracies in restraint of
trade or commerce among the states. 15 U.S.C. § 1. *
Court dismissed the complaint on the ground that it failed to state
a cause of action on which relief could be granted. At the same
time and for the same reason, it dismissed a similar complaint
charging a Chicago plasterers' association and a local plasterers'
union with violating § 1 of the Sherman Act. Both cases were
brought here on direct appeal by the Government under authority of
15 U.S.C. § 29. We have just reversed the District Court's
dismissal of the complaint against the plastering group, United
States v. Employing Plasterers' Assn. of Chicago, ante,
347 U. S. 186
Despite some differences in the two complaints, the reasons for
reversing the plasterers' case are equally applicable here.
This complaint shows:
"A substantial quantity of lathing material used in Chicago jobs
is produced in states other than Illinois, sold by the producers to
Chicago building material dealers, shipped interstate either to the
Chicago dealers or to their plastering contractor customers, and
finally delivered by the plastering contractor to his lathing
contractor for use on local building jobs. The alleged conspiracy
here is among these lathing contractors and the union whose members
do the actual lathing. This combination, according to the
complaint, has achieved almost complete mastery over the lathing
business in the Chicago area. It limits the number of lathing
contractors, prescribes their qualifications, decides who meets the
Page 347 U. S. 200
prescribed, excludes persons from the business on varied
grounds, including arbitrary racial standards, and assigns
plastering contractors to each lathing contractor. All of these
allegations and more show a substantial suppression of competition
in the lathing business."
The complaint charges that an effect of the alleged combination
and conspiracy has been that "[i]nterstate trade and commerce in
lathing and related building materials has been unlawfully
restrained." Other allegations emphasize this charge by asserting
that any restraint upon lathing work in Chicago "necessarily and
directly restrains and affects the interstate flow of lathing
materials, and . . . building materials. . . ."
The complaint does state a cause of action on which relief can
be granted on proper proof.
[For dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE MINTON, joined by MR.
JUSTICE DOUGLAS, see ante,
p. 347 U. S.
* The Government complaint also charged a violation of § 2 of
the Sherman Act, but that claim is not pressed here.