Lapas attēli

DOUGLAS, J., dissenting.

330 U.S.

plications of dealing with the problems of supervisory employees strongly suggest that if Congress had planned to include them in its project, it would have made some special provision for them. But we find no trace of a suggestion that when Congress came to consider the units appropriate for collective bargaining, it was aware that groups of employees might have conflicting loyalties. Yet that would have been one of the most important and conspicuous problems if foremen were to be included. The failure of Congress to formulate a policy respecting the peculiar and special problems of foremen suggests an absence of purpose to bring them under the Act. And the notion is hard to resist that the very absence of a declaration by Congress of its policy respecting foremen is the reason the Board has been so much at large in the treatment of the problem under the Act. See the cases collected in note 3 of the opinion of the Court.

Fourth. When we turn from the Act to the legislative history, we find no trace of Congressional concern with the problems of supervisory personnel. The reports and debates are barren of any reference to them, though they are replete with references to the function of the legislation in protecting the interests of "laborers" and "workers."

* Section 9 (b) of the Act provides: "The Board shall decide in each case whether, in order to insure to employees the full benefit of their right to self-organization and to collective bargaining, and otherwise to effectuate the policies of this Act, the unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining shall be the employer unit, craft unit, plant unit, or subdivision thereof."

See H. Rep. No. 969, 74th Cong., 1st Sess.; H. Rep. No. 972, 74th Cong., 1st Sess.; H. Rep. No. 1147, 74th Cong., 1st Sess.; S. Rep. No. 573, 74th Cong., 1st Sess., pp. 6–7; Hearings, Senate Comm. on Educ. and Labor on S. 2926, 73d Cong., 2d Sess.; Hearings, House Comm. on Labor on H. R. 6288, 74th Cong., 1st Sess.; Hearings, Senate Comm. on Educ. and Labor on S. 1958, 74th Cong., 1st Sess.; 79 Cong. Rec. 2371, 7565, 7648, 7668, 8537, 9676, 9713, 9736, 10720.


DOUGLAS, J., dissenting.


Fifth. When we turn to other related legislation, we find that when Congress desired to include managerial officials or supervisory personnel in the category of employees, it did so expressly. The Railway Labor Act of 1926, 44 Stat. 577, 45 U.S.C. § 151, defines "employee” to include "subordinate official.” The Merchant Marine Act of 1936, 52 Stat. 953, 46 U. S. C. $ 1101 et seq., which deals with maritime labor relations as a supplement to the National Labor Relations Act (see 46 U. S. C. § 1252), defines "employee” to include "subordinate oficial.” 46 U. S. C. $ 1253 (c). And the Social Security Act, 49 Stat. 620, 647, 42 U. S. C. § 1301, includes an officer of a corporation in the term employee. The failure of Congress to do the same when it wrote the National Labor Relations Act has some significance, especially where the legislative history is utterly devoid of any indication that Congress was concerned with the collective bargaining problems of supervisory employees.

Sixth. The truth of the matter is, I think, that when Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, it was legislating against the activities of foremen, not on their behalf. Congress was intent on protecting the right of free association—the right to bargain collectively—by the great mass of workers, not by those who were in authority over them and enforcing oppressive industrial policies. Foremen were instrumentalities of those industrial policies. They blocked the wage earners' path to fair collective bargaining. To say twelve years later that foremen were treated as the victims of that anti-labor policy seems to me a distortion of history.

[ocr errors]

10 Cf. Federal Employers' Liability Act, 35 Stat. 65, as amended, 45 U. S. C. $ 51, under which the term “any employee of a carrier" has been applied to foremen. Owens v. Union Pac. R. Co., 319 U. S. 715; Elis v. Union Pac. R. Co., 329 U. S. 649.

DOUGLAS, J., dissenting.

330 U.S.

If we were to decide this case on the basis of policy, much could be said to support the majority view." But I am convinced that Congress never faced those policy issues when it enacted this legislation. I am sure that those problems were not in the consciousness of Congress. A decision on these policy matters cuts deep into our industrial life. It has profound implications throughout our economy. It involves a fundamental change in much of the thinking of the nation on our industrial problems. The question is so important that I cannot believe Congress legislated unwittingly on it. Since what Congress wrote is consistent with a restriction of the Act to workingmen and laborers, I would leave its extension over supervisory employees to Congress.

