Labor Board v. Warren Co., Inc.
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350 U.S. 107 (1955)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Labor Board v. Warren Co., Inc., 350 U.S. 107 (1955)
National Labor Relations Board v. Warren Company, Inc.
Argued October 20, 1955
Decided December 12, 1955
350 U.S. 107
The National Labor Relations Board ordered an employer to cease and desist from certain unfair labor practices, to reinstate certain discharged employees with back pay, to bargain collectively with the union, and to post notices stating that it would do so. The employer complied with all of these orders except the order to bargain collectively, claiming that the union no longer represented a majority of its employees. In an enforcement proceeding, the Court of Appeals decreed enforcement, overruling the employer's contention that the union's loss of majority representation of the employees relieved the employer from compliance with the order to bargain collectively. Subsequently, the Board petitioned the Court of Appeals to find the employer in contempt for continued refusal to bargain collectively, but the Court declined to do so on the ground that the union no longer represented a majority of the employees.
Held: it was the statutory duty of the Court of Appeals to adjudge the employer in contempt of its enforcement decree, and the Court exceeded the allowable limits of its discretion in declining to do so. Pp. 350 U. S. 108-113.
(a) In the circumstances of this case, it was the lawful duty of the employer to bargain collectively with the union for a reasonable time. P. 350 U. S. 112.
(b) For failure to so bargain, it was the statutory duty of the Court of Appeals, on petition of the Board, to adjudge the employer in contempt of its enforcement decree. P. 350 U. S. 112.
(c) The National Labor Relations Act contemplates cooperation between the Board and the Courts of Appeals, both at the enforcement and the contempt stages in order to effectuate its purposes. P. 350 U. S. 112.
(d) The granting or withholding of such remedial action is not wholly discretionary with the Court, and the Court of Appeals exceeded the allowable limits of its discretion in denying relief to the Board. P. 350 U. S. 113.
214 F.2d 481, reversed and remanded.