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U.S. Supreme Court

Textile Workers v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U.S. 448 (1957)

Textile Workers Union of America v. Lincoln Mills of Alabama

No. 211

Argued March 25, 1957

Decided June 3, 1957

353 U.S. 448


A union entered into a collective bargaining agreement with an employer providing that there would be no strikes or work stoppages and that grievances would be handled pursuant to a specified procedure, the last step of which was arbitration. Grievances arose and were processed through various steps in the grievance procedure until the union's demands were finally denied by the employer. The union requested arbitration, and the employer refused. Thereupon, the union sued in a Federal District Court to compel arbitration.


1. Under § 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, the District Court properly decreed specific performance of the agreement to arbitrate the grievance dispute. Pp. 353 U. S. 449-456.

2. The substantive law to be applied in suits under § 301(a) is federal law, which the courts must fashion from the policy of our national labor laws. Pp. 353 U. S. 456-457.

3. As here construed, § 301(a) is constitutional. P. 353 U. S. 457.

4. Jurisdiction to compel arbitration of grievance disputes is not withdrawn by the Norris-LaGuardia Act. Pp. 353 U. S. 457-459.

5. The employer in this case having ceased operations and contracted to sell its mill properties, the case is moot insofar as the union sought restoration of workloads and job assignments; but it is not moot to the extent that it sought a monetary award. P. 353 U. S. 459.

230 F.2d 81, reversed.

Page 353 U. S. 449

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