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BROOKS V. LABOR BOARD, 348 U. S. 96 (1954)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brooks v. Labor Board, 348 U.S. 96 (1954)

Brooks v. National Labor Relations Board

No. 21

Argued October 18, 1954

Decided December 6, 1954

348 U.S. 96


In a representation election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board at petitioner's place of business in April, 1951, a particular union won by a vote of eight to five, and the Board certified it as the exclusive bargaining representative. A week after the election and the day before the certification, petitioner received a handwritten letter signed by nine of the 13 employees in the bargaining unit stating that they "are not in favor of being represented by" the union. Petitioner thereupon refused to bargain with the union. In an unfair labor practice proceeding under the amended National Labor Relations Act, the Board ordered petitioner to bargain.

Held: the Board was entitled to an order of enforcement from the Court of Appeals. Pp. 348 U. S. 97-104.

(a) An employer who is presented with evidence that his employees have deserted their certified union is not entitled forthwith to refuse to bargain with the union. P. 103.

(b) The fact that a bargaining agency may be ascertained by methods less formal than a supervised election does not warrant sanctioning informal repudiation where decertification by another election is precluded. Pp. 348 U. S. 103-104.

(c) It is not within the power of this Court to require the Board to relieve a small employer, like the one involved in this case, of the duty that may be exacted from an enterprise with many employees. P. 348 U. S. 104.

(d) It is within the Board's discretion in carrying out congressional policy to treat the one-year certification period as running from the date of certification, rather than from the date of the election. P. 348 U. S. 104.

(e) The Board's rule that, one year after certification, the employer may ask for an election, or, if he has fair doubts about the union's continuing majority, he may refuse to bargain further with it is within the Board's administrative authority. P. 348 U. S. 104.

204 F.2d 899 affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 348 U. S. 97

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