ln the first of three cases involving employer encouragement of union membership the National Labor Relations Board held that a union had violated section 8(b)(2) of the amended National Labor Relations Act by inducing an employer to refuse to hire a union member who had failed to comply with the union's rules as to job clearances. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the union's contention that the employer's action was not such as to encourage union membership and enforced the Board's order. In the second case a union was found by the board to nave violated section 8(b)(2) by causing an employer to refuse certain work assignments to a union member who was delinquent in paying union dues. The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit refused to enforce the Board's order on the ground that it was not supported by substantial evidence that the discrimination had encouraged union membership. In the third case an employer, in response to pressure by the union, which was the employees' exclusive bargaining agent, granted union members more favorable wage treatment than nonmembers. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the Board's decision that the employer had thereby violated section 8(a)(3), in spite of the fact that the union involved was a closed one, ordinarily admitting to membership only first-born sons of members, and even though the employer had not been motivated by any desire to encourage union membership. On certiorari, held, first and third cases affirmed, second case reversed, with Justices Black and Douglas dissenting. Section 8(a)(3) forbids only such discrimination as encourages or discourages union membership, but the term "membership" encompasses any participation in union activities. No direct proof of encouragement or discouragement is necessary in cases in which such result may reasonably be inferred. The employer's motive is immaterial where encouragement or discouragement is a natural consequence of the discrimination. Radio Officers' Union v. NLRB, NLRB v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Gaynor News Co. v. NLRB, 347 U.S. 17, 74 S.Ct. 323 (1954).
George B. Berridge S.Ed.,
LABOR LAW--LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ACT--ENCOURAGEMENT OF UNION MEMBERSHIP AND EMPLOYER'S INTENT AS ELEMENTS OF UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION,
Mich. L. Rev.
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