Inland Empire District Council, Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union, Lewiston Idaho v. Millis, No. 613

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtRUTLEDGE
Citation65 S.Ct. 1316,325 U.S. 697,89 L.Ed. 1877
Docket NumberNo. 613
Decision Date11 June 1945
PartiesINLAND EMPIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL, LUMBER AND SAWMILL WORKERS UNION, LEWISTON, IDAHO, et al. v. MILLIS et al

325 U.S. 697
65 S.Ct. 1316
89 L.Ed. 1877
INLAND EMPIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL, LUMBER AND SAWMILL WORKERS UNION, LEWISTON, IDAHO, et al.

v.

MILLIS et al.

No. 613.
Argued Feb. 26, 27, 1945.
Decided June 11, 1945.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 8, 1945.

See 66 S.Ct. 11.

Page 698

Mr. George E. Flood, of Seattle, Wash., for petitioners.

Mr. Alvin J. Rockwell, of Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice RUTLEDGE delivered the opinion of the Court.

This controversy grows out of a contest between rival labor unions over the right to act as collective bargaining representative of employees of Potlatch Forest, Inc., a company conducting logging, lumbering and milling operations in northern Idaho. Petitioners seek relief from a certification order of the National Labor Relations Board issued pursuant to § 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 453, 29 U.S.C. § 159(c), 29 U.S.C.A. § 159(c). They ar affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, the certified union with the Gongress of Industrial Organizations.

In American Federation of Labor v. National Labor Relations Board, 308 U.S. 401, 60 S.Ct. 300, 84 L.Ed. 347, this Court held that a certification under § 9(c) is not reviewable by the special statutory procedure except incidentally to review of orders restraining unfair labor practices under § 10, 29 U.S.C.A. § 160. Decision was expressly reserved whether, apart from such proceedings, review of certification may be had by an independent suit brought pursuant to § 24 of the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C.A. § 41. 308 U.S. 412, 60 S.Ct. 305, 84 L.Ed. 347.

Petitioners now assert the right to such review. Prior to the certification, they had represented the company's employees in collective bargaining. They do not seek

Page 699

review upon the merits of the certification. Their claim is that they were denied the 'appropriate hearing' which § 9(c) requires and that the effect was not only to deprive them of the statutory right to hearing but also to deny them due process of law contrary to the Fifth Amendment's guaranty. Accordingly, they seek, in substance, injunctive relief requiring respondents, members of the Board, to vacate the order of certification or, in the alternative, a declaratory judgment that the order is invalid.

The District Court declined to dismiss the suit, upon respondents' motion alleging, among other grounds, that the court was without jurisdiction of the subject matter. The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment, one judge dissenting. App.D.C., 144 F.2d 539. That court held that the statutory review is exclusive, with the consequence that this suit cannot be maintained. The obvious importance of the decision caused us to grant the petition for certiorari.1 323 U.S. 703, 65 S.Ct. 269.

In American Federation of Labor v. National Labor Relations Board, 312 U.S. at page 412, 60 S.Ct. at page 306, 84 L.Ed. 347, the Court said, with reference to the question whether the Wagner Act has excluded judicial review of

Page 700

certification under § 9(c) by an independent suit brought under § 24 of the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C.A. § 41:

'It can be appropriately answered only upon a showing in such a suit that unlawful action of the Board has inflicted an injury on the petitioners for which the law, apart from the review provisions of the Wagner Act, affords a remedy.' petitioners earnestly urge that this case presents the required showing of unlawful action by the Board and resulting injury. Unless they are right in this view, it would be inappropriate, as was said in the American Federation of Labor case, to determine the question of reviewability. That question should not be decided in the absence of some showing that the Board has acted unlawfully. Upon the facts presented, we think no such showing has been made, whether by way of departure from statutory requirements or from those of due process of law.

On March 9, 1943, local unions affiliated with the C.I.O. filed petitions with the Board for certification as bargaining representatives in three of the company's five logging and milling plants or units. The plants were geographically separate. Some were located as far from others as one hundred miles. But there was common ownership, management and control, with occasional shifting of crews or men from one plant to another.2 Although the petitions sought separate local units rather than a single company-wide unit, the Board consolidated them for hearing before a trial examiner.

