National Labor Relations Board v. Bradford Dyeing Ass, No. 588

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBLACK
Citation84 L.Ed. 1226,310 U.S. 318,60 S.Ct. 918
Docket NumberNo. 588
PartiesNATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD v. BRADFORD DYEING ASS'N (U.S.A.)

310 U.S. 318
60 S.Ct. 918
84 L.Ed. 1226
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

v.

BRADFORD DYEING ASS'N (U.S.A.).

No. 588.
Argued and Submitted March 26, 27, 1940.
Decided May 20, 1940.

Page 319

Robert Jackson, Atty. Gen., and Mr. Charles Fahy, of Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Mr. Harry Parsons Cross, of Providence, R.I., for respondent, Bradford Dyeing Ass'n.

Mr. William G. Feely, of Washington, D.C., for Bradford Dyeing Ass'n Employees' Federation Local Union No. 16, intervener, respondent.

Mr. Justice BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Circuit Court of Appeals declined to decree effective enforcement of an order of the National Labor Relations Board upon the ground that the Board's order, in material respects, rested upon findings that were not supported by substantial evidence. 1 Cir., 106 F.2d 119.

Page 320

In its petition for certiorari, the Board took sharp issue with the Court of Appeals, asserting that some findings upset by the court were supported not merely by substantial but by 'uncontradicted' and 'undisputed evidence.' The petition also pointed out that the court's opinion was 'ambiguous and inconclusive' and 'left unclear the court's holding as to whether the Board had jurisdiction.' Our inspection of the court's opinion and decree disclosed that the court deemed the Board to be wholly lacking in jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the Board was ordered to proceed in accordance with the opinion which concluded with the indecisive statement that 'if the case should not be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction' a large part, but apparently not all, of the Board's order should be vacated. The court's decree did not direct enforcement even of those parts of the Board's order not expressly vacated. The Board's petition further pointed out that its motion for rehearing in order to clarify the question of its jurisdiction and to establish the status of 'those portions of the Board's order which the court neither vacated nor enforced' was denied without explanation. Because the Labor Board's petition in challenging the action of the Court of Appeals thus raised questions of grave public importance affecting the administration of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq., and judicial review as provided in the Act, we granted certiorari. 1

This proceeding was initiated upon charges filed by the Textile Workers Organizing Committee of the C.I.O. Thereupon, the Labor Board served a complaint and notice of hearing on the Bradford Dyeing Association (U.S.A.), respondent here.

In the complaint, it was alleged that respondent in order to discourage membership in the C.I.O., had discharged and refused to reinstate its employees, Edward

Page 321

Nelson and Percy Schofield, because of their affiliation and activities in the Textile Workers Organizing Committee of the C.I.O., (T.W.O.C.); respondent had dominated and supported the Bradford Dyeing Association Employees' Federation, a labor organization, and had refused to bargain collectively with its employees through the T.W.O.C. after a majority had selected it as their bargaining representative.

The Board's jurisdiction was unsuccessfully challenged on the ground that respondent's business involved no activities in or affecting interstate commerce within the meaning of the Act. And, answering, respondent alleged that Schofield was discharged because he smoked during working hours; 'that * * * Nelson was not discharged, that he was insubordinate and defiant, that he did not work and refused to work during the times when he was supposed to be working, that he was on the premises during hours when he was not supposed to be on the premises of respondent and was taking up the time of other employees who were supposed to be working during such time, that * * * Nelson went upon a vacation and has not returned to work after such vacation nor made any statement of his readiness to return to work or made any request that he be put to work again'; that respondent had not dominated or coerced the Federation; and that any labor disputes at its plant were attributable to the conduct of the T.W.O.C.

The Federation was allowed to intervene in the extensive hearing held by the Board.

After this hearing, the Board found that 'a labor dispute' in respondent's plant would widely affect 'the flow of commodities in interstate commerce', with consequent jurisdiction in the Board, and that the charges of the complaint had been substantiated.

