Textile Workers Union v Lincoln Mills
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: On writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, petitioner union challenged a judgment holding that although the district court had jurisdiction to entertain petitioner's suit to compel arbitration, the district court had no authority founded either in federal or state law to grant relief.
OVERVIEW: On review, the court held that the agreement to arbitrate grievance disputes contained in a collective bargaining agreement entered into between petitioner union and respondent employer, under the authority of § 301, 29 U.S.C.S. § 185, of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Act), should be specifically enforced. The court stated that it would undercut the Act and defeat its policy if it read § 301 narrowly as only conferring jurisdiction over labor organizations. A case or controversy arising under § 301(a) was one within the purview of judicial power as defined in U.S. Const. art. III. Further, as the policy in favor of the enforcement of agreements to arbitrate grievance disputes was clear, there was no reason to submit them to the requirements of § 7, 29 U.S.C.S. § 101, of the Norris-LaGuardia Act.
OUTCOME: The court reversed, holding that the Labor Management Relations Act would be undercut and its policy defeated if the Act was read narrowly as only conferring jurisdiction over labor organizations.