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U.S. Supreme Court

William E. Arnold Co. v. Carpenters, 417 U.S. 12 (1974)

William E. Arnold Co. v. Carpenters District

Council of Jacksonville and Vicinity

No. 73-466

Argued March 20, 1974

Decided May 20, 1974

417 U.S. 12


When respondent unions called a jurisdictional dispute strike against petitioner employer, petitioner brought this suit, which is within the purview of § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, in a Florida trial court to enjoin respondents' breach of a no-strike clause in the collective bargaining agreement containing a binding settlement procedure. That court issued a temporary restraining order against the strike, and its action was upheld by an intermediate appellate court. The Florida Supreme Court reversed, holding that, since the unions' breach was also arguably an unfair labor practice under § 8(b)(4)(i)(D) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) involving jurisdictional disputes, the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was exclusive.


1. When the activity in question is arguably both an unfair labor practice prohibited by § 8 of the NLRA and a breach of a collective bargaining agreement, the NLRB's authority "is not exclusive, and does not destroy the jurisdiction of the courts in suits under § 301." Smith v. Evening News Assn., 371 U. S. 195, 371 U. S. 197. Pp. 417 U. S. 15-18.

(a) The preemption doctrine of San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U. S. 236, is "not relevant" to actions within the purview of § 301, which may be brought in either state or federal courts. P. 417 U. S. 16.

(b) NLRB policy is to refrain from exercising jurisdiction as to conduct which is arguably both an unfair labor practice and a contract violation when, as here, the parties have voluntarily established by contract a binding settlement procedure. P. 417 U. S. 16.

(c) When the particular contract violations also involve an arguable violation of § 8(b)(4)(i)(D), the NLRB has recognized added policy justifications for deferring to the contractual dispute settlement mechanism, as indicated by § 10(k) of the NLRA, which, by its special procedure for NLRB resolution of charges chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 417 U. S. 13

involving jurisdictional disputes "not only tolerates, but actually encourages," settlements of such disputes. Pp. 417 U. S. 17-18.

2. State court jurisdiction over collective bargaining disputes does not turn upon the particular type of relief sought, and therefore is not limited to claims for damages, rather than injunctive relief. Pp. 417 U. S. 18-20.

279 So.2d 300, reversed and remanded.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

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