LOCATION: Circuit Court of Somerset County
DOCKET NO.: 61
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITATION: 393 US 357 (1969)
ARGUED: Dec 10, 1968
DECIDED: Jan 15, 1969
Facts of the case
Media for National Labor Relations Board v. Strong
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1968 in National Labor Relations Board v. Strong
No. 61, National Labor Relations Board vs. Joseph H. Strong.
Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.
This is a labor case which comes to the Court on a writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The sole issue to go is to the scope of the remedial powers of the National Labor Relations Board.
The exact issue was this, once the Board has found an unfair refusal to execute a labor contract made include in its order a provision that requires the respondent to pay past fringe benefits that would have been required to pay, if it had executed the contract at the time we fashion.
The Court of Appeals said, No, the Board may not do this.
It may not direct payments required by a collective agreement and that the remedy is not a Board order but it must be by way of suit under Section 301 of the Act.
And this, as we have pointed out in our petition and in our brief is in conflict with the views expressed in several other circumstance.
The case arose in this way, the respondent Joseph Strong is in a roofing business in Los Angeles.
In 1963, when this critical series of begun, he was as he had been for many years before a member of a contractor's association that was a multi-employer bargaining unit.
He was contractually obligated to abide by the contracts of the association negotiated with unions including one that represented his employees.
He will also as obligated if he was going to stroll.
To do so, at least 60 days before the termination of the contract period.
The old contract, that is the one that's owed in the context of this case, was due to expire in the middle of August of 1963.
Negotiations took place during the first half of that year and on August 14, the union and the contractors association reached agreement on a new four year contract to take the effect the next day, August 15.
A year and a half before in 1962, respondent had written a letter stating his desire to terminate the non-agreement and nothing came about.
Then on August 20 in 1963, a few days after the new agreement was reached, he sent a letter to the Joint Industry Union Grievance Board, expressing a wish to become a non -- to withdraw to become a nonunion member, to terminate the new contract as to him.
Although the association, the contractors association changed its status on its books and refunded a security deposit and terminated the bond that was suppose to secure his payment of fringe benefits.
The union on three occasions approached him, beginning in October 63 and then again in November and fall in April and asked him to sign the contract which he refused to do.
We recess now.
Mr. Weinstein, you may now proceed.
Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
The Court pleases, as just before the recess, I've mentioned that on three occasions between October 1963 and April 1964, the union asked that respondent to execute the Bargaining Agreement and each time, he refused.
On the basis of these facts, the union filed unfair labor practice charges in the Board upheld and ruled that respondent had not under his duty to bargain.
On a petition for enforcement, the Court of Appeals upheld the substantive findings and last January, this Court denied respondents petition for certiorari.
So as the case stands, respondent has been finally adjudicated to have unfairly refused to bargain and the controversy goes to the Boards order.
That order is set out on pages 120 and 121 of the record.
It has in paragraph 1 some cease and desist directions which are not in controversy.
It directs in paragraph 2(a) that respondent execute and honor the Agreement that was negotiated and that is not in controversy.