Labor Board v. American Nat'l Ins. Co.,
343 U.S. 395 (1952)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. American Nat'l Ins. Co., 343 U.S. 395 (1952)

National Labor Relations Board v.

American National Insurance Co.

No. 126

Argued March 4, 1952

Decided May 26, 1952

343 U.S. 395


1. Under the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the National Labor Relations Board may not, either directly or indirectly, compel concessions or otherwise sit in judgment upon the substantive terms of collective bargaining agreements. Pp. 343 U. S. 401-404.

2. It is not per se an "unfair labor practice" under § 8(a)(1) or (5) of the Act for an employer to bargain for the inclusion in a collective bargaining agreement of a "management functions clause" providing that the right to select, hire, promote, discharge, demote, or discipline for cause and to determine the schedules of work, is a prerogative of management on which the employer's final decision shall not be subject to arbitration. Pp. 343 U. S. 404-409.

(a) The Act does not empower the Board to disrupt common collective bargaining practices by forbidding employers to bargain for flexible treatment of such matters and by requiring them to include in labor agreements provisions establishing fixed standards for work schedules or any other condition of employment. P. 343 U. S. 408.

(b) The duty to bargain collectively is to be enforced by application of the good faith bargaining standards of § 8(d) to the facts of each case, rather than by prohibiting all employers in every industry from bargaining for management functions clauses altogether. P. 343 U. S. 409.

3. Congress has charged the Courts of Appeal, not this Court, with the normal and primary responsibility of reviewing the conclusions of the Board and deciding whether to grant or deny enforcement of the Board's orders, and it is not for this Court to review a conflict of the evidence, nor to reverse a Court of Appeals because this Court might find the record tilting one way, rather than the other -- especially in cases involving a statutory standard such as "good faith," which can have meaning only in its application to the facts of a particular case. Labor Board v. Pittsburgh S.S. Co., 340 U. S. 498. Pp. 343 U. S. 409-410.

Page 343 U. S. 396

The Court of Appeals granted in part and denied in part enforcement of an order of the National Labor Relations Board, 89 N.L.R.B. 185, requiring an employer to bargain collectively with a union and, in effect, forbidding the employer to bargain for any "management functions clause" covering a condition of employment. 187 F.2d 307. This Court granted certiorari. 342 U.S. 809. Affirmed, p. 343 U. S. 410.

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