The Board accordingly ordered respondent to cease and desist from (1) interfering, or coercing its employees

Page 322

in the exercise of their rights to self-organization; (2) dominating and interfering with the Federation or any other labor organization; (3) discouraging membership in the T.W.O.C.; (4) refusing to bargain collectively with the T.W.O.C.; and (5) ordered respondent affirmatively to offer reemployment to Schofield and Nelson and to make them whole, to withdraw all recognition from and completely disestablish the Federation, to bargain collectively with its employees through T.W.O.C., and to post the usual notices throughout its plant stating that the company would cease its unlawful and unfair labor practices and would treat its agreement with the Federation as of no effect.

In its final decree the Circuit Court of Appeals directed that 'until a new election has taken place by order of the Board, and the employees have expressed their preference as to what group or body shall represent them in any labor dispute between them and the respondent, the order of the Board except as to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the case and desist portion of the order, and the entire paragraph 5 ordering affirmative action shall be vacated, the Board then to proceed in accordance with (the opinion passed down this day).' (106 F.2d 125.) As phrased, the decree is not clear but apparently the court vacated subdivisions (4) and (5) of the Board's order. The court's opinion did make clear that under its decree the company was left free to bargain collectively with the Federation and to decline to bargain with the T.W.O.C. Discharges of Schofield and Nelson were approved and the company was released from publishing notices which, if warranted, were 'essential if the employees were to feel free to exercise their rights without incurring the company's disfavor.'2 Although those portions of the Board's order prohibiting the company's interfering with

Page 323

its employees' union affiliations were not expressly set aside or modified, neither were they ordered enforced.3 Thus the court's decree gave the Board's order no effect at all.

It did not explicitly so decree, but the Court of Appeals evidently was of the view that evidence was lacking upon which the Board could have found that respondent's business was in or affected interstate commerce. The court expressly found a lack of evidence to support the Board's conclusion that Schofield and Nelson were discharged for union activities and stated its belief that Schofield was discharged for smoking in the plant and Nelson for insubordination, and that 'the finding by the Board that the T.W.O.C. had a majority of the employees of the respondent signed up even to become members of a union under that name is without substantial evidence on which to rest.'

Without specifically passing upon the Board's finding that respondent had unlawfully dominated the Federation, the opinion of the court stated, '* * * Assuming that the president or officers of the respondent influenced its employees to join the Federation, so called, it does not appear by clear and substantial evidence that a majority of the employees ever joined, or indicated an intent to join, the T.W.O.C., * * *.' (Italics supplied.) Since the court

Page 324

did not vacate that part of the Board's order directing the company to discontinue domination of the Federation, we might infer that the court accepted the Board's finding that the Federation had been so dominated. But this inference is opposed by the court's action in vacating the order of disestablishment. The uncertainty in which the court has left the questions of jurisdiction and company domination of the Federation makes necessary a review of the evidence on both, along with other evidence which we think amply demonstrates the justification for the Board's order in every respect.

First. As to Jurisdiction.

A major portion of the opinion of the court below is devoted to its expression of doubts about the Board's jurisdiction, i.e., 'there is no substantial evidence to warrant a finding that the transportation of these materials by the respondent was ever in interstate commerce'; 'there is also lacking substantial evidence that 40 percent of the supplies consisting of chemicals and dyes, which were contracted for in Rhode Island and delivered by the sellers to the respondent's plant in Bradford, were transported by the respondent in interstate commerce, or that they were used by the respondent except at Bradford, though the Board assumed without evidence that they were shipped by the respondent in interstate commerce, but its assumption lacks substantial evidence on which to rest, that would compel this court to accept it as a fact'; 'The respondent, according to uncontroverted testimony, neither sells, transports nor arranges for transportation of the goods into or out of Rhode Island in interstate commerce, which is done in each instance by the customer, * * *'; and 'The Board apparently assumed that the respondent transported goods to its plant and from it, which the uncontroverted evidence disclosed were not the facts.' Referring to waste products which respondent sells in interstate commerce, the court noted that they did

Page 325

not 'exceed 1 percent of the total goods processed' and said that they were but 'a mere incident (of the business) and to which the maxim de minimis might well be applied, even by the National Labor...

