National Labor Relations Board v. United Steelworkers of America, CIO

PETITIONER: National Labor Relations Board
RESPONDENT: United Steelworkers of America, CIO
LOCATION: Philadelphia Board of Public Education

DOCKET NO.: 81
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 357 US 357 (1958)
ARGUED: Jan 29, 1958
DECIDED: Jun 30, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for National Labor Relations Board v. United Steelworkers of America, CIO

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 29, 1958 in National Labor Relations Board v. United Steelworkers of America, CIO

Earl Warren:

Number 290 or 289, National Labor Relations Board versus Avondale Mills.

Mr. Manoli, you may proceed.

Dominick L. Manoli:

May it please the Court.

This case is here on writ of certiorari to the Fifth Circuit.

Like the preceding case, this case deals generally for the right of employees to communicate with fellow employees concerning unionization on their employer's property premises.

It differs from the other case as I indicated in the other case, that here we have to do with oral solicitation as distinguished from distribution of literature.

There's a further difference between this case and the other one is that here, Section 8 (c) plays no part in the resolution of this case.

As I indicated earlier, and as Mr. Feller has also confirmed --

Earl Warren:

Does that reduce it to the question of whether there is littering or not littering?

Is that the only distinction you make between the -- the solicitation and the literature?

Dominick L. Manoli:

No, Your Honor.

We say in connection with the distribution of literature that the basic consideration for prohibiting employees from distributing such literature in the plant is not only the littering, but also the further fact that there are other avenues available to the employees for the distribution of such literature outside the plant.

Hugo L. Black:

I think this Court has said several times I think that at least on the constitutional level, that the fact, if there are other avenues to which a person might talk or might spread his views in writing cannot justify discretion of his views in one place.

Dominick L. Manoli:

Your Honor, that is true.

That is true.

It said that even one of our own case, Republic Aviation, but we think nevertheless, that these are problems of accommodation.

And that is not -- I was certain it's not an irrelevant factor and there is nothing to preclude the board, we think, to give it considerable weight.

And you can't fit all of these cases into a nice logical pattern because each one of them involves some kind of an accommodation of conflicting interest and the -- the result that you reach in one case may not square logically with the result in some other case, because I think it's in the nature of the problem.

These are accommodation problems.

Hugo L. Black:

I can understand that.

If you are saying that by reason of the ownership, in fact of the wording of that, and I don't -- wanted to interrupt you, they have a general all inclusive rule that says, talking loud is bad in this plant.

They won't have it.

Distributing literature is bad in this plant, they won't have it.

But I didn't understand you putting it on that basis, your distinction between delivering any question that the Chief asked you.

Dominick L. Manoli:

No, I thought the Chief was asking me as to what the basis of the distinction between the two is, solicitation and distribution.

Now, I've indicated with respect to distribution of literature, the rule rest not only upon the question of littering but also on the availability of other channels for the distribution of such literature outside the plant.

Now, as I will --

Hugo L. Black:

But I suppose it could be shown that the employer had implemented to rent a hole in town.

There are plenty of holes available and that he could do that, would that have any -- would that have a relevance here?

Dominick L. Manoli:

Oh, I suppose there's nothing (Voice Overlap) --