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U.S. Supreme Court

Drake Bakeries v. Bakery Workers, 370 U.S. 254 (1962)

Drake Bakeries Incorporated v. Local 50, American

Bakery & Confectionery Workers International, AFL-CIO

No. 598

Argued April 18, 1962

Decided June 18, 1962

370 U.S. 254


Under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, an employer sued a union for damages alleged to have resulted from the union's action in encouraging its members to strike or not to report for work on a certain day in violation of a no-strike clause contained in a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and the union. The contract provided for compulsory, final and binding arbitration, at the request of either party, of

"all complaints, disputes or grievances arising between [the parties] involving questions of interpretation or application of any clause or matter covered by this contract or any act or conduct or relation between the parties hereto, directly or indirectly."

The union moved that the suit be stayed pending arbitration of the dispute, and it supported this motion by an affidavit denying that it had instigated a strike or encouraged its members not to work on the day in question.

Held: the District Court properly stayed the action pending completion of arbitration. The contract here involved obligates the employer to arbitrate its claim for damages for forbidden strikes by the union, and there are no circumstances in this record which would justify relieving the employer of its duty to arbitrate the consequences of this one-day strike, intertwined as it is with the union's denials that there was any strike or any breach of contract. Pp. 370 U. S. 255-267.

(a) The employer's claim against the union for damages for an alleged strike in violation of the contract is clearly within the scope of the arbitration provisions of the contract here involved. Atkinson v. Sinclair Refining Co., ante, p. 370 U. S. 238, distinguished. Pp. 370 U. S. 256-260.

(b) In the circumstances of this case, the alleged one-day strike was not such a breach or repudiation of the arbitration clause by the union that the employer was excused from arbitrating its claim for damages resulting therefrom. Pp. 370 U. S. 260-266. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 370 U. S. 255

(c) On the record in this case, it cannot be said that the union is not entitled to a stay because it did not proceed with sufficient dispatch in seeking arbitration of the employer's damage claim against it. Pp. 370 U. S. 266-267.

294 F.2d 399, affirmed.

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