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Squillacote v. Graphic Arts International Union

decided: March 17, 1975.


Fairchild, Chief Judge, Pell and Sprecher, Circuit Judges.

Author: Sprecher


The National Labor Relations Board, in the name of George Squillacote, its Regional Director, appeals the denial of its petition for an injunction against the defendants Graphic Arts International Union Local 277 (GAIU 277), and Graphic Arts International Union, AFL-CIO (GAIU, AFL-CIO). Believing the defendant labor unions were engaged in an unlawful secondary boycott against S & M Rotogravure, Inc. (S & M), a Wisconsin corporation, the Board sought an order restraining the unions from striking. The defendants opposed and the district court denied the injunction. We reverse.


Oklahoma Tire and Supply Company (OTASCO), the owner of a national chain of home and auto retail merchandise stores, circulates approximately 3.6 million sales catalogues six times a year to prospective customers. For six years these catalogues were printed and distributed by Kable Printing Company (Kable) of Mt. Morris, Illinois. Kable provided OTASCO total service. It prepared film (photo-positives), engraved cylinders, and undertook the printing, binding and mailing operations.

In early 1974, OTASCO retained a new printer, Century Printing Corporation (Century) of New Orleans to produce its March and August catalogues. In June of that year, OTASCO contracted with a third company, S & M, to do the preparatory film and engraving work for its September catalogue. Unlike Kable and Century, S & M only prepared films and rotogravure cylinders. It did not print, bind or mail the finished catalogues. OTASCO first approached S & M in 1973, and the two negotiated continuously for a year before they reached their June 1974 agreement. It was understood at that time that Kable would do the work of printing, binding and mailing OTASCO's catalogues. S & M, OTASCO and Kable are not related in any corporate way.

On May 10, 1974, the Graphic Arts International Union Local 91-P (GAIU 91-P) struck Kable's lithographing and photoengraving operations over wages, hours, and conditions of employment. This occurred one month prior to S & M's agreement with OTASCO. In July, one month after that agreement, S & M received all the necessary layouts for the OTASCO catalogue and started production. Clearly, the sort of services S & M performed for OTASCO could have been performed by Kable's lithographers and photoengravers, GAIU 91-P members, had OTASCO not switched its business to S & M.

On July 8, 1974, GAIU 277, the bargaining representative of S & M's lithographers and photoengravers and a sister local of GAIU 91-P, informed S & M that OTASCO's September catalogue was on GAIU 91-P's list of struck work. That day preparation of the OTASCO catalogues stopped. On July 10, representatives from GAIU 277 and S & M met. S & M contended that the OTASCO contract did not involve Kable's struck work for S & M had been seeking OTASCO's business for a year. GAIU 277 countered that performance of the work would enable Kable to meet its commitment to OTASCO and break GAIU 91-P's strike. The union, however, was not completely certain that the OTASCO contract involved struck work and the meeting ended inconclusively. Later that day, after consulting GAIU 91-P and being told that Kable had for many years done all the work on all of OTASCO's catalogues, GAIU 277 telephoned S & M and reaffirmed that the OTASCO work was considered struck work and that its members would not work on it.

S & M filed a charge with the Board claiming GAIU 277's violation of sections 8(b)(4)(i) and (ii) (B)*fn1 of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act). On July 16, 1974, the Board petitioned, pursuant to section 10 (l) of the Act,*fn2 for an injunction restraining GAIU 277 and GAIU, AFL-CIO from boycotting the OTASCO project pending the hearing and final disposition of S & M's charges. The district court denied the injunction on the grounds that (1) S & M as an ally of Kable is not protected under section 8(b)(4)(B), and (2) the struck work dispute is a legitimate contractual dispute and not a secondary boycott. Squillacote v. Graphic Arts Local 277, 381 F. Supp. 551 (E.D. Wis. 1974). These two grounds are at issue on appeal. GAIU has also raised several other issues which it raised below but which the district court never reached. GAIU also asserts that GAIU, AFL-CIO was improperly served and that the case at this time is moot. Although these are threshold questions, they shall be dealt with last.



GAIU first argued that the district court's denial of an injunction was not clearly erroneous. Finding S & M and Kable to be allies, the district court determined that the Board did not have reasonable cause to believe GAIU 277's strike against S & M was a secondary boycott. The district court was in error.

Section 10 (l) of the Act provides injunctive relief pending the Board's final disposition of an unfair labor practice charge.*fn3 Its manner of operation can be briefly explained:

Section 10 (l) of the Senate amendment directed the Board to investigate forthwith any charge of unfair labor practice within the meaning of paragraph (4)(B), . . . of section 8(b) of the conference agreement, which deals with certain boycotts . . .. It directed the representative of the Board who makes the investigation, if he found that a complaint should issue, to petition the appropriate district court of the United States for injunctive relief pending the final ...

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