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Title XVIII LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Chapter 295

previous next Effective - 28 Aug 1947bottom

  295.180.  Utility strike — power of governor. — 1.  Should either the utility or its employees refuse to accept and abide by the recommendations made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and as a result thereof the effective operation of a public utility be threatened or interrupted, or should either party in a labor dispute between a utility and its employees, after having given sixty days' notice thereof, or failing to give such notice, engage in any strike, work stoppage or lockout which, in the opinion of the governor, will result in the failure to continue the operation of the public utility, and threatens the public interest, health and welfare, or in the event that neither side has given notice to the other of an intention to seek a change in working conditions, and there occurs a lockout, strike or work stoppage which, in the opinion of the governor, threatens to impair the operation of the utility so as to interfere with the public interest, health and welfare, then and in that case he is authorized to take immediate possession of the plant, equipment or facility for the use and operation by the state of Missouri in the public interest.

  2.  Such power and authority may be exercised by the governor through such department or agency of the government as he may designate and may be exercised after his investigation and proclamation that there is a threatened or actual interruption of the operation of such public utility as the result of a labor dispute, a threatened or actual strike, a lockout or other labor disturbance, and that the public interest, health and welfare are jeopardized, and that the exercise of such authority is necessary to insure the operation of such public utility; provided, that whenever such public utility, its plant, equipment or facility has been or is thereafter so taken by reason of a strike, lockout, threatened strike, threatened lockout, work stoppage or slowdown, or other cause, such utility, plant, equipment or facility shall be returned to the owners thereof as soon as practicable after the settlement of said labor dispute, and it shall thereupon be the duty of such utility to continue the operation of the plant facility, or equipment in accordance with its franchise and certificate of public convenience and necessity.

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(L. 1947 V. I p. 358 § 19)

(1955) Where agent appointed by and under direction of proclamation of governor acting under this section notified utility company that he was taking over and that he desired the present management to continue, the employees of the utility did not become employees of the state and state did not incur liability to persons injured as a result of the utility's operations during its seizure. Utility in such case was the employer and as such was responsible for the tortious acts of its employees. Rider v. Julian (Mo.), 282 S.W.2d 484.

(1962) King-Thompson Act contemplates seizure and injunctive relief only in and during emergency situations where health, safety and welfare of public are threatened. Act upheld against charges that it violated provisions of United States Constitution prohibiting involuntary servitude and providing for free speech and due process, and against charge that it conflicted with National Labor Relations Act. State v. Division 1287 of Amal. Ass'n of St. El. Ry. & Motor Coach Employees (Mo.), 361 S.W.2d 33.

(1963) King-Thompson provisions empowering Governor to seize and operate utility is in direct conflict with federal legislation which guarantees the right to strike, and cannot stand under the supremacy clause of the constitution. Division 1287, Amal. Ass'n of S., E.R. & M.C.E. v. State of Missouri, 83 S.Ct. 1657.

(1963) Since this statute has been held unconstitutional by United States Supreme Court, injunction suit to restrain chairman of Missouri board of mediation from returning plants and equipment of Kansas City Transit, Inc., to owner and insistence upon continuation of seizure were without any basis in law. State ex rel. Rogers v. Kirtley (Mo.), 372 S.W.2d 86.


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1947 ----

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