I have used the terms foremen and supervisory employees synonymously. But it is not the label which is important; it is whether the employees in question represent or act for management on labor policy matters. Thus one might be a supervisory employee without representing management in those respects. And those who are called foremen may perform duties not substantially different from those of skilled laborers.

What I have said does not mean that foremen have no right to organize for collective bargaining. The general law recognizes their right to do so. See American Steel Foundries v. Tri-City Council, 257 U. S. 184, 209; Texas & N.O.R. Co. v. Railway Clerks, 281 U. S. 548, 570. And

11 Daykin, op. cit. supra, note 3, p. 313; Rosenfarb, op. cit. supra, note 6; Gartenhaus, The Foreman Goes Union, 113 New Republic 563; Comment, 55 Yale L. J. 754; Hearings, House Comm. on Military Affairs on Bills relating to the Full Utilization of Manpower, 78th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 299; Northrup, The Foreman's Association of America, 23 Harv. Bus. Rev. 187; cf. American Management Association, Relations Between Management and Foremen in American Industry (1944); Id. The Foreman in Labor Relations (1944); Id. Should Management be Unionized ? (1945).

[blocks in formation]


some States have placed administrative machinery and sanctions behind that right. But as I read the Federal Act, Congress has not yet done so.

MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER agrees with this opinion except the part marked "Firstas to which he expresses no view.





No. 93. Argued December 18, 19, 1946.-Decided March 10, 1947. Opinion of the Court.

1. A federal district court has power to dismiss an action at law

pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens—at least where its jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship and the state

courts have such power. Pp. 502-509, 512. 2. A resident of Virginia brought an action in a federal district court

a in New York City against a Pennsylvania corporation qualified to do business in both Virginia and New York (where it had designated agents to receive service of process), to recover damages for destruction of plaintiff's public warehouse and its contents in Virginia by fire resulting from defendant's negligence. The court had jurisdiction (based solely on diversity of citizenship) and the venue was correct; but all events in litigation had taken place in Virginia, most of the witnesses resided there, and both state and federal courts in Virginia were available to plaintiff and were able to obtain jurisdiction of defendant. Applying the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the court dismissed the suit. Held: It

did not abuse its discretion in doing so. Pp. 509–512. 3. Important considerations in the application of the doctrine of

forum non conveniens, from the standpoint of litigants, are relative ease of access to sources of proof, availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling witnesses, cost of obtaining attendance

12 The state laws are discussed in Northrup, The Foreman's Association of America, 23 Harv. Bus. Rev. 187, 199–200.

330 U.S.

of willing witnesses, possibility of view of the premises if that be appropriate, and all other practical problems that make trial

of a case easy, expeditious and inexpensive. P. 508. 4. Considerations of public interest in applying the doctrine include

the undesirability of piling up litigation in congested centers, the burden of jury duty on people of a community having no relation to the litigation, the local interest in having localized controversies decided at home and the unnecessary injection of problems in

conflict of laws. Pp. 508-509. 153 F. 2d 883, reversed.

Applying the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a district court dismissed a tort action in New York arising out of events occurring in Virginia. 62 F. Supp. 291. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. 153 F. 2d 883. This Court granted certiorari. 328 U. S. 830. Reversed,

p. 512.

Archie D. Gray and Bernard A. Golding argued the cause for petitioner. With them on the brief were John E. Green, Jr. and Matthew S. Gibson.

Max J. Gwertzman argued the cause and filed a brief for respondent.


MR. JUSTICE JACKSON delivered the opinion of the Court.

The questions are whether the United States District Court has inherent power to dismiss a suit pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens and, if so, whether that power was abused in this case.

The respondent-plaintiff brought this action in the Southern District of New York, but resides at Lynchburg, Virginia, where he operated a public warehouse. He alleges that the petitioner-defendant, in violation of the ordinances of Lynchburg, so carelessly handled a delivery of gasoline to his warehouse tanks and pumps as to cause

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »