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U.S. Supreme Court

Bakery Drivers Union v. Wagshal, 333 U.S. 437 (1948)

Bakery Drivers Union v. Wagshal

No. 225

Argued December 17-18, 1947

Decided March 15, 1948

333 U.S. 437


In a suit by a delicatessen store to enjoin a boycott of its business by a labor union, the pleadings and supporting affidavits alleged that: because the hours of delivery were inconvenient, the store stopped buying bread from one bakery and started buying from another; although the store had always made payments for the bread direct to the first bakery, and not to the driver employed by the bakery, a representative of the bakery drivers' union demanded that payment of the balance due for bread previously bought from the first bakery be made to the driver who had delivered it, and that the store discontinue the sale of a certain nonunion product; there was a dispute about the amount of the bill; the store discontinued the sale of the nonunion product, but refused to make payment for the bread to the driver, and the union instituted a boycott which prevented the store from obtaining bread from other bakeries or retail stores. The District Court denied the union's motion to dismiss the suit and granted an injunction pendente lite. The Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal.


1. The boycott did not grow out of a "labor dispute" within the meaning of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, and the order granting an injunction pendente lite was therefore not appealable as of right. Pp. 333 U. S. 442-445.

(a) The controversy over the hour of delivery was not a "labor dispute," since it was between the store and the bakery, and not between the store and the driver or his union. Moreover, it was a dead controversy. Pp. 333 U. S. 442-443.

Page 333 U. S. 438

(b) The controversy over the amount of the bill was between the store and the bakery, and it did not become a "labor dispute" merely because a representative of the union undertook to collect the bill. Pp. 333 U. S. 443-444.

(c) Since it appears from the record before this Court that the boycott was addressed only to the question of payment of the bill, and that the incidental controversy over the sale of a nonunion item (which had been discontinued) was a mere pretext, the latter is not sufficient to make the case one growing out of a "labor dispute." P. 333 U. S. 444.

2. The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 61 Stat. 136, § 10(h), did not remove the limitations of the Norris-LaGuardia Act upon the power to issue an injunction against a secondary boycott where the injunction is sought by a private party. P. 333 U. S. 442.

3. Since the record does not show that a stay was granted pending review here, it must be assumed that the union's action in lifting the boycott was merely obedience to the judgment here for review, and the case cannot be considered to have become moot by reason of the lifting of the boycott. P. 333 U. S. 442.

4. A contention that a determination whether there is a labor dispute should not rest upon affidavits is not ruled upon, because the affidavits in this case were merely a gloss on the complaint, constituted an informal amendment, and served only as allegations and not proof. Pp. 333 U. S. 444-445.

82 U.S.App.D.C. 138, 161 F.2d 380, affirmed.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed an appeal from a judgment of the District Court granting an injunction pendente lite against a boycott by a labor union and denying a motion to dismiss the suit. 82 U.S.App.D.C. 138, 161 F.2d 380. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 756. Affirmed, p. 333 U. S. 445.

Page 333 U. S. 439

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