The hearing was held in May, 1943. The company, the C.I.O., and the petitioners, who may be referred to collectively as the A.F. of L.,3 appeared and participated.

Page 701

No complaint is made concerning this hearing. It was apparently a typical representation proceeding. The principal issue was the character of the appropriate unit. The A.F. of L. urged that the unit should be company-wide. The C.I.O. advocated separate plant units.

The Board's decision was rendered July 13, 1943. 51 N.L.R.B. 288. It found that the A.F. of L. had organized the employees on a company-wide basis and on this basis had made a 'master contract' with the company, which however was supplemented by local contracts relating to local matters in each of the five operations, The Board concluded that the history of the bargaining relations had demonstrated the appropriateness of a unit consisting of all the logging and mill employees of the company. It therefore dismissed the petitions of the C.I.O. on the ground that the three separate plant units sought were inappropriate.

Three days later, on July 16, the C.I.O. filed a further petition, this time asking to be certified as bargaining representative on a company-wide basis, excluding clerical, supervisory, confidential, and temporary employees, as well as employees of Potlatch Townsite and Potlatch Mercantile Company.4 The unit thus suggested conformed generally to the one covered by the outstanding A.F. of L. contract.

On September 14, pursuant to C.I.O.'s motion, the Board served notice upon the A.F. of L. to show cause why the decision of July 13 should not be vacated; the petitions in the earlier cases reinstated and treated as amended by the new petition; and why the Board should not reconsider and proceed to decision without further hearing. The order also proposed to make part of the

Page 702

record the statement of the Board's field examiner concerning the C.I.O. claims of authorization to represent employees.5

The A.F. of L. responded by filing a 'Protest and Objection.' This alleged that the proposed order contemplated a decision without the taking of evidence, to be based in part on an ex parte survey of C.I.O. claims of authorization by employees; that employees of the two units not involved in the first proceeding would have no opportunity to present evidence in th ir own behalf;6 and that the Board had no authority to set aside the A.F. of L.'s existing contract by such proceedings.

The Board considered the objections, but found them insufficient, rejected the protest and, without further hearing for the taking of evidence, considered the case upon the full record, including that made in the original hearings. It again approved a company-wide unit, following the historical lines of organization, but excluded certain 'fringe' classifications in conformity with generally established policy. It further found that a question concerning representation had arisen and directed that an election be held among the employees in the appropriate unit as it had been determined. The Board's decision was rendered October 14, 1943. 52 N.L.R.B. 1377.

The election was held during the following November and resulted in a majority for the C.I.O.7 The A.F. of L. filed 'Objections and Exceptions to Election,' see 55

Page 703

N.L.R.B. 255, 256, which renewed the claim of impropriety in failing to hold another hearing and also challenged some exclusions of employees from eligibility to take part in the election. Accordingly the A.F. of L. moved to vacate the decision and direction of election, to vacate the election itself, to stay certification and to grant an appropriate hearing.

In January, 1944, the Board granted the A.F. of L.'s motion for further hearing, but deferred ruling upon the request to vacate the previous decision and the election. The hearing was held before a trial examiner in February, 1944. Petitioners appeared and participated fully, as did the company and the C.I.O. No complaint is made concerning the scope of this hearing or the manner in which it was conducted, except as to its timing in relation to the election. Full opportunity was afforded petitioners to present objections and evidence in support of them. From the absence of contrary allegation, as well as the official report of the Board's decision, it must be taken that all available objections to the Board's procedure and action were made, considered, and determined adversely to petitioners.8

The Board rendered its supplemental decision on March 4, 1944. 55 N.L.R.B. 255. This made supplemental findings of fact based upon the entire record, including the record in the original proceedings, the election report, petitioners' objections and exceptions, the motion for reconsideration, and the evidence and objections taken at the February hearing. After reviewing the entire proceedings, the Board found that an 'appropriate hearing' had been given, within the requirement of § 9(c); ruled upon each of petitioners' objections, whether new or renewed; and concluded that none of them furnished adequate reason for disturbing its previous decision and direction for election. Accordingly it denied the motion to vacate that

