Eastex, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board

PETITIONER: Eastex, Inc.
RESPONDENT: National Labor Relations Board
LOCATION: Tellico Dam

DOCKET NO.: 77-453
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 437 US 556 (1978)
ARGUED: Apr 25, 1978
DECIDED: Jun 22, 1978

ADVOCATES:
John B. Abercrombie - for petitioner
Richard A. Allen - for respondent

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Eastex, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 25, 1978 in Eastex, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 22, 1978 in Eastex, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and the opinion of the Court in Eastex Incorporate against the National Labor Relations Board will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

This is a labor law case.

The petitioner is a corporate employer covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

A group of petitioner's employees sought permission to distribute a union newsletter in nonworking areas of petitioner's property during nonworking time.

The part of the newsletter discussed union affairs and part of it discussed minimum wage and right to work legislation.

Petitioner refused permission.

The employees then filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

They alleged that the refusal violated Section 8 (a) (1) of the Act by interfering with their right under Section 7 to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection.

The Board held that petitioner had violated the Act and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed.

We now affirm the Court of Appeals.

The entire newsletter concerned matters that could improve the terms and conditions of employment or otherwise improve the employees lot as employers.

We therefore, think that the distribution of the newsletter was within the protection of the mutual aid or protection clause of Section 7.

In this case, neither petitioner's right to maintain discipline and production in its plant nor its property rights would be imped materially by allowing the newsletter to be distributed in nonworking areas during nonworking time.

We, therefore, hold that the employees were entitled to do so.

Mr. Justice White has filed a concurring opinion.

Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice joins.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Powell.