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Eastex, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board

United States Supreme Court
437 U.S. 556 (1978)


Facts

In 1974, unionized employees working for Eastex, Inc. (defendant) wanted to distribute a union newsletter in nonwork areas of the plant. The first and last sections of the newsletter promoted the union. The second section urged employees to oppose Texas incorporating its right-to-work statute into the state constitution, and the third section discussed a recent veto of a federal minimum-wage increase and encouraged registering to vote and supporting labor-sympathetic candidates. When Eastex prohibited distribution of the newsletter in the workplace, the union filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Eastex argued that distributing the newsletter did not qualify as a protected activity for employees’ mutual aid and protection under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because the newsletter did not address workplace conditions or a specific dispute over which Eastex had any control, and its employees already made more than the proposed minimum wage. The NLRB and appellate court nonetheless concluded that Eastex violated the NLRA. The Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

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