Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB, 502 U.S. 527, 8 (1992)

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534

LECHMERE, INC. v. NLRB

Opinion of the Court

employees place the employees beyond the reach of reasonable union efforts to communicate with them," ibid., employers' property rights may be "required to yield to the extent needed to permit communication of information on the right to organize," id., at 112.

Although we have not had occasion to apply Babcock's analysis in the ensuing decades, we have described it in cases arising in related contexts. Two such cases, Central Hardware Co. v. NLRB, 407 U. S. 539 (1972), and Hudgens v. NLRB, 424 U. S. 507 (1976), involved activity by union supporters on employer-owned property. The principal issue in both cases was whether, based upon Food Employees v. Logan Valley Plaza, Inc., 391 U. S. 308 (1968), the First Amendment protected such activities. In both cases we rejected the First Amendment claims, and in Hudgens we made it clear that Logan Valley was overruled. Having decided the cases on constitutional grounds, we remanded them to the Board for consideration of the union supporters' 7 claims under Babcock. In both cases, we quoted approvingly Babcock's admonition that accommodation between employees' 7 rights and employers' property rights "must be obtained with as little destruction of one as is consistent with the maintenance of the other," 351 U. S., at 112. See Central Hardware, supra, at 544; Hudgens, supra, at 521, 522. There is no hint in Hudgens and Central Hardware, however, that our invocation of Babcock's language of "accommodation" was intended to repudiate or modify Babcock's holding that an employer need not accommodate non-employee organizers unless the employees are otherwise inaccessible. Indeed, in Central Hardware we expressly noted that nonemployee organizers cannot claim even a limited right of access to a nonconsenting employer's property until "[a]fter the requisite need for access to the employer's property has been shown." 407 U. S., at 545.

If there was any question whether Central Hardware and Hudgens changed 7 law, it should have been laid to rest by

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