LABOR BOARD V. A. J. TOWER CO., 329 U. S. 324 (1946)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. A. J. Tower Co., 329 U.S. 324 (1946)

Labor Board v. A. J. Tower Co.

No. 60

Argued November 21, 1946

Decided December 23, 1946

329 U.S. 324


A consent election of a collective bargaining agent under the National Labor Relations Act was held pursuant to an agreement between the employer and the union providing that the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board should supervise the election and that his determination on any question of eligibility of voters should be final. The employer provided a list of eligible employees, and had observers at the polls with the right to challenge the eligibility of voters. After the union had been elected by a close vote and the results had been announced, the employer sought to challenge the eligibility of a voter included in the list it had furnished and whose eligibility was unchallenged at the polls. This, together with a vote challenged by the union and not counted, might have changed the result. The regional director found that the employer had waived its right to challenge the vote or to object to the election on this ground, and that the union had received a majority of the valid votes cast. The employer refused to bargain with the union on the ground that it had not been validly elected. The Board sustained the regional director's finding as being in accord with its established policy, and ordered the employer to bargain with the union.


1. The Board's order is sustained. P. 329 U. S. 335.

2. A proper application of the rule prohibiting post-election challenges, even though the result of the election might have been different had the challenge been made and sustained, did not deprive the Board of jurisdiction to find the employer guilty of an unfair labor practice in refusing to bargain with the union. P. 329 U. S. 333.

3. The rule forbidding the eligibility of a voter to be challenged after the votes have been cast is in accordance with the National Labor Relations Act and the principle of majority rule, and is justified by practical considerations. Pp. 329 U. S. 330-333.

4. The fact that the employer may have been honestly mistaken as to the eligibility of the voter is no justification for disregarding the rule. P. 329 U. S. 333.

Page 329 U. S. 325

5. A provision in the agreement for the election as to the filing of objections "to the conduct of the ballot" and "to a determination of representatives based on the results thereof" within five days after issuance of the "Tally of Ballots" did not constitute a waiver of the rule, since there is a clear distinction between objections and challenges in electoral parlance. P. 329 U. S. 334.

6. In the absence of evidence that the representatives of the Board and the employer discriminated against anti-union employees in preparing the eligibility list or in raising timely eligibility issues, it cannot be said that the interests of anti-union employees were inadequately represented. Pp. 329 U. S. 334-335.

152 F.2d 275, reversed.

The National Labor Relations Board sustained the validity of the election of a union as a collective bargaining representative and ordered the employer to bargain with it. 60 N.L.R.B. 1414. The Circuit Court of Appeals set aside the order. 1521.2d 275. This Court granted certiorari. 328 U.S. 827. Reversed, p. 329 U. S. 335.

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