Labor Law – Improper Union Objective – Lawfulness of Concerted Action to Prevent the Use of Labor Saving Devices

Plaintiff, an association of painting contractors, brought an action to enjoin strike activities by organized painters who had struck to obtain a contract provision prohibiting the use of pan-rollers while on union jobs. The plaintiff contended that the newly developed method of applying paint with rollers is faster and results in no deterioration of the standards of the trade. The defendant local union maintained that the application of paint with rollers is injurious to the health and safety of painters and fails to furnish either the long-lasting or finely finished quality characteristic of brush painting. Held, that the application of paint by means of rollers is not injurious to the health and safety of painters, that the contractual prohibition of such method is not a proper object of concerted action, and that the strike activities by defendant local unions should, therefore, be enjoined by a court of equity. Austin v. Painters District Council, 339 Mich. 462, 64 N.W. (2d) 550 (1954).