Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, AFL-CIO v. Mobil Oil Corporation

PETITIONER: Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, AFL-CIO
RESPONDENT: Mobil Oil Corporation
LOCATION: Federal Power Commission

DOCKET NO.: 74-1254
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 426 US 407 (1976)
ARGUED: Mar 29, 1976
DECIDED: Jun 14, 1976

ADVOCATES:
James W. Hambright - for respondent
Laurence Stephen Gold - for petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, AFL-CIO v. Mobil Oil Corporation

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 29, 1976 in Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, AFL-CIO v. Mobil Oil Corporation

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 14, 1976 in Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, AFL-CIO v. Mobil Oil Corporation

Thurgood Marshall:

This agreement, 74-1254 of Chemical and Atomic Workers.

This case is here on writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The petitioner union and respondent employer headed in to a collective bargain agreement covering seamen employed on respondent's oil tankers.

The agreement contained an agency-shop provision requiring all employees within 30 days of being on it to pay the union be equivalent of the union initiation fees and to make periodic payments equal to union dues.

Two years after entering into the agreement, respondent filed suit in the District Court claiming that the context between the employment relationship in question and the state of Texas were sufficient to make Texas laws applicable and that the agency shop provision was therefore invalid and unenforceable because it violated Texas right-to-work laws.

The District Court granted respondent relief and the Court of Appeals affirmed, we granted certiorari, we now reversed.

Section 8 (a) (3) of the National Labor Relations Act permits union or agency-shop agreements between employers and unions.

But Section 14 (b) authorizes states to exempt themselves from the policy.

And Section 8 (a) (3) and enact right-to-work laws prohibiting union or agency-shops.

States can imply their right-to-work laws only to employment relationships with which they have sufficient contact.

We conclude for reasons detailed in our opinion filed today that job situs is the critical factor in determining whether a state has that sufficient contact.

Since in this case, all the employees perform most of their work not in Texas but that rather on high seas.

Texas right-to-work laws are therefore not applicable under 14 (b).

Accordingly the agency-shop agreement between petitioners and respondents is valid and enforceable.

Mr. Justice Stevens has filed a concurring statement, Chief Justice has concurred in the judgment.

Mr. Justice Powell has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment and Mr. Justice Stewart has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice Rehnquist has joined.