United States v. United Mine Workers Of America

330 U.S. 258 (1947)


In October 1946 the U.S. was in possession of and operating most of the nation's bituminous coal mines pursuant to an Executive Order that labor disputes were disrupting the production of coal necessary for the transition from war to peace. There was a labor contract between the Secretary of the Interior and the United Mine Workers (D) and D wanted to terminate the agreement. A complaint was filed against D in that it had no right to terminate and a TRO was issued enjoining D from encouraging mine workers to strike. A gradual walkout was in progress that escalated to a full-blown strike. The U.S. then filed a petition to punish D for contempt. D opposed the jurisdiction of the court to issue a restraining order as they contended that the Norris LaGuardia Act prohibited the granting of injunctive relief. The U.S. contends that the Act only applied to private employers. D was found guilty of both criminal and civil contempt. Fines were issued. D appealed. Certiorari was prior to the judgment of the court of appeals.