APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Franklin County; the Hon.
JOHN D. DAILY, Associate Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE EBERSPACHER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied November 12, 1971.
This action was first brought for rule to show cause why the defendants, the appellants herein, should not be held in contempt of Court for violation of a temporary restraining order filed November 1, 1969. The temporary restraining order was issued as a result of a verified complaint of the plaintiffs, the appellees herein, for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from engaging in a strike and picketing at the plaintiff's hospital in West Frankfort, Illinois. Upon hearing on rule to show cause, the circuit court of Franklin County found the defendants in civil contempt of Court and levied fines against them. This appeal is taken from the Contempt Order of the Court.
The plaintiff herein is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation operating a hospital in West Frankfort, Illinois. Hereinafter the plaintiff-appellee shall be referred to as the Hospital.
The defendants are the United Mine Workers of America District No. 50, Local Union No. 12640 of United Mine Workers of America No. 50 and individuals Art Hodgson, Lee Arnold, Jennette Brown, Georgina Eldridge, Cordelia Owens, Bob Kemp and Frank Crise.
On October 31, 1969, defendants, United Mine Workers of America, District No. 50 and Local Union No. 12640 of the Union were parties to a collective bargaining agreement with the Hospital. Defendant Frank Crise was the regional Director of the Union and Defendant Bob Kemp was a special representative of the Union. The remaining individual defendants were officers of the local and employees of the Hospital.
The collective bargaining agreement in effect on October 31, 1969, expired at midnight on that date. The defendants elected not to work without a contract and the 11:00 P.M. shift reported to work and worked through 7:00 A.M. on November 1. Plaintiff made arrangements to close the hospital. All ambulatory patients were transferred to other hospitals on the evening of October 31, and bed patients were removed by ambulance on November 1.
At 12:02 A.M. November 1, 1969, defendants established pickets on the public sidewalks adjacent to the hospital. Some of the pickets were carrying signs which stated "on strike" or "unfair to employees" or "no contract, no work", or reflected defendants' attitude that plaintiffs were unfair or that defendants wanted decent wages. There is no contention that the pickets engaged in violence, threats or intimidation, and the complaint failed to allege such acts other than by slight inference and conclusions of the pleader of the purpose of the pickets and that their acts were unlawful and illegal.
On the morning of November 1, 1969, before 5:33 A.M., plaintiff filed a complaint for temporary restraining order, temporary injunction and permanent injunction restraining defendants from engaging in a strike and picketing the hospital. At 5:33 A.M. a temporary restraining order was signed and issued by the Circuit Court Judge.
The temporary restraining order was served on defendants at 7:00 A.M. in front of the hospital. Picketing then ceased and recommenced at about 1:00 P.M. continuing through 10:30 A.M., November 2, 1969.
On November 3, 1969, upon plaintiff's petition the court issued a rule to show cause. After a hearing on the rule the court found defendants to have violated the temporary restraining order and held them in contempt of court for having established picket lines and pickets at the hospital from the time of service of the order until 10:30 A.M., November 2, 1969. Fines were levied on defendants.
• 1 The thrust of defendants' argument on appeal is that the court was without jurisdiction to issue the temporary restraining order and therefore its violation is not grounds for contempt. We agree.
Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 48, par. 2a, (commonly known as the Anti-Injunction Act) provides:
"No restraining order or injunction shall be granted by any Court of this state, or by a Judge or Judges thereof in any case involving or growing out of a dispute concerning the terms or conditions of employment, enjoining or restraining any person or persons, either singly or in concert, from terminating any relation of employment or from ceasing to perform any work or labor, or from peaceably and without threats or intimidation recommending, advising, or persuading others so to do; or from peaceably and without threats or intimidation being upon any public street, or thoroughfare or highway for the purpose of obtaining or communicating information, or to peaceably and without threats or intimidation persuade any person or persons to work or ...