Roger Milliken operated one textile mill as president of Darlington Manufacturing Company (defendant). But his family controlled New York “selling house” Deering Milliken, which marketed textiles from 17 manufacturers at 27 mills. When the Textile Workers Union (plaintiff) won an election to represent Darlington’s workers, its board promptly closed the mill. The union charged Darlington with unfair labor practices for closing the plant instead of negotiating with the union. The National Labor Relations Board found antiunionism motivated the closure in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. But the appellate court refused to enforce the board order, reasoning that employers have an absolute right to close all or part of a business regardless of antiunion motivation. The Supreme Court granted review.