Page 704

decision and the election, and certified the C.I.O. as exclusive bargaining representative of the employees in the unit found appropriate. A.F. of L.'s further motion for reconsideration was denied and thereafter the present suit was instituted.9

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  • Jointrefugee Committee v. Grath National Council Offriendship v. Grath International Workers Order v. Grath, ANTI-FASCIST
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 30, 1951
    ...Central R. Co., 305 U.S. 177, 59 S.Ct. 160, 83 L.Ed. 111; Inland Empire District Council, Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union v. Millis, 325 U.S. 697, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 89 L.Ed. 1877. 16. In 1941 the Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure reported that it 'found in its investiga......
  • Chamber of Commerce of U.S. v. Nat'l Labor Relations Bd., Civil Action No. 15–0009 (ABJ)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 29, 2015
    ...reiterate that section 9(c) calls for an "appropriate hearing," and then they purport to quote Inland Empire District Council v. Millis, 325 U.S. 697, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 89 L.Ed. 1877 (1945) :Congress provided that an "appropriate hearing" must include the "full and adequate opportunity" to pre......
  • Industrial Welfare Com. v. Superior Court, S.F. 24123
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 10, 1980
    ...Ass'n (1965) 380 U.S. 650, 662, 85 S.Ct. Page 340 1192, 1198, 14 L.Ed. 2d 133; see, e. g., Inland Empire Council v. Millis (1945) 325 U.S. 697, 706, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 1321, 89 L.Ed. 1877; Ruby v. American Airlines, Inc. (2d Cir. 1963) 323 F.2d 248, [613 P.2d 588] As the full text of section 11......
  • Connolly Development, Inc. v. Superior Court, S.F. 23225
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • August 31, 1976
    ...of due process of law 'are not technical, nor is any particular form of procedure necessary.' Inland Empire Council v. Millis, 325 U.S. 697, 710, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 1323, 89 L.Ed. 1877 (1945). . . . 'The very nature of due process negates any concept of inflexible procedures universally applica......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
108 cases
  • Jointrefugee Committee v. Grath National Council Offriendship v. Grath International Workers Order v. Grath, ANTI-FASCIST
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 30, 1951
    ...Central R. Co., 305 U.S. 177, 59 S.Ct. 160, 83 L.Ed. 111; Inland Empire District Council, Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union v. Millis, 325 U.S. 697, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 89 L.Ed. 1877. 16. In 1941 the Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure reported that it 'found in its investiga......
  • Chamber of Commerce of U.S. v. Nat'l Labor Relations Bd., Civil Action No. 15–0009 (ABJ)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 29, 2015
    ...reiterate that section 9(c) calls for an "appropriate hearing," and then they purport to quote Inland Empire District Council v. Millis, 325 U.S. 697, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 89 L.Ed. 1877 (1945) :Congress provided that an "appropriate hearing" must include the "full and adequate opportunity" to pre......
  • Industrial Welfare Com. v. Superior Court, S.F. 24123
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 10, 1980
    ...Ass'n (1965) 380 U.S. 650, 662, 85 S.Ct. Page 340 1192, 1198, 14 L.Ed. 2d 133; see, e. g., Inland Empire Council v. Millis (1945) 325 U.S. 697, 706, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 1321, 89 L.Ed. 1877; Ruby v. American Airlines, Inc. (2d Cir. 1963) 323 F.2d 248, [613 P.2d 588] As the full text of section 11......
  • Connolly Development, Inc. v. Superior Court, S.F. 23225
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • August 31, 1976
    ...of due process of law 'are not technical, nor is any particular form of procedure necessary.' Inland Empire Council v. Millis, 325 U.S. 697, 710, 65 S.Ct. 1316, 1323, 89 L.Ed. 1877 (1945). . . . 'The very nature of due process negates any concept of inflexible procedures universally applica......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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