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National Labor Relations Board v. Adkins Transfer Co.

226 F.2d 324 (1955)

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National Labor Relations Board v. Adkins Transfer Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

226 F.2d 324 (1955)

Facts

Truckline operator Adkins Transfer Co. (defendant) ran about a dozen trucks. All its road drivers and its local pickup and dock employees belonged to the local Teamsters Union. Adkins had entered a collective-bargaining agreement and had a good relationship with the Teamsters, calling the union hall to send extra employees whenever Adkins needed them. When Adkins hired a mechanic and a helper to maintain and service its trucks, both joined the local Teamsters within a month. Adkins paid the mechanic $1.25 hourly, and the helper 75 cents. A Teamsters representative met with Adkins’s president and showed him that union contracts set mechanics’ hourly pay at $1.75, and servicemen at $1.25 to $1.40. A few days later, Adkins fired both new employees, explaining it would not pay the union-scale wages. Adkins’s president claimed the decision was purely cost-driven and closed its maintenance department. Instead, Adkins had its trucks serviced elsewhere and claimed even lower labor costs than $2 total per hour. The union filed a petition claiming Adkins fired the two employees for union involvement in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. Adkins’s president testified that the business could not afford to pay union wage rates for mechanics and servicemen. Both Adkins’s president and a union representative testified that continuing to employ the two workers at lower wages would have prompted a Teamsters strike and effectively shut Adkins down because the union controlled all its over-the-road driver and dock workers. The trial examiner found that the two employees joining the union did not motivate their termination and recommended dismissal. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (plaintiff) disagreed, concluding Adkins would not have fired the employees but for their union membership. Adkins appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McAllister, J.)

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