U.S. Supreme Court
NLRB v. Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 175 (1967)
National Labor Relations Board v.
Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co.
Argued March 15, 1967
Decided June 12, 1967
388 U.S. 175
Lawful economic strikes were called at two of respondent Allis Chalmers' plants in accordance with duly authorized union procedures by the locals of the union representing the employees. Some union members crossed picket lines and worked during the strikes. After the strikes were over, the locals brought proceedings against these members, imposed fines of $20 to $100, and sued in state courts to collect the fines. The collective bargaining agreement contained a union security clause which required each employee to become and remain "a member of the union to the extent of paying his monthly dues." Allis-Chalmers filed unfair labor practice charges against the locals alleging violation of § 8(b)(1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB held that, even if the union action were restraint or coercion proscribed by that section, the conduct came within the proviso that the section "shall not impair the right of a labor organization to prescribe its own rules with respect to the acquisition or retention of membership therein." The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the union conduct violated § 8(b) (1)(A).
1. The history of legislative action surrounding § 8(b)(1)(A)'s prohibition of union activity to "restrain or coerce" employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed by § 7 justifies the conclusion, in light of the imprecision of the words "restrain or coerce," and the repeated refrain throughout the debates that Congress did not propose limitations on the internal affairs of unions, that Congress did not intend § 8(b)(1)(A) to prohibit the imposition of reasonable fines on full union members who decline to honor an authorized strike or to prohibit attempts to collect such fines. Pp. 388 U. S. 178-195.
2. Since Allis-Chalmers offered no evidence that the fined employees enjoyed other than full union membership, the contrary will not be presumed. The question of the applicability of the statute to employees whose membership was limited to the obligation to pay monthly dues is not presented here. Pp. 388 U. S. 196-197.
358 F.2d 656, reversed. chanrobles.com-red