Friday, November 14, 2008

Invalid Municipal Law Would Be Valid if State Law

The appellants contend that this ordinance would be valid if it were a state rather than a municipal law. It is then contended that municipal laws are valid unless they conflict with general laws; that this ordinance does not conflict with the general laws because the state has not occupied this field; that it does not directly conflict with nor duplicate any state statute since it prohibits only such closed shop agreements as are neither prohibited nor authorized by state laws; and that it does not conflict with the provisions of the Labor Code since the Supreme Court has held Shafer v. Registered Pharmacists Union and other cases that those sections do not outlaw closed shop agreements. It is further contended that the federal law does not apply to this action since there is no affirmative showing that interstate commerce is affected; and that even if the federal law did apply the ordinance is valid since section 14(b) of the Labor Management Relations Act makes the provisions of that Act inapplicable in any state or territory in which an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization is prohibited by state or territorial law. In that connection it is argued that by enacting section 14(b) Congress intended that municipalities should be allowed to enact right to work laws, and that city ordinances are 'state laws' within the meaning of section 14(b). It is further argued that even if this ordinance is invalid insofar as it applies to interstate commerce it is still valid to the extent that it applies to intrastate commerce.

For related case law see Miller v. Lawlor;Promissory Estoppel; and Friedman v. Tappan Development Corp.