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U.S. Supreme Court

McCulloch v. Sociedad Nacional, 372 U.S. 10 (1963)

McCulloch v. Sociedad Nacional de Marineros de Honduras

No. 107

Argued December 11-12, 1962

Decided February 18, 1963*

372 U.S. 10


1. A corporation organized and doing business in the United States beneficially owns vessels which make regular sailings between the United States, Latin American ports, and other ports, transporting the corporation's products and other supplies. Each of the vessels is legally owned by a foreign subsidiary of the American corporation, flies the flag of a foreign nation, carries a foreign crew represented by a foreign union and has other contacts with the nation of its flag.

Held: the jurisdictional provisions of the National Labor Relations Act do not extend to the maritime operations of such foreign flag ships employing alien seamen. Pp. 372 U. S. 11-22.

2. Although the members of the crews of these vessels were already represented by a foreign union, the National Labor Relations Board held that the Act extends to them, and it ordered representation elections. This assertion of power to determine the representation of foreign seamen aboard vessels under foreign flags aroused vigorous protests from foreign governments and created international problems for our Government. On application of the foreign bargaining agent of the vessels' crewmen, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined the members of the Board from conducting the elections.

Held: this action falls within the limited exception fashioned in Leedom v. Kyne, 358 U. S. 184; the District Court had jurisdiction of the original suit

Page 372 U. S. 11

to set aside the Board's determination because it was made in excess of the Board's powers; and the judgment of the District Court is affirmed. Pp. 372 U. S. 14-17.

201 F.Supp. 82 affirmed.

300 F.2d 222, judgment vacated and cases remanded.

Page 372 U. S. 12

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