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Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. v. Seafarers' I. Union

MARCH 13, 1963.




Interlocutory appeal from the Superior Court of Cook County; the Hon. WALKER BUTLER, Judge, presiding. Appeal dismissed.


This is an interlocutory appeal by District 2, Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association, from an order denying its motion to dissolve a temporary injunction. A threshold question is the appellant's right to appeal.

The injunction, as first granted on May 15, 1962, was against four unions, seven officers of these unions and others, individually and as officers, members and agents of the unions. The defendants were restrained from picketing the ships of the plaintiff, Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., a Canadian corporation, whose ships are registered under the laws of Canada and fly the Canadian flag.

The complaint upon which the injunction was based alleged that one of these ships, the John Ericsson, sailed from Ontario, Canada, to the Port of Chicago to take on a load of grain from the elevator of the Continental Grain Company, for the purpose of transporting it in international trade and commerce. Its crew consisted of 9 officers and 22 men. All of the latter were members of the Canadian Maritime Union. The plaintiff had a contract recognizing this union as the sole bargaining agent for the employees. A copy of the contract was on file with the Department of Labour of Canada as required by Canadian law.

The complaint further alleged that at 9:00 a.m. on May 15, 1962, at the entrance to the Calumet River, the John Ericsson was met by a tugboat which was to accompany it up the river to the dock of the Continental Grain Company. At this juncture pickets appeared on another boat, bearing placards saying that the Seafarers' International Union of Canada had been locked out by the SS John Ericsson. Thereupon the tugboat's crew caused it to withdraw and the ship had to proceed as best it could to the grain company's dock. There the picketing was renewed and because of this the employees of the grain company refused to load the ship.

The complaint stated that there was no labor dispute between the plaintiff and its employees. It charged that the only dispute was between two Canadian unions, that the lock-out signs were false, that the purpose of the picketing was unlawful and was to coerce the plaintiff to break its agreement with the Canadian Maritime Union and to employ members of the picketing union; that continued picketing would result in closing the Port of Chicago to its ships, the breach of its contract with the grain company and the ultimate cancellation of that contract which was to haul four million bushels of grain during the 1962 shipping season.

On May 31, 1962, the plaintiff moved to amend its complaint, to add additional parties defendant and to broaden the writ of injunction. The motions were allowed. Seven unions were made defendants in addition to those appearing in the caption of this case. They, "their agents and employees and all those who shall participate in their behalf" were enjoined. The amended complaint charged that since the issuance of the injunction 16 days earlier, other parties had picketed the plaintiff's ships or had caused them to be picketed on behalf of the original defendants. One affidavit accompanying the motions stated that the ship Howard Shaw was being picketed that very day by the International Longshoremen's Association and that because of this the employees of the Continental Grain Company were again refusing to cooperate in the loading of the ship. Another affidavit stated that at other ports on the Great Lakes various ships of the plaintiff had been picketed during the early 1962 season. The affidavit delineated the picketing pattern. The first picketing would be done by the Seafarers' International Union of Canada; upon its being enjoined, another union would take up the picketing, then another and another. Among these picketing unions was one of the seven new defendants, the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association. The amended complaint stated that this association "maintains an office in Cook County, Illinois at 9383 Ewing Avenue, Chicago."

On the 4th of June District 2, Maritime Engineers' Beneficial Association, whose office was at this address, entered a special appearance for the purpose of contesting the court's jurisdiction, moved to dismiss the amended complaint and to vacate the temporary injunction. This motion was heard on June 11th and during the hearing the following colloquy took place between its attorney and the attorney representing the Canadian Maritime Union, which had asked leave to intervene:

Counsel for intervenor: "First of all, I should like to ask this question so that the record is clear. The order you entered on the 31st of May runs against, among others, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association. I have noticed that the petition that counsel has filed and has argued concerning this morning has been filed by District 2 of that Association. And I think that before we go further we should straighten this matter out to find out who it is that counsel is representing."

Counsel for appellant: "I will be glad to answer your question. The injunction order of this Court is certainly broad and sweeping enough to encompass District 2, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, which is the only organization which maintains an office in the State of Illinois and which, in our opinion, is affected or bound by this Court's order. Therefore, regardless of the wording of this Court's order, we believe that the interest of District 2 is sufficient here to warrant an appearance, a special appearance on its part and a motion to vacate this order."

"It is as simple as that, your Honor."

Counsel for intervenor: "Are you, also, expressly appearing on behalf of the Association itself?"

Counsel for appellant: "No sir, I am not appearing on behalf of anyone except District 2, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association."

Counsel for intervenor: "I thought we should clear that up, at least, and find out who it is that is interested ...

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