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Labor Board v. Sands Manufacturing Co., 306 U.S. 332 (1939)

Labor Board v. Sands Manufacturing Co.

No. 74

Argued January 12, 1939

Decided February 27, 1939

306 U.S. 332


1. Findings of the National Labor Relations Board that respondent, in violation of § 8(5) of the Labor Relations Act, had refused to bargain collectively with the representatives of its employees; had discriminated in regard to hire and tenure of employment and discouraged membership in a labor organization, in violation of § 8(3); and, in violation of § 8(1), had interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in the exercise of the right of self-organization,

Page 306 U. S. 333

affiliation with labor organizations and collective bargaining as guaranteed by § 7 -- held unsupported by the evidence. P. 306 U. S. 339.

2. Also unsupported by the evidence was the Board's ultimate conclusion that respondent's conduct permitted no reasonable inference other than that its employees were locked out, discharged, and refused employment because they were members of a particular labor organization and had engaged in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining. P. 306 U. S. 339.

3. Respondent had a contract with a labor organization of its employees which gave it the right to operate its plant on the basis of "departmental seniority." In violation of the agreement, the labor organization subsequently demanded that respondent abandon "departmental seniority" or shut down its plant. Respondent chose the latter course. At the time of the closing of the plant, no further negotiations between the parties were pending, each had rejected the other's proposals, and there were no arrangements for any further meeting.

Held that, in these circumstances, respondent was free to treat the employees as having severed their relationship, and to consummate the separation by hiring others to take their places. The Act does not forbid the discharge of an employee for repudiation of his agreement. P. 306 U. S. 344.

4. Respondent's offer to reemploy four men as foremen on terms which might have formed a basis of compromise had similar offers been made to all of the men did not support the Board's finding of a refusal to bargain collectively with the union. P. 306 U. S. 344.

5. Having the right to employ others to take the places of the discharged employees, respondent had the right also to contract with another union for the services of the new men. P. 306 U. S. 345.

6. Nor was respondent precluded from making individual contracts for the reemployment of some of its discharged employees. P. 306 U. S. 345.

7. The contention that respondent's offer of reemployment to two of its old men on condition that they join the other union was a violation of § 8(3) of the Act held irrelevant to any issue in this case. P. 306 U. S. 346.

96 F.2d 721 affirmed.

Certiorari, 305 U.S. 586, to review a judgment denying a petition of the Labor Board for enforcement of an order and setting the order aside.

Page 306 U. S. 334

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