Teamsters Local v. Labor Board
365 U.S. 667 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Teamsters Local v. Labor Board, 365 U.S. 667 (1961)

Local 357, International Brotherhood of Teamsters,

Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America

v. National Labor Relations Board

No. 64

Argued February 28, 1961

Decided April 17, 1961*

365 U.S. 667




An association of motor truck operators entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Brotherhood of Teamsters and several of its local unions which, in effect, required the operators to employ casual employees "on a seniority basis" through a hiring hall operated by one of the unions, "irrespective of whether such employee is or is not a member of the Union." A union member obtained casual employment with an operator independently of the union and the hiring hall, and he was discharged when the union complained. The National Labor Relations Board held that the hiring hall arrangement was unlawful per se, and that the employer had violated §8(a)(1) and §8(a)(3) and the union had violated § 8(b)(2) and § 8(b)(1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended. It ordered them, inter alia, to reimburse all casual employees for fees and dues paid to the union during the period covered by the complaint.


1. The Board was not authorized under §10(c) to require reimbursement of dues and fees paid to the union. Carpenters Local 60 v. Labor Board, ante, p. 365 U. S. 651. Pp. 365 U. S. 670-671.

2. The Board erred in holding that the hiring hall arrangement was unlawful per se, since such arrangements are not unlawful unless they in fact result in discriminations prohibited by the Act. Pp. 365 U. S. 671-677.

107 U.S.App.D.C. 188, 275 F.2d 646, affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Page 365 U. S. 668

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner union (along with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and a number of other affiliated local unions) executed a three-year collective bargaining agreement with California Trucking Associations, which represented a group of motor truck operators in California. The provisions of the contract relating to hiring of casual or temporary employees were as follows:

"Casual employees shall, wherever the Union maintains a dispatching service, be employed only on a seniority basis in the Industry whenever such senior employees are available. An available list with seniority status will be kept by the Unions, and employees requested will be dispatched upon call to any employer who is a party to this Agreement. Seniority rating of such employees shall begin with a minimum of three months service in the Industry, irrespective of whether such employee is or is not a member of the Union."

"Discharge of any employee by any employer shall be grounds for removal of any employee from seniority status. No casual employee shall be employed by any employer who is a party to this Agreement in violation of seniority status if such employees are available and if the dispatching service for such employees is available. The employer shall first call the Union or the dispatching hall designated

Page 365 U. S. 669

by the Union for such help. In the event the employer is notified that such help is not available, or in the event the employees called for do not appear for work at the time designated by the employer, the employer may hire from any other available source."

(Emphasis added.)

Accordingly, the union maintained a hiring hall for casual employees. One Slater was a member of the union, and had customarily used the hiring hall. But in August, 1955, he obtained casual employment with an employer who was party to the hiring hall agreement without being dispatched by the union. He worked until sometime in November of that year, when he was discharged by the employer on complaint of the union that he had not been referred through the hiring hall arrangement.

Slater made charges against the union and the employer. Though, as plain from the terms of the contract, there was an express provision that employees would not be discriminated against because they were or were not union members, the Board found that the hiring hall provision was unlawful per se and that the discharge of Slater on the union's request constituted a violation by the employer of § 8(a)(1) and § 8(a)(3) and a violation by the union of § 8(b)(2) and § 8(b)(1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended by the Taft-Hartley Act, 61 Stat. 140

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