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Douds v. Metropolitan Federation of Architects

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
75 F. Supp. 672 (S.D.N.Y. 1948)


Facts

The Metropolitan Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians, Local 231 (defendant), represented employees of engineering company Ebasco Services, Inc. When negotiations failed to reach a new collective-bargaining agreement, the union called a strike. The month beforehand, Ebasco began subcontracting out work to Project Engineering Company. After the strike started, Ebasco gave Project more work, including unfinished work strikers had started. Ultimately, Project had 75 percent of Ebasco’s work. Project’s contract said Project employees remained its own, but in brochures Ebasco said it had numbers of personnel available that included subcontractors. Ebasco set maximum wages, paid Project hourly for its employees, and invoiced customers for technician time without distinguishing between Ebasco employees and subcontractors. Ebasco supervisors regularly visited Project to oversee subcontracted work and increased those visits after the strike to continue supervising jobs started by strikers. After repeatedly asking Project to refuse work from Ebasco, the union picketed with signs calling Project a “scab” shop for Ebasco, prompting several Project employees to resign. Project filed charges accusing the union of conducting an unlawful secondary boycott. The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, Charles Douds (plaintiff), petitioned to enjoin the picketing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rifkind, J.)

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