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Peters v. South Chicago Community Hospital

FEBRUARY 1, 1968.

DONALD PETERS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

SOUTH CHICAGO COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS, AND DONALD PETERS, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN HOSPITAL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DANIEL A. COVELLI, Judge, presiding. Reversed and remanded.

MR. JUSTICE SULLIVAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT. This is an appeal from interlocutory orders taken under Supreme Court Rule 307. The trial court granted temporary injunctions on the pleadings. Plaintiffs are the officers of the Hospital Employees Labor Program (HELP), a voluntary unincorporated association commonly known as a labor union. They brought two separate class actions, on behalf of themselves and the members of the union, for injunctions against the defendant hospitals to restrain the latter from intimidating and/or coercing their respective employees in regard to union membership, and to compel the hospitals to meet with the union representatives for the purpose of negotiating and entering into a collective bargaining agreement. The defendants filed motions to dismiss the complaints.

The hospitals also filed petitions for declaratory judgment and injunction. They prayed for declarations that the plaintiffs have no right to strike or picket the hospitals and that defendants have no obligation to recognize or bargain collectively with plaintiffs and for orders restraining plaintiffs from striking or picketing the defendants. Plaintiffs filed motions to dismiss the hospitals' petitions for declaratory judgment and injunction. The facts and prayers for relief in the complaints in the two cases are virtually identical and defendants filed identical motions to dismiss. The trial judge issued the same order in both cases, duplicate appeals were taken, and the cases were consolidated for hearing on appeal.

The matter was presented to the trial court on the motions to strike the complaints and petitions for declaratory judgment, and the only hearing held was oral argument on the questions of law presented thereby. No testimony of witnesses was taken. The court entered orders, the following parts of which were appealed from by defendants:

"WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED BY THE COURT:

"1. That a writ of temporary injunction be issued herein, by the Clerk and under seal of the Court, restraining, enjoining and requiring the parties and their agents, as follows:

"A. The parties shall meet forthwith for the purpose of selecting an impartial person or agency to supervise and conduct an election to determine whether a majority of the employees of defendant employed in the following capacities desire to be represented by plaintiffs for collective bargaining purposes and the parties shall participate in such an election:

"Licensed practical nurses, nurses aides, orderlies, ward clerical employees, assistant unit managers, laboratory attendants, medical and x-ray technicians, occupational, inhalation and physical therapists, pharmacy helpers and employees in the housekeeping, maintenance and food service departments.

"B. The parties have an equal right to communicate with the said employees of defendant to attempt to persuade them to join to support the Union or vote in favor of collective representation by plaintiffs or to refrain from so doing.

"C. The parties shall not intimidate or coerce said employees in any manner or by any means whatsoever in connection with their right to join or support the Union or to vote in favor of collective representation by plaintiffs or to refrain from so doing.

"E. All until the further order of this Court.

. . . . . .

"4. Defendants' motion to dismiss the Complaint be and the same is hereby denied."

Pursuant to the hospitals' petitions for declaratory judgment and injunction, the court also ordered that, pending further order of the court, plaintiffs "shall not engage in or authorize picketing or a strike of the hospital premises involved herein." No appeal was taken from that part of the order by the defendant in either case, nor did plaintiffs cross-appeal.

The facts giving rise to this cause of action are set forth in the pleadings. HELP is a union formed and sponsored jointly by the General Service Employees Union, Local 73, Building Service Employees International Union, and Local 743, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America. The individual plaintiffs are the president and secretary of HELP and are officers and representatives of the ...


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