Labor Board v. Mine Workers - 355 U.S. 453 (1958)


U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. Mine Workers, 355 U.S. 453 (1958)

National Labor Relations Board v. District 50,

United Mine Workers of America

No. 64

Argued January 6, 1958

Decided February 3, 1958

355 U.S. 453

Syllabus

The National Labor Relations Board found that an employer had committed an unfair labor practice by assisting a union to defeat the efforts of a rival union to organize the employer's workers, but that the assisted union was not dominated by the employer. It ordered the employer to post certain notices and to withdraw and withhold recognition from the assisted union until it received the Board's certification as the exclusive bargaining representative of the employees. The assisted union was not eligible for such certification, because it was not in compliance with § 9(f), (g), and (h) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended. The Court of Appeals modified the Board's order so that the employer would be free to recognize the assisted union not only when certified by the Board but, alternatively, when it "shall have been freely chosen as [their representative] by a majority of the employees after all effects of unfair labor practices have been eliminated." It also struck from the Board's notice requirement certain references to the rival union.

Held:

1. In the circumstances of this case, the Board's order is not appropriate or adapted to the situation calling for redress, and it constitutes an abuse of the Board's discretionary power under § 10 (c). Pp. 355 U. S. 458-463.

(a) The certification requirement, in these circumstances, has the effect of disestablishment, and thus defeats the statutory rights of the employees, because this assisted but undominated union can never obtain certification so long as it remains out of compliance with §9(f), (g), and (h). Pp. 355 U. S. 460-461.

(b) The Board is not powerless to effect a remedy in this case which would properly reconcile the objectives of eliminating improper employer interference and preserving the employees' full choice of a bargaining representative, since §9(f), (g), and (h)

Page 355 U. S. 454

are not a barrier to conduct by the Board of an election not followed by certification, or to the making of an arrangement with another appropriate agency, state or federal, for the conduct of an election under conditions prescribed by the Board. Pp. 355 U. S. 461-462.

(c) To dispense with a certification in the case of a noncomplying assisted union, while requiring a certification in the case of a complying union, would not negative the policy and intent of § 9 (f), (g), and (h), since Congress did not make the filing required by those subsections compulsory or a condition precedent to the right of a noncomplying union to be recognized as the exclusive representative of the employees. Pp. 355 U. S. 462-463.

2. The modifications of the Board's cease and desist order made by the Court of Appeals go beyond permissible limits of judicial review under §10(f) and cannot be sustained. Pp. 355 U. S. 463-464.

(a) The Court's alternative to Board certification dispenses with the necessity of an election, and can be interpreted to leave to the offending employer and the assisted union the decision when the effect of the unfair labor practice has been eliminated and the employees have regained their freedom of action. P. 355 U. S. 463.

(b) The Court's rewriting of the notice to be posted was improper insofar as it deleted references to the rival union, because no objection to the notice in this respect was ever raised by the parties before the Board. Pp. 355 U. S. 463-464.

3. The orderly administration of the Act and due regard for the respective functions of the Board and the reviewing courts require that the judgment of the Court of Appeals be vacated with instructions to remand the case to the Board for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. P. 355 U. S. 464.

99 U.S.App.D.C. 104, 237 F.2d 585, judgment vacated with instructions to remand the case to the Board.

Page 355 U. S. 455



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