In three recent cases, the United States Supreme Court has been required to determine the impact of federal labor relations legislation on certain state enactments in this area. The importance of these decisions, concerning a problem which has caused difficulty since enactment of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, is increased by their consideration of the significance of the amendments contained in the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947.
(1.) The appellant La Crosse Co., which handled interstate telephone calls, had made a collective bargaining agreement with appellant A. F. of L. union, to continue from year to year. During renegotiation of part of this agreement, a rival union asked the National Labor Relations Board to certify the bargaining representative of the employees covered by the agreement. Before the N.L.R.B. acted, the rival union withdrew the petition and sought the same relief from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Board, which held an election and certified the rival union as the representative. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the W.E.R.B. had jurisdiction to issue the certification. On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held, reversed. This employer is concededly engaged in interstate commerce, and the N.L.R.B. has consistently exercised jurisdiction over the industry. Since the Wisconsin Act and the National Labor Relations Act provide different standards for determining the bargaining unit and define "employee" differently, certification by the state board would disrupt practice under the federal act. The federal act must therefore be allowed supremacy, though not yet applied formally to this employer. La Crosse Telephone Corp. v. W.E.R.B., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local B-953, A. F. of L. v. W.E.R.B., 336 U.S. 18, 69 S.Ct. 379 (1949).
Ralph E. Hunt S.Ed.,
LABOR LAW-RELATIONSHIP OF FEDERAL AND STATE AUTHORITY OVER LABOR RELATIONS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol47/iss8/12