Opinions & Commentaries

The defendants, Samuel Gompers, John Mitchell and Frank Morrison, were found guilty of contempt of court in making certain publications prohibited by an injunction from the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. They were sentenced to imprisonment for twelve, nine and six months respectively, and this proceeding is prosecuted to reverse that judgment.

READ MORE


In October, 1935, the petitioner discharged Morris Watson, an employee in its New York office. The American Newspaper Guild, a labor organization, filed a charge with the Board alleging that Watson's discharge was in violation of § 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which confers on employees the right to organize, to form, join, or assist labor organizations to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection; that the petitioner had engaged in unfair labor practices contrary to subsections (1) and (3) of § 8 by interfering with, restraining, or coercing Watson in the exercise of the rights guaranteed him by § 7, and by discriminating against him in respect of his tenure of employment and discouraging his membership in a labor organization.

READ MORE


Respondent publishes a daily newspaper at White Plains, New York. During the period relevant here, its daily circulation ranged from 9,000 to 11,000 copies. It had no desire for and made no effort to secure out-of-state circulation. Practically all of its circulation was local. But about one-half of 1 per cent was regularly out-of-state.[1] Petitioners are some of respondent's employees. They brought this suit in the New York courts to recover overtime compensation, liquidated damages and counsel fees pursuant to § 16 (b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. 52 Stat. 1069, 29 U.S.C. § 216 (b). The supreme court gave judgment for the petitioners. 179 Misc. 832, 38 N.Y.S.2d 231; 180 Misc. 8, 41 N.Y.S.2d 534. The appellate division reversed and ordered the complaint to be dismissed. 267 App. Div. 284, 45 N.Y.S.2d 479. That judgment was affirmed by the court of *181 appeals without opinion. 293 N.Y. 781, 58 N.E.2d 520; 294 N.Y. 701, 60 N.E.2d 848. The case is here on a petition for a writ of certiorari which we granted because of the probable conflict between the decision below and those from the federal courts.[2]

READ MORE


These cases bring for decision important questions concerning the Administrator's right to judicial enforcement of subpoenas duces tecum issued by him in the course of investigations conducted pursuant to § 11 (a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 52 Stat. 1060. His claim is founded directly upon § 9, which incorporates the enforcement provisions of §§ 9 and 10 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 717.[1] The subpoenas sought the production of specified records to determine whether petitioners were violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, including records relating to coverage. Petitioners, newspaper publishing corporations, maintain that the Act is not applicable to them, for constitutional and other reasons, and insist that the question of coverage must be adjudicated before the subpoenas may be enforced.

READ MORE


This is a companion case to No. 393, Labor Board v. Denver Building Trades Council (the Denver case), ante, p. 675, and No. 85, Local 74, United Brotherhood of Carpenters v. Labor Board (the Chattanooga case), post, p. 707.

READ MORE


The basic question here is whether the Commonwealth of Virginia, consistently with the Constitution of the United States, may enjoin peaceful picketing when it is carried on for purposes in conflict with the Virginia Right to Work Statute.[1] A question also before us is whether the record in this case justifies the finding, made below, that the picketing was for such purposes. We answer each in the affirmative.

READ MORE


This is a suit brought in the Nebraska courts by employees of the Union Pacific Railroad Co. against that company and labor organizations representing various groups of employees of the railroad to enjoin the application and enforcement of a union shop agreement entered into between the railroad company and the labor organizations. Plaintiffs are not members of any of the defendant labor organizations and desire not to join. Under the terms of the union shop agreement all employees of the railroad, as a condition of their continued employment, must become members of the specified union within 60 days and thereafter maintain that membership. It is alleged that failure on their part to join the union will mean the loss of their employment together with seniority, retirement, pension, and other rights.

