Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. Steel Seizure Case. Records,
1952

Collection Number: 5365

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
Cornell University Library

Contact Information:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
Martin P. Catherwood Library
227 Ives Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3183
kheel_center@cornell.edu
http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/kheel
Compiled by:
Kheel Center staff
EAD encoding:
Casey S. Westerman, 2006

© 2006 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. Steel Seizure Case. Records, 1952.
Collection Number:
5365
Creator:
Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.
Quantity:
0.5 linear foot.
Forms of Material:
Court proceedings.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.
Abstract:
Motions, transcripts of proceedings, judicial opinions and briefs produced for or by the District Courts, Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. et al. vs. Charles Sawyer.
Language:
Collection material in English


ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

In the latter part of 1951, a dispute arose between the steel companies and their employees over terms and conditions that should be included in new collective bargaining agreements. Long-continued conferences failed to resolve the dispute. On December 18, 1951, the employees' representative United Steelworkers of America, CIO, gave notice of an intention to strike when the existing bargaining agreements expired on December 31. Thereupon the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service intervened in an effort to get labor and management to agree. This failing, the President on December 22, 1951 referred the dispute to the Federal Wage Stabilization Board to investigate and make recommendations for fair and equitable terms of settlement. This Board's report resulted in no settlement. On April 4, 1952, the union gave notice of a nation-wide strike called to begin at 12:01 a.m. April 9.
The indispensability of steel as a component of substantially all weapons and other war materials led the President to believe that the proposed work stoppage would immediately jeopardize our national defense and that governmental seizure of the steel mills was necessary in order to assure the continued availability of steel. Reciting these considerations for his action, the President, a few hours before the strike was to begin, issued Executive Order 10340. The order directed the Secretary of Commerce to take possession of and operate most of the steel mills throughout the country. The Secretary immediately issued his own possessory orders, calling upon the presidents of the various seized companies to serve as operating managers for the United States. They were directed to carry on their activities in accordance with regulations and directions of the Secretary. The next morning the President sent a message to Congress reporting his action. Twelve days later he sent a second message. Congress took no action.
Obeying the Secretary's orders under protest, the companies brought proceedings against him in the District Court. Their complaints charged that the seizure was not authorized by an act of Congress or by any constitutional provisions. The District Court was asked to declare the orders of the President and the Secretary invalid and to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions restraining their enforcement. Opposing the motion for preliminary injunction, the United States asserted that a strike disrupting steel production for even a brief period would so endanger the well-being and safety of the nation that the President has "inherent power" to do what he had done - power supported by the Constitution, by historical precedent, and by court decisions.
The Government also contended that in any event no preliminary injunction should be issued because the companies had made no showing that their available legal remedies were inadequate or that their injuries from seizure would be irreparable. Holding against the Government on all points, the District Court on April 30 issued a preliminary injunction restraining the Secretary from "continuing the seizure and possession of the plant... and from acting under the purported authority of Executive Order No.10340." 103 F. Supp. 569. On the same day the Court of Appeals stayed the District Court's injunction.
Since the issues raised (1. Should the final determination of the constitutional validity of the President's order be made in a case which had reached only the preliminary injunction stage in the lower courts, and 2. was the secure order within the constitutional power of the president) were constitutional questions which it seemed best to decide promptly. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on May 3 and rendered its decision on June 2, 1952. By a 6 to 3 ruling they held that the President has no authority under the Constitution to seize private property of industry by executive order on the grounds that a work stoppage is imminent as a result of a labor dispute and that continued operation of the industry's facilities is necessary because of a national emergency.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

In this decision, the Supreme Court found that the president of the United States may not order the seizure of basic steel manufacturing plants during peacetime and without Congressional authorization.
On April 8, 1952, President Harry S. Truman, responding to a threatened strike by the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), issued an executive order granting the secretary of commerce requisite power to seize the nation's major steel manufacturing plants. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer subsequently issued notices to the presidents of the major steel companies informing them that their property had been seized by the United States government and requesting that they perform the function of managing supervisors for the duration of the seizure. In response, the major steel companies, led by Youngstown Sheet and Tube, initiated court proceedings against Sawyer's actions. After a motion to place a temporary restraining order on Sawyer was turned down on April 9, a preliminary injunction was granted by the United States District Court of the District of Columbia on April 25. The injunction was stayed by a Court of Appeals on May 2, pending the decision of the Supreme Court. On June 2, 1952, the Supreme Court handed down its decision, finding the actions of the secretary of commerce unconstitutional.
Summary: Include motions, transcripts of proceedings, judicial opinions and briefs produced for or by the District Courts, Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. et al. vs. Charles Sawyer.
The collection includes the motion for temporary restraining order filed by Republic Steel Corporation (1952); official transcript in the case of "Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, et al. vs. Charles Sawyer", District Court for the District of Columbia (1952); transcript of the proceedings before Judge David A. Pine, District Court for the District of Columbia (1952); opinion of Judge Pine on issuance of a preliminary injunction, "Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, et al. vs. Charles Sawyer" (n.d.); and memorandum filed in United States Court of Appeals by Charles Sawyer motioning for a stay of execution on the preliminary injunction (1952).
Also included are numerous Writs of Certiorari and briefs of Amici Curiae given before the Supreme Court, including briefs of Amici Curiae submitted by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, the Order of Railway Conductors of America, the United Steelworkers of America, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Evert Lyman (attorney, State of California), and American Legion Post No. 88, Norman, Okla.
Also included is the official "Opinion of the Court," of the United States Supreme Court (1952). Other documents relating to various aspects of the case include an address by Clarence B. Randall (president, Inland Steel); and speeches by Richard M. Nixon and Hubert H. Humphrey, before the U.S. Senate (1952).