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151 practice notes
  • May Department Stores Co v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 39
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 10, 1945
    ...the power of the Circuit Court to review paragraph 1(b) of the Board's order. National Labor Relations Board v. Bradford Dyeing Ass'n, 310 U.S. 318, 341, 60 S.Ct. 918, 930, 84 L.Ed. 1226. In this proceeding the paragraph first appeared in the intermediate report of the Board's examiner. The......
  • National Labor Relations Board v. Gissel Packing Co Food Store Employees Union, Local No 347, Amalgamated NLRB v. Gissel Packing Co., 585
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 16, 1969
    ...of the Wagner Act and the present Act, particularly as to the use of authorization cards. See, e.g., NLRB v. Bradford Dyeing Assn., 310 U.S. 318, 339—340, 60 S.Ct. 918, 929, 84 L.Ed. 122 (1940); Franks Bros. Co. v. NLRB, 321 U.S. 702, 64 S.Ct. 817, 88 L.Ed. 1020 (1944); United Mine Workers ......
  • Oughton v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 7336.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • February 26, 1941
    ...has been dissipated by his own unfair labor practices we, of course, agree. National Labor Relations Board v. Bradford Dyeing Ass'n, 1940, 310 U.S. 318, 60 S.Ct. 918, 84 L.Ed. 1226. Furthermore, it could well, as one of the courts has said, make a merry-go-round of the act, if after a heari......
  • Petri Cleaners, Inc. v. Automotive Emp., Laundry Drivers and Helpers Local No. 88, No. 88
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • January 26, 1960
    ...meetings on company property, and directly soliciting members for the inside association. E. g., N. L. R. B. v. Bradford Dyeing Ass'n, 310 U.S. 318, 60 S.Ct. 918, 84 L.Ed. 1226; see Note, Employer-Dominated Unions Illusory Self-Organization, 40 Columb.L.Rev. 278, 283-290. Activities that co......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
151 cases
  • May Department Stores Co v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 39
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 10, 1945
    ...the power of the Circuit Court to review paragraph 1(b) of the Board's order. National Labor Relations Board v. Bradford Dyeing Ass'n, 310 U.S. 318, 341, 60 S.Ct. 918, 930, 84 L.Ed. 1226. In this proceeding the paragraph first appeared in the intermediate report of the Board's examiner. The......
  • National Labor Relations Board v. Gissel Packing Co Food Store Employees Union, Local No 347, Amalgamated NLRB v. Gissel Packing Co., 585
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 16, 1969
    ...of the Wagner Act and the present Act, particularly as to the use of authorization cards. See, e.g., NLRB v. Bradford Dyeing Assn., 310 U.S. 318, 339—340, 60 S.Ct. 918, 929, 84 L.Ed. 122 (1940); Franks Bros. Co. v. NLRB, 321 U.S. 702, 64 S.Ct. 817, 88 L.Ed. 1020 (1944); United Mine Workers ......
  • Oughton v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 7336.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • February 26, 1941
    ...has been dissipated by his own unfair labor practices we, of course, agree. National Labor Relations Board v. Bradford Dyeing Ass'n, 1940, 310 U.S. 318, 60 S.Ct. 918, 84 L.Ed. 1226. Furthermore, it could well, as one of the courts has said, make a merry-go-round of the act, if after a heari......
  • Petri Cleaners, Inc. v. Automotive Emp., Laundry Drivers and Helpers Local No. 88, No. 88
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • January 26, 1960
    ...meetings on company property, and directly soliciting members for the inside association. E. g., N. L. R. B. v. Bradford Dyeing Ass'n, 310 U.S. 318, 60 S.Ct. 918, 84 L.Ed. 1226; see Note, Employer-Dominated Unions Illusory Self-Organization, 40 Columb.L.Rev. 278, 283-290. Activities that co......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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