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Thomas v. Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corp.

March 15, 1949

JAMES J. THOMAS, DISTRICT DIRECTOR, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA, ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
CARNEGIE-ILLINOIS STEEL CORPORATION, APPELLEE. NO. 9603. JOHN GRECULA, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. NATIONAL TUBE COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9602. JOHN W. GRAJCIAR, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. SHARON STEEL CORPORATION, APPELLEE. NO. 9604. JOHN F. MURRAY, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. HOMESTEAD VALVE MANUFACTURING COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9605. CLYDE JOHNSON, BUSINESS AGENT, ET AL., OF LOCAL 610, UNITED ELECTRICAL, RADIO AND MACHINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, ETC., APPELLANTS, V. UNION SWITCH & SIGNAL COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9644. CLYDE JOHNSON, BUSINESS, AGENT, ET AL., OF LOCAL 610, UNITED ELECTRICAL, RADIO AND MACHINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, ETC., APPELLANTS, V. WESTINGHOUSE AIR BRAKE COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9645. FRANK HILL, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA, APPELLEE. NO. 9674. FRANK HILL, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. ALUMINUM COOKING UTENSIL COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9675. FRANK HILL, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. ALUMINUM SEAL COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9676. JOSEPH GONEY, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. AMERICAN RADIATOR & STANDARD SANITARY CORPORATION, APPELLEE. NO. 9682. WILLIAM F. DONOVAN, ET AL., APPELLANTS V. AMERICAN STEEL AND WIRE CORPORATION, APPELLEE. NO. 9683. FRANK BURKE, ETC., AT AL. (ZAYAC), APPELLANTS, V. AMERICAN BRAKE SHOE COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9586. FRANK BURKE, ETC., ET AL. (GRACIE), APPELLANTS, V. A. M. BYERS COMPANY, APPELLEE. NO. 9587. JOSEPH J. SMOKER, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION, A CORPORATION, APPELLEE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INTERVENOR. NO. 9588. JOSEPH MOLONY, DISTRICT DIRECTOR, ETC., ET AL., APPELLANTS, V. BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY AND BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION, APPELLEES, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INTERVENOR. NO. 9686.



Author: Goodrich

Before BIGGS, Chief Judge, and GOODRICH and KALODNER, Circuit Judges.

GOODRICH, Ch. J.: These fifteen cases bring to the Third Circuit the questions concerning the constitutionality of the Congressional abolition of the portal-to-portal claims which have been so much before the courts the last two years. It is a safe statement, we think, that no legal question presented to the federal courts has had so wide an examination by the federal judiciary over so brief a time as this one. As might be expected, the process of argument and reargument, examination and reexamination, has clarified both the issues and the answers.

There have been forty-two reported District Court opinions discussing and upholding constitutionality,*fn1 if our count is accurate, and at least eight-one additional decisions have reached the same result. The matter has also come, by this time, to our brethren in the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.*fn2 Eight of the cases in the first three Circuits mentioned were made the subjects of petitions for certiorari and in each case certiorari was denied.*fn3

Up to now every decision has upheld the constitutionality of the statute. This unanimity of result represents as accurate an expression of the views of the federal judiciary as it is possible to obtain. In addition to this unanimity among District Courts and Courts of Appeals there is the uniform refusal of certiorari by the Supreme Court. We have been taught that a denial of certiorari does not mean Supreme Court approval of a Court of Appeals position. But in this particular situation where there have been eight denials involving the same constitutional question, we think that the series of denials is not without an implicit significance with regard to the Supreme Court's attitude upon the question involved.

The Second Circuit reviewed the constitutional issues in Battaglia v. General Motors Corp., 169 F.2d 254 (C.C.A. 2, 1948). We cannot add anything new to the thorough discussion by Judge Chase for the court in that case. Nor can we improve upon his language. It would be mere pedantry, therefore, for us to go over the same ground again and we will not indulge in it.

Counsel for the appellants in the Molony case makes the point that his people are entitled to the benefits of the contract made between the employer and the United States in which the employer agreed to abide by all provisions of federal statutes affecting labor - pay, working conditions, etc., Counsel makes the point that this gives his clients right based upon the contract in addition to rights under the statute. The point is not new. It was raised and answered unfavorably to the appellants' contention in Fisch v. General Motors Corp., 169 F.2d 266 (C.C.A. 6, 1948) and we agree with the answer there given.

The judgments appealed from will be ...


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