SUBJECTS

Names:
Sawyer, Charles.
Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. Steel Seizure Case. Records, 1952. 5365. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.

COLLECTION ARRANGEMENT

Arranged by form of document; a portion of files are arranged in chronological order thereunder.

CONTAINER LIST

Description
Container
Part I
April 8: Documents relating to seizure of plants and properties of the steel companies: Executive Order No. 10340; Telegram from Mr. Sawyer to steel companies; Order No. 1 of Mr. Sawyer
Proceedings in District Court for the District of Columbia
April 8-9: Complaints of steel companies seeking injunctions and declaratory relief: Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company; *Bethlehem Steel Company; Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation; Republic Steel Corporation
April 9: Motions of steel companies for temporary restraining order: Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company; Bethlehem Steel Company; Republic Steel Corporation
April 9*: Transcript of proceedings before Judge Holtzoff on motions for temporary restraining order
April 9: Opinion of Judge Holtzoff denying motions for temporary restraining order.
April 10: Oral motions to advance case for trial: Transcript of proceedings before Judge Bastian; Transcript of proceedings before Judge Pine
April 11-18: Complaints of additional steel companies seeking injunctions and declaratory relief: United States Steel Company; Amendment No. 1 to complaint of United States Steel Company; Armco Steel Corporation; E. J. Lavino and Company
April 9-19: Motions by steel companies for preliminary injunctions and papers in support thereof; Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co (Motion for preliminary injunction, Memorandum in support of motion, Affidavits in support of motion); Armco Steel Corp. (Motion for preliminary injunction); Bethlehem Steel Co. (Motion for preliminary injunction, Affidavits in support of motion)
April 9-19: Motion by steel companies for preliminary injunctions and papers in support thereof; Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. (Motion for preliminary injunction, Affidavit in support of motion); E. J. Lavino & Co. (Motion for preliminary injunction, Points and authorities in support of motion, Affidavits in support of motion); Republic Steel Corp. (Motion for preliminary injunction, Affidavits in support of motion); United States Steel Co. (Motion for preliminary injunction, Points and authorities in support of motion, Affidavits in support of motion)
April 15-25: Opposition by Mr. Sawyer to motions for preliminary injunction (an identical opposition was filed in each case ) Affidavits in support of opposition
April 24-25: Transcript of proceedings before Judge Pine on motions for preliminary injunction
April 29: Opinion of Judge Pine granting motions for preliminary injunction.
April 30: Transcript of proceedings before Judge Pine on form of preliminary injunction and on Mr. Sawyer's application for stay pending appeal.
April 30: Preliminary injunction entered by Judge Pine.
April 30: Application of Mr. Sawyer for stay pending appeal
April 30: Order of Judge Pine denying application for stay.
Proceedings in Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
April 30: Mr. Sawyer's application for stay in court of appeals pending appeal firm order granting preliminary injunction.
April 30: Order of court of appeals staying preliminary injunction entered by district court.
May 1: Application of steel companies to attach condition to stay to prevent change in terms and conditions of employment.
May 1: Order of court of appeals denying application of steel companies to attach condition to stay.
May 2: Memorandum opinion of court of appeals on Mr. Sawyer's application for stay.
Proceedings in the Supreme Court of the United States
May 3: Orders of the Supreme Court allowing certiorari
May 3: Journal entry of the Supreme Court staying, on condition stated, preliminary injunction entered by district court.
Part II
May 2: Petition for certiorari filed by steel companies (No 744).
May 2: Petition for certiorari and application for stay filed: Mr. Sawyer (No. 745)
May 3: Memorandum of Mr. Sawyer on petition for certiorari filed by steel companies (No. 744)
May 3: Memorandum of steel companies on petition for certiorari and application for stay filed by Mr. Sawyer (no. 745)
May 3. Brief for United Steelworkers of America, CIO, as amicus curiae with regard to the issuance of a stay (Nos. 744 and 745)
May 10: Brief for steel companies
May 10: Brief for Mr. Sawyer
May 10: Additional brief for Armco Steel Corp. and Sheffield Steel Corp.
May 10: Additional brief for E. J. Lavino & Co.
May 10: Brief for United Steelworkers of America, CIO, as amicus curiae.
May 12-13: Oral argument in Supreme Court.
May 14: Brief for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, and Order of Railway conductors as amici curiae.
June 2: Opinion of the Supreme Court.
Part III. Items not appearing in printed volume.
1. Plaintiff's Brief in support of motions for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
2. Transcript of record on petition of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
3. Memorandum on behalf of respondent.
4. Motion for leave to file a brief amicus curiae and brief amicus curiae on behalf of American Legion Post No. 88, Pledger-Allen, Norman, Oklahoma.
5. Brief for the United Steelworkers of America, CIO as amicus curiae with regard to the issuance of a stay.
6. Brief of a friend of the court in support of the position of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., it. al. By Everett S. Layman.
7. Opinion of the Supreme Court.
Part IV. Articles.
1. Labor Relations Reports, April 29, 1952 Court Order Invalidating Seizure of Steel Plants.
2. Labor Relations Reporter, June 2, 1952 "Full Text of Opinions by Supreme Court of the U.S. in Steel Seizure Case."
3. Labor Law Reports, May 1, 1952 "Steel Seizure"
4. "Steel Seizure Cases" Commerce Clearing House; "Decision of US Supreme Court"; "All Rulings of Lower Courts."
5. 1951 Term - U.S. Supreme Court Law edition; Advance Opinions 1951 - 1952; p. 817 "The Steel Seizure Case"
6. Newspaper comment on Steel Crisis. Extension of Remarks of Hon. Richard M. Nixon in the Senate - Friday, May 16, 1952.
7. The Steel Dispute. Remarks of Hon. Hubert H. Humphrey in the Senate - April 18, 24, and May 9, 1952. 1