Citation. 631 F.2d 1264, 1980 U.S. App. 105 L.R.R.M. 2312; 89 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P12,220.
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Brief Fact Summary.
A steel plant closure led to the economic demise of a town.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A court cannot require a corporation to continue operations when its officers and board of directors has decided to discontinue on the basis of unprofitability.
Local 13330 and 1307 of the United Steel Workers of America (Plaintiffs) are two labor organizations. Plaintiffs had a collective bargaining contract with the United States Steel Corporation for many years. Two steel plants operated by the United States Steel Corporation (Defendant) will be closing because of the age of the facilities and machinery involved and by changes in technology and marketing in steel making. The plants had been a dominant factor in the city and life of the employees. An economic blow will result to the town with the closing of the plants. Plaintiffs seek to keep the plants operating.
Can a court order a corporation to continue operations when its officers and board of directors decide to discontinue on the basis of unprofitability?
There is no constitutional provision, federal or state law which would convey authority to this court to require the Defendant to continue operations when its officers and Board of Directors has decided to discontinue on the basis of unprofitability.
There is not a property right to employment.
Courts do not have the power to regulate private property. Formulation of public policy on the great issues involved in plant closings and removals is clearly the responsibility of the legislatures of the states or of the Congress of the United States.
Even though an economic fallout would result, the court had no authority to order a corporation to stay open when the corporation decided it was in its best interest to close because there is no property right to employment. The function of the court is to interpret law. They did, however, leave the door open for the legislature to regulate this