Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago county; the Hon.
ARTHUR V. ESSINGTON, Judge, presiding. Affirmed and remanded.
JUSTICE SPIVEY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Rehearing denied June 7, 1960.
Plaintiffs, Stanley Cielesz and John O'Donnell, Co-partners doing business as O'Donnell's Grocery, hereinafter styled "O'Donnell's Grocery," filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Winnebago County seeking to enjoin the picketing of their grocery store. They named as defendants Local 189, Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, AFL-CIO Union; Wilbur L. Halbin, Frank Fox, and Earl Saltow, Officers and Business Representatives of the Union; William Byers, Eddie Roberts, and Ed Krause, pickets for the Union, hereinafter styled "Local 189."
The complaint charged that the principal purpose of the picketing was to intimidate, coerce, or compel the plaintiffs to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with Local 189. In the main, defendants' answer denied the allegations of plaintiffs' complaint.
A hearing followed on the complaint and answer thereto resulting in a temporary restraining order enjoining the defendants' alleged illegal picketing of plaintiffs' grocery store.
Thereafter, a hearing was had on making the temporary injunction permanent. At the conclusion of the hearing, plaintiffs obtained leave of court to file an amendment to the complaint to conform to the proof.
The amendment to the complaint alleged (1) the effect of demanding the signing of the agreement would result in a restraint of the sale of fresh red meat after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and also Sundays and/or holidays, and would be in restraint of trade and contrary to public policy, and (2) that the actions of the defendants are contrary to Chap. 38, Sect. 569, Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957. On motion the second portion of the amendment was struck, the first allegation allowed to stand to which defendants filed an answer.
The Circuit Court on January 2, 1959, ordered the temporary injunction dissolved and dismissed the complaint as amended for want of equity. The court, however, retained jurisdiction for the sole purpose of considering defendants' suggestion of damages.
On plaintiffs' motion, the court ordered the temporary injunction to remain in force during the pendency of the appeal pursuant to Chap. 69, Sect. 21, Ill. Rev. Stats. 1957.
Plaintiffs-appellants appeal from the order of January 2, 1959, contending the Illinois Anti-Injunction Act does not apply where there is no labor dispute existing between the employer and employees; that picketing to compel the signing of a union contract where there is no dispute between the employer and his employees is unlawful; that picketing, the purpose of which is to eliminate competition, is in restraint of trade and contrary to public policy, and; that picketing, the purpose of which is to force the signing of a contract establishing the hours for selling red meats is an attempt to fix the amounts or quantity of meats sold and is thus contrary to the provisions of Chap. 38, Sect. 569, Ill. Rev. Stats. 1957.
The facts leading to the present controversy are not without dispute. There were categorical denials, explanations and lack of memory as to certain events. The trial court sitting without a jury was in a better position to attach the weight and credibility to be given to the testimony of the witnesses. We are unable to say that the decretal order of the trial court is against the manifest weight of the evidence.
It appears the plaintiffs had been operating a grocery store in Rockford for ten years. They had never signed a union contract with Local 189. Plaintiffs had been invited to attend contract negotiation meetings, and on two occasions had been furnished copies of the union agreement.
Local 189 had adopted the custom of not requiring the formality of signing a contract if the owner agreed to abide by the terms of the agreement. Ninety percent of the sixty-five shops under the union's jurisdiction had lived up to the terms of the contract whether they had actually signed the agreement or not.
In mid-1955, the plaintiffs had in their employment a union butcher by the name of Eddie Krause. His membership in Local 189 was known to the plaintiffs. Krause had made complaint to Earl Saltow, president of Local 189, about working conditions particularly with reference to Sunday work which was forbidden by the contract. Saltow contacted plaintiffs, and ...