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CENTRAL HARDWARE CO. V. NLRB, 407 U. S. 539 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Central Hardware Co. v. NLRB, 407 U.S. 539 (1972)

Central Hardware Co. v. National Labor Relations Board

No. 70-223

Argued April 18, 1972

Decided June 22, 1972

407 U.S. 539


Petitioner had a rule against solicitational activities in its stores and parking lots. The parking lots are appurtenant to petitioner's free-standing stores, and do not serve other retail establishments. Union organizers used petitioner's parking lots to solicit petitioner's employees to join the union, and petitioner ordered the organizers off its property. The union filed unfair labor practice charges against petitioner. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that enforcement of petitioner's no-solicitation rule, which it found was overly broad, violated § 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, which proscribes interference with employees' § 7 organizational rights. The NLRB concluded that the character and use of the lots distinguished the case from NLRB v. Babcock & Wilcox Co., 351 U. S. 105, which required a "yielding" of the employer's property rights in the context of an organizational campaign only

"when the inaccessibility of employees makes ineffective the reasonable attempts by nonemployees to communicate with them through the usual channels. . . ."

Id. at 351 U. S. 112. Instead, the NLRB held applicable Food Employee v. Logan Valley Plaza, 391 U. S. 308, where peaceful picketing by union agents on a parking lot within a shopping center was held, under the circumstances existing, to be within the protection of the First Amendment. The Court of Appeals, agreeing, ordered enforcement of the NLRB's order.

Held: Logan Valley, decided on constitutional grounds, is not applicable to this § 7 case, which the Court of Appeals should now reconsider in the light of Babcock. Pp. 407 U. S. 542-548.

439 F.2d 1321, vacated and remanded.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J.,and STEWART, WHITE, BLACKMUN, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS and BRENNAN, JJ., joined, post, p. 407 U. S. 548. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 407 U. S. 540

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