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The duty to bargain carries with it the obligation on the part of the employer not to undercut the union by entering into individual contracts with the employees. A refusal to negotiate in fact as to any subject which is within § 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act (Act), and about which the union seeks to negotiate violates § 8(a)(5) of the Act.
The North American Soccer League Players Association (the Union) filed a petition for an election under Section 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (Act) alleging that the North American Soccer League and each of its affiliated members constituted a single employer for purposes of collective bargaining. The Union was certified as the exclusive bargaining agreement of the employees of the Respondent Clubs. However, the Respondent Clubs refused to bargain with the Union. The Union filed an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). During the pendency of the case filed by the Union, petitioner, the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board, sought a temporary injunction, alleging that she has reasonable cause to believe that Respondent Clubs interfered with, restrained and coerced employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed to them by Section 7 of the Act.
Under the circumstances, was NLRB entitled to injunctive relief?
The court held that the NLRB satisfied Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(7) and that the league received timely and sufficient notice of the application for a temporary injunction and the hearing. The court found that the NLRB was entitled to the temporary injunctive relief with respect to all of the individual contracts because the individual contracts were apparently in violation of the duty of the league to bargain with the exclusive bargaining representative of the players. The court held that the duty imposed by the Act to bargain with the exclusive representative carried with it the negative duty not to bargain with individual employees. Accordingly, the court granted the temporary injunction requested by the NLRB.