READ MORE


A group of labor organizations, appellants here, and the carriers comprising the Southern Railway System, entered into a union-shop agreement pursuant to the authority of § 2, Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act.[1] The agreement *743 requires each of the appellees, employees of the carriers, as a condition of continued employment, to pay the appellant union representing his particular class or craft the dues, initiation fees and assessments uniformly *744 required as a condition of acquiring or retaining union membership. The appellees, in behalf of themselves and of employees similarly situated, brought this action in the Superior Court of Bibb County, Georgia, alleging that the money each was thus compelled to pay to hold his job was in substantial part used to finance the campaigns of candidates for federal and state offices whom he opposed, and to promote the propagation of political and economic doctrines, concepts and ideologies with which he disagreed. The Superior Court found that the allegations were fully proved[2] and entered a judgment *745 and decree enjoining the enforcement of the union-shop agreement on the ground that § 2, Eleventh violates the Federal Constitution to the extent that it permits such use by the appellants of the funds exacted from employees.[3] The Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed, 215 *746 Ga. 27, 108 S. E. 2d 796.[4] On appeal to this Court under 28 U. S. C. § 1257 (1), we noted probable jurisdiction, 361 U. S. 807.

READ MORE


The Virginia State Bar brought this suit in the Chancery Court of the City of Richmond, Virginia, *2 against the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, an investigator employed by the Brotherhood, and an attorney designated its "Regional Counsel," to enjoin them from carrying on activities which, the Bar charged, constituted the solicitation of legal business and the unauthorized practice of law in Virginia.[1] It was conceded that in order to assist the prosecution of claims by injured railroad workers or by the families of workers killed on the job the Brotherhood maintains in Virginia and throughout the country a Department of Legal Counsel which recommends to Brotherhood members and their families the names of lawyers whom the Brotherhood believes to be honest and competent. Finding that the Brotherhood's plan resulted in "channeling all, or substantially all," the workers' claims to lawyers chosen by the Department of Legal Counsel, the court issued an injunction against the Brotherhood's carrying out its plan in Virginia. The Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia affirmed summarily over objections that the injunction abridges the Brotherhood's rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, which guarantee freedom of speech, petition and assembly. We granted certiorari to consider this constitutional question in the light of our recent decision in NAACP v. Button, 371 U. S. 415.[2] 372 U. S. 905.

READ MORE


This action began as a suit by the trustees of the United Mine Workers of America Welfare and Retirement Fund against the respondents, individually and as owners of Phillips Brothers Coal Company, a partnership, seeking to recover some $55,000 in royalty payments alleged to be due and payable under the trust provisions of the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 1950, as amended, September 29, 1952, executed by Phillips and United Mine Workers of America on or about October 1, 1953, and re-executed with amendments on or about September 8, 1955, and October 22, 1956. Phillips filed an answer and a cross claim against UMW, alleging in both that the trustees, the UMW and certain large coal operators had conspired to restrain and to monopolize interstate commerce in violation of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, as amended, 26 Stat. 209, 15 U. S. C. §§ 1, 2 (1958 ed.). Actual damages in the amount of $100,000 were claimed for the period beginning February 14, 1954, and ending December 31, 1958.[1]

READ MORE


The State of Michigan has enacted legislation authorizing a system for union representation of local governmental employees. A union and a local government employer are specifically permitted to agree to an "agency shop" arrangement, whereby every employee represented by a union— even though not a union member—must pay to the union, as a condition of employment, a service fee equal in amount to union dues. The issue before us is whether this arrangement violates the constitutional rights of government employees who object to public-sector unions as such or to various union activities financed by the compulsory service fees.

READ MORE


This case arises out of the National Labor Relations Board's exercise of jurisdiction over lay faculty members at two groups of Catholic high schools. We granted certiorari to consider two questions: (a) Whether teachers in schools operated by a church to teach both religious and secular subjects are within the jurisdiction granted by the National Labor Relations Act; and (b) if the Act authorizes such jurisdiction, does its exercise violate the guarantees of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment? 434 U. S. 1061 (1978).

READ MORE


The threshold question in this case is whether the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 52 Stat. 1060, as amended, 29 U. S. C. § 201 et seq., apply to workers engaged in the commercial *292 activities of a religious foundation, regardless of whether those workers consider themselves "employees." A secondary question is whether application of the Act in this context violates the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.

