National Labor Relations Board v. Granite State Joint Board, Textile Workers Union of America, Local 1029, AFL-CIO

PETITIONER: National Labor Relations Board
RESPONDENT: Granite State Joint Board, Textile Workers Union of America, Local 1029, AFL-CIO
LOCATION: Allegheny County District Court

DOCKET NO.: 71-711
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

CITATION: 409 US 213 (1972)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1972
DECIDED: Dec 07, 1972

ADVOCATES:
Harold Roitman - for respondent
Norton J. Come - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for National Labor Relations Board v. Granite State Joint Board, Textile Workers Union of America, Local 1029, AFL-CIO

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1972 in National Labor Relations Board v. Granite State Joint Board, Textile Workers Union of America, Local 1029, AFL-CIO

Warren E. Burger:

Number 71-711, National Labor Relations Board against Granite State Board.

Mr. Come.

Norton J. Come:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

This case is here on certiorari to the First Circuit, which denied enforcement of the Board's order against respondent Union, a local of the Textile Workers Union.

The case involves an application of the principles formulated by this Court in the Allis-Chalmers and Scofield cases.

Section 8(b)(1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act makes it an unfair labor practice for a Union to restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights which includes the right to engage in concerted activity and the right to refrain from engaging in concerted activity.

The question presented here is whether a Union violates Section 8(b)(1)(A) by fining employees who return to work during the strike after they had resigned from Union membership and by seeking judicial enforcement of the fines.

The facts are briefly these.

The Union for many years has been the collective bargaining representative of the employees of the International Paper Box Machine Company in New Hampshire.

On September 14, 1968, six days before the scheduled expiration of the collective-bargaining agreement, the Union membership voted to strike, if a new agreement was not reached by September 20.

No agreement reached and the strike was attended, and picketing began on that day.

On September 21, the Union held a meeting to discuss strike organization in which the membership approved the resolution to anyone aiding or abetting the company would be subject to a fine of $2,000.

All but three or four of the 160 employees in the bargaining unit were Union members and all of the Union members went out on strike.

The contract that had just expired had a maintenance-of-membership provision in it which required employees who were Union members at the time of the contract became effective or who joined the Union during the term of the contract to remain members during the contract term.

Practically, all of the Union members attended both the strike authorization and the fine authorization meetings.

The members assented to the strike by a standing vote with only one member dissenting.

The motion to levy the fine was adopted unanimously without discussion.

On November --

Harry A. Blackmun:

Mr. Come, were those public votes in the sense that they were not secret ballots?

Norton J. Come:

That is correct, Your Honor.

They were standing votes.

They were not secret ballot votes.

Byron R. White:

Do you know what attendance there was, or is that in the record?

Norton J. Come:

The record shows that, practically all of the members attended.

The Court of Appeals and the trial examiner indicated that there might be some problem in future compliance proceedings as to whether all of the 31 who were subsequently fined were there or not, but the record shows that practically the entire membership was present at the meeting.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

And I gather there is no issue here of membership?

It's conceded all that were involved were members of the Union?

Norton J. Come:

That is correct and the question here is the right of the Union to fine the members after they had resigned from the Union.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

And is there any issue of the reasonableness of the fine?

Norton J. Come:

That is not in this case.