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U.S. Supreme Court

Mine Workers v. Arkansas Oak Floorings Co., 351 U.S. 62 (1956)

United Mine Workers of America v. Arkansas Oak Floorings Co.

No. 227

Argued January 23, 1956

Decided April 23, 1956

351 U.S. 62


In the case of an employer subject to the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, a state court may not enjoin peaceful picketing of the employer's premises, undertaken by its employees and their union for the purpose of obtaining recognition of the union as the employees' bargaining representative, when the union holds cards authorizing such representation concededly signed by a majority of the employ eligible to be represented -- even though the union has not filed with the Secretary of Labor any of the financial or organizational data described in § 9(f) and (g) of the Act, nor with the National Labor Relations Board any of the non-Communist affidavits described in § 9(h) of the Act. Pp. 351 U. S. 63-76.

(a) By its noncompliance with § 9 (f), (g) and (h), a union makes itself ineligible for certain advantages and services offered by the Act, but it does not exempt itself from other applicable provisions of the Act. Pp. 351 U. S. 69-70.

(b) Section 8(a)(5) declares it to be an unfair labor practice for an employer "to refuse to bargain collectively with the representatives of his employees, subject to the provisions of" § 9(a); but the latter section does not make it a condition that the representative shall have complied with § 9(f), (g), or (h), or shall be certified by the Board, or even be eligible for such certification. Pp. 351 U. S. 70-72.

(c) Likewise, § 7, which deals with the employees' rights to self-organization and representation, makes no reference to any need that the employees' chosen representative must have complied with § 9 (f), (g), or (h). Pp. 351 U. S. 72-73.

(d) Subsections (f), (g), and (h) of § 9 merely describe certain advantages that may be gained by compliance with their conditions, and the express provision for the loss of these advantages implies that no other consequences shall result from noncompliance. P. 351 U. S. 73.

(e) In this case, noncompliance of the union with § 9 (f), (g), and (h) precludes any right of the union to seek certification of its status

Page 351 U. S. 63

by the Board; but the employer, employees and union are controlled by the applicable provisions of the Act, and all courts, state and federal, are bound by them. Pp. 351 U. S. 73-74.

(f) Under §§ 7 and 9 (a), and by virtue of the conceded majority designation of the union, the employer is obligated to recognize the union, and the union can take lawful action, such as striking and peaceful picketing, to induce the employer to do so. Pp. 351 U. S. 74-75.

(g) That being so, the State cannot enjoin the peaceful picketing here practiced. P. 351 U. S. 75.

227 La. 1109, 81 So. 2d 413, reversed and remanded.

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