Florida Power & Light Co. v. IBEW,
417 U.S. 790 (1974)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Florida Power & Light Co. v. IBEW, 417 U.S. 790 (1974)

Florida Power & Light Co. v. International Brotherhood

of Electrical Workers, Local 641

No. 73-556

Argued April 24, 1974

Decided June 24, 1974*

417 U.S. 790


A union does not commit an unfair labor practice under § 8(b)(1)(B) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it disciplines supervisor-members for crossing a picket line and performing rank-and-file struck work during a lawful economic strike against the employer. Pp. 417 U. S. 798-813.

(a) Both the language and legislative history of § 8(b)(1)(B) reflect a clear congressional concern with protecting employers in the selection of representatives to engage in two particular and explicitly stated activities, viz., collective bargaining and adjustment of grievances. Therefore, a union's discipline of supervisor-members can violate § 8(b)(1)(B) only when it may adversely affect the supervisors' conduct in performing the duties of, and acting in the capacity of, grievance adjusters or collective bargainers, in neither of which capacities the supervisors involved in these cases were acting when they crossed the picket lines to perform rank-and-file work. Pp. 417 U. S. 802-805.

(b) The concern that to permit a union to discipline supervisor-members for performing rank-and-file work during an economic strike will deprive the employer of those supervisors' full loyalty, is a problem that Congress addressed not through § 8(b)(1)(B), but through §§ 2(3), 2(11), and 14(a) of the NLRA, which, while permitting supervisors to become union members, assure the employer of his supervisors' loyalty by reserving in him the rights to refuse to hire union members as supervisors, to discharge supervisors for involvement in union activities or union membership, and to refuse to engage in collective bargaining with supervisors. Pp. 417 U. S. 805-813.

159 U.S.App.D.C. 272, 487 F.2d 1143, affirmed.

Page 417 U. S. 791

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, MARSHALL, and POWELL, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and BLACKMUN and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 417 U. S. 813.

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