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U.S. Supreme Court

Windward Shipping v. American Radio Assn., 415 U.S. 104 (1974)

Windward Shipping (London) Ltd. v.

American Radio Association, AFL-CIO

No. 72-1061

Argued December 3-4, 1973

Decided February 19, 1974

415 U.S. 104


Petitioners, foreign-flag shipowners and agents, sought injunctive relief in the Texas state courts to bar, as tortious under Texas law, the picketing of their vessels by respondent unions, which were protesting as substandard the wages paid to the foreign crewmen, who manned the vessels. The trial court sustained respondents' contention that state court jurisdiction was preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), and the appellate court affirmed.

Held: Respondents' activities, which did not involve wages paid within this country, but were designed to force the foreign vessels to raise their operating costs to levels comparable to those of American shippers, would have materially affected the foreign ships' "maritime operations" and precipitated responses by the foreign shipowners in the field of international relations transcending the domestic wage-cost decision that the LMRA was designed to regulate. Respondents' picketing was consequently not activity "affecting commerce" as defined in §§ 2(6) and (7) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended by the LMRA, and the Texas courts erred in holding that they were prevented by the LMRA from entertaining petitioners' injunction suit. Benz v. Compania Naviera Hidalgo, 353 U. S. 138, followed; Longshoremen v. Ariadne Co., 397 U. S. 195, distinguished. Pp. 415 U. S. 109-116

482 S.W.2d 675, reversed.

REHNQUIST, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J.,and WHITE, STEWART, BLACKMUN, and POWELL, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 415 U. S. 116. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 415 U. S. 105

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