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U.S. Supreme Court

Shore Line R. Co. v. Transportation Union, 396 U.S. 142 (1969)

Detroit & Toledo Shore Line R. Co. v.

United Transportation Union

No. 29

Argued October 20, 1969

Decided December 9, 1969

396 U.S. 142


A labor dispute arose between petitioner railroad and respondent railroad union over petitioner's proposal to establish new "outlying work assignments" away from its principal yard. There was nothing in the collective bargaining agreement that prohibited such assignments. The union filed a notice under § 6 of the Railway Labor Act of a proposed change in the agreement and, after the failure of the parties to negotiate a settlement, invoked the services of the National Mediation Board. While the Mediation Board proceedings were pending, the railroad announced the creation of the disputed work assignments, and the union threatened to strike. Petitioner brought this action to enjoin a strike, and the union counterclaimed for an injunction prohibiting the establishment of the outlying assignments on the ground that § 6, which provides that,

"where . . . the services of the Mediation Board have been requested by either party . . . , rates of pay, rules, or working conditions shall not be altered by the carrier until the controversy has been finally acted upon . . . by the Mediation Board,"

forbids such unilateral action by the carrier. The District Court dismissed the railroad's complaint, but granted the union's request for an injunction restraining the railroad from establishing any new outlying assignments, despite the absence of a provision prohibiting such assignments in the collective bargaining agreement. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The status quo that is to be maintained pursuant to § 6 of the Railway Labor Act while the procedures of the Act are being exhausted consists of the actual, objective working conditions out of which the dispute arose, whether or not those conditions are covered in an existing collective bargaining agreement. Order of Conductors v. Pitney, 326 U. S. 561, and Williams v. Terminal Co., 315 U. S. 386, distinguished. Pp. 396 U. S. 148-159.

401 F.2d 368, affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 396 U. S. 143

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