H. K. Porter Co. v. National Labor Relations Board

397 U.S. 99 (1970)

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H. K. Porter Co. v. National Labor Relations Board

United States Supreme Court
397 U.S. 99 (1970)

  • Written by Rose VanHofwegen, JD
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Facts

In 1961, workers at an H. K. Porter Co. (defendant) plant elected the United Steelworkers Union as their bargaining agent. Negotiations over a collective-bargaining agreement began but stalled over a “checkoff” provision requiring the company to deduct union dues from employees’ paychecks. The company insisted it would not help the union in any way, even though it had checkoff arrangements at other plants. The union filed unfair-labor-practice charges, claiming the company failed to bargain in good faith over the checkoff provision solely to frustrate reaching a collective-bargaining agreement. Multiple proceedings and further negotiations over the next eight years ensued without progress. Ultimately, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered the company to accept the checkoff provision, and the company appealed. The appellate court affirmed, reasoning that the power to remedy bad-faith bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows the NLRB to compel the parties to agree. The Supreme Court granted review of the issue of whether the NLRB may compel an employer to check off union dues.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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