READ MORE


In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U. S. 209 (1977), "we found no constitutional barrier to an agency shop agreement between a municipality and a teacher's union insofar as the agreement required every employee in the unit to pay a service fee to defray the costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. The union, however, could not, consistently with the Constitution, collect from dissenting employees any sums for the support of ideological causes not germane to its duties as collective-bargaining agent." Ellis v. Railway Clerks, 466 U. S. 435, 447 (1984). The Ellis case was primarily concerned with the need "to define the line between union expenditures that all employees must help defray and those that are not sufficiently related to collective bargaining to justify their being imposed on dissenters." Ibid. In contrast, this case concerns the constitutionality of the procedure adopted by the Chicago Teachers Union, with the approval of the Chicago Board of Education, to draw that necessary line and to respond to nonmembers' objections to the manner in which it was drawn.

READ MORE


A Michigan teachers union, pursuant to state law, required all employees in the bargaining unit who did not belong to the union to pay a service fee equivalent to the amount of dues paid by each union member. Some of the non-union members objected to the union's use of the service fee for purposes other than negotiating and administering the collective bargaining agreement, claiming that the non-agreement uses violated the non-members' First Amendment rights. The trial court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the union could use the service fee for (1) lobbying activities unrelated to the collective bargaining agreement, (2) the parent union's collective bargaining costs, (3) disseminating information concerning the parent union's litigation activities, (4) public relations expenditures, (5) disseminating general information about job opportunities, professional development, and award programs, (6) sending delegates to the union's national convention, and (7) preparing for a strike that would have been illegal under state law. Compulsory affiliation with, or monetary support of, a union of public employees does not, without more, violate the First Amendment rights of non-members. Public employees, however, cannot be required to contribute to the support of an ideological cause that he or she may oppose. Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Education,431 U.S. 209 (1977). Non-union members can be charged with union expenses that are (1) germane to collective bargaining activity, (2) justified by the government's vital policy interest in labor peace and avoiding "free riders," and (3) not a significant burden on free speech. Ellis v. Railway Clerks, 466 U.S. 435 (1984).

READ MORE


Petitioner sued respondent unions, claiming that their lobbying, litigation, and other concerted activities violated federal labor law and antitrust law. After petitioner lost on or withdrew each of its claims, the National Labor Relations Board decided petitioner had violated federal labor law by prosecuting an unsuccessful suit with a retaliatory motive. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Because we find the Board *520 lacked authority to assess liability using this standard, we reverse and remand.

READ MORE


The State of Washington prohibits labor unions from using the agency-shop fees of a nonmember for election-related purposes unless the nonmember affirmatively consents. We decide whether this restriction, as applied to public-sector labor unions, violates the First Amendment.

READ MORE


The State of Maine requires government employees to pay a service fee to the local union that acts as their exclu sive bargaining agent even if those employees disagree with, and do not belong to, the union. This Court has held that, in principle, the government may require this kind of payment without violating the First Amendment. See, e.g., Railway Employes v. Hanson, 351 U. S. 225 (1956) (upholding such an arrangement as constitutional); Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U. S. 209 (1977) (same); Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Assn., 500 U. S. 507 (1991) (same). At the same time, the Court has considered the constitution ality of charging for various elements of such a fee, up holding the charging of some elements (e.g., those related to administering a collective-bargaining contract) while forbidding the charging of other elements (e.g., those related to political expenditures). Compare, e.g., Ellis v.

READ MORE


In this case, we decide whether the First Amendment allows a public-sector union to require objecting nonmem- bers to pay a special fee for the purpose of financing the union’s political and ideological activities.

READ MORE


This case presents the question whether the First Amendment permits a State to compel personal care providers to subsidize speech on matters of public concern by a union that they do not wish to join or support. We hold that it does not, and we therefore reverse the judg­ ment of the Court of Appeals.

READ MORE


Help FIRE protect the speech rights of students and faculty.

Support FIRE
css.php