Labor Board v. Borg-Warner Corp.
356 U.S. 342 (1958)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. Borg-Warner Corp., 356 U.S. 342 (1958)

National Labor Relations Board v.

Wooster Division of Borg-Warner Corp.

No. 53. Argued November 20-21, 1957

Decided May 5, 1958*

356 U.S. 342

Syllabus

In collective bargaining negotiations with certain of its employees under the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, an employer, in 1953, conditioned any collective bargaining agreement on the employees' acceptance of two clauses which they were unwilling to accept: (1) a "ballot" clause calling for a pre-strike secret vote of such employees (union and nonunion) as to the employer's last offer, and (2) a "recognition" clause which excluded, as a party to the contract, the International Union which had been certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the employees' exclusive bargaining agent and substituted for it the agent's uncertified local affiliate. The Board held that the employer's insistence upon either of such clauses as a condition of its executing the collective bargaining contract as to wages, hours, and other conditions of employment amounted to a refusal to bargain, in violation of § 8(a)(5) of the Act, as amended, and it ordered the employer to cease and desist from such insistence.

Held: the Board's order is sustained. Pp. 356 U. S. 343-350.

(a) Read together, §§ 8(a)(5) and 8(d) establish the obligation of the employer and the representative of its employees to bargain with each other in good faith with respect to "wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment"; that duty is limited to those subjects, and, within that area, neither party is obligated to yield. As to other matters, each party is free to bargain or not to bargain, and to agree or not to agree. Pp. 356 U. S. 348-349.

(b) That the employer has bargained in good faith with respect to subjects of mandatory bargaining does not license it to refuse to enter into a collective bargaining contract on the ground that the contract does not include some proposal which, in turn, is not a

Page 356 U. S. 343

subject of mandatory bargaining. Such refusal is, in substance, a refusal to bargain on the subjects which are within the scope of mandatory bargaining. P. 356 U. S. 349.

(c) The two clauses in question were lawful, and the employer had a right to propose them; but it could not lawfully insist upon them as a condition to its entering a collective bargaining contract. P. 356 U. S. 349.

(d) The "ballot" clause here involved does not deal with "wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment," and therefore is not a subject of mandatory bargaining. Pp. 356 U. S. 349-350.

(e) The "recognition" clause here involved does not deal with "wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment," and therefore is not a subject of mandatory bargaining. P. 356 U. S. 350.

236 F.2d 898, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

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