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U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. Rockaway News Supply Co., Inc., 345 U.S. 71 (1953)

National Labor Relations Board v. Rockaway News Supply Co., Inc.

No. 318

Argued January 14, 1953

Decided March 9, 1953

345 U.S. 71


1. Respondent discharged an employee for refusing to cross, in the performance of his duties, a lawful picket line maintained at premises other than his employer's by a union of which he was not a member. His own union had not forbidden him to cross the line, and his fellow employees did cross it. Their union had a contract with respondent which provided against strikes, lockouts, other cessation of work or interference therewith except as against a party failing to comply with a decision of an Adjustment Board for which it provided. On arbitration, this Adjustment Board decided in favor of respondent. The employee then filed with the National Labor Relations Board a charge that his discharge violated § 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act. There was no evidence that it resulted from anti-union bias or was intended to discourage his membership in the union.

Held: in the circumstances of this case, respondent's discharge of this employee was not an unfair labor practice under § 8(a) of the Act. Pp. 345 U. S. 72-81.

2. In issuing a cease and desist order against respondent in this case, the National Labor Relations Board erred in ignoring respondent's contract with the union on the ground that it was utterly null and void under the Board's recent decision in another case, which was decided after the discharge of the employee here involved. Pp. 345 U. S. 76-78.

3. The no-strike and arbitration provisions of respondent's contract with the employee's union are not unlawful, nor, in the circumstances of this case and in view of the savings and separability clauses of the contract, were they rendered illegal by appearing in the same contract with forbidden provisions for union security not expressly conditioned on a vote of employees under § 9(e) of the Labor Management Relations Act. Pp. 345 U. S. 78-81.

197 F.2d 111 affirmed.

Page 345 U. S. 72

The National Labor Relations Board ordered respondent to cease and desist from labor practices which it found violative of § 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act, to reinstate a discharged employee, and to post appropriate notices. 95 NLRB 336. The Court of Appeals set aside the order. 197 F.2d 111. This Court granted certiorari. 344 U.S. 863. Affirmed, p. 345 U. S. 81.

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