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Congress has not outlawed the hiring hall, though it has outlawed the closed shop except within the limits prescribed in the provisos to § 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act. Those provisos read that nothing in the Act, or in any other statute of the United States, shall preclude an employer from making an agreement with a labor organization (not established, maintained, or assisted by any action defined in § 8(a) of the Act as an unfair labor practice) to require as a condition of employment membership therein on or after the 30th day following the beginning of such employment or the effective date of such agreement, whichever is the later, (i) if such labor organization is the representative of the employees as provided in § 9(a) of the Act, in the appropriate collective-bargaining unit covered by such agreement when made; and (ii) unless following an election held as provided in § 9(e) of the Act within one year preceding the effective date of such agreement, the Board shall have certified that at least a majority of the employees eligible to vote in such election have voted to rescind the authority of such labor organization to make such an agreement.
An association of motor truck operators entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Brotherhood of Teamsters and several of its local unions, which, in effect, required the operators to employ casual employees "on a seniority basis" through a hiring hall operated by one of the unions, irrespective of the membership in the union. A union member obtained casual employment with an operator independently of the union and the hiring hall, and he was discharged when the union complained. The National Labor Relations Board held that the hiring-hall arrangement was unlawful per se and that the employer had violated § 8 (a)(1) and § 8 (a)(3) and the union had violated § 8 (b)(2) and § 8 (b)(1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended. It ordered them, inter alia, to reimburse all casual employees for fees and dues paid to the union during the period covered by the complaint. The court of appeals upheld the Board's decision on the illegality of the hiring-hall agreement. The union challenged the decision.
Was the hiring-hall arrangement unlawful per se?
The court held that there was no ban of hiring halls in any provision of the National Labor Relations Act. According to the court, discrimination could not be inferred from the face of the agreement because it specifically provided that there would be no discrimination against "casual employees" due to the presence or absence of union membership. There was no evidence that the agreement for a union hiring hall was used unlawfully, and the Board had no power to compel that the hiring hall be included or excluded in collective agreements.