Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB, 502 U.S. 527, 15 (1992)

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Cite as: 502 U. S. 527 (1992)

White, J., dissenting

whether reasonable access exists. Because the union in this case failed to establish the existence of any "unique obstacles," Sears, 436 U. S., at 205-206, n. 41, that frustrated access to Lechmere's employees, the Board erred in concluding that Lechmere committed an unfair labor practice by barring the nonemployee organizers from its property.

The judgment of the First Circuit is therefore reversed, and enforcement of the Board's order is denied.

It is so ordered.

Justice White, with whom Justice Blackmun joins, dissenting.

"We will uphold a Board rule so long as it is rational and consistent with the Act, . . . even if we would have formulated a different rule had we sat on the Board." NLRB v. Curtin Matheson Scientific, Inc., 494 U. S. 775, 787 (1990). The judicial role is narrow: The Board's application of the rule, if supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole, must be enforced. Beth Israel Hospital v. NLRB, 437 U. S. 483, 501 (1978).

In NLRB v. Babcock & Wilcox Co., 351 U. S. 105, 112 (1956), the Court said that where nonemployee union representatives seek access to the employer's parking lot for the purpose of communicating with employees, the employer's property rights and the organizational rights of employees must be "[a]ccommodat[ed] . . . with as little destruction of one as is consistent with the maintenance of the other." Although it said that it was slow to overturn an administrative decision, the Court disagreed with the balance the Board had struck in granting access to the union because the Board had failed to recognize that access by nonemployees required a different accommodation than where employees are involved. Id., at 112-113. The Court went on to say that "when the inaccessibility of employees makes ineffective the reasonable attempts by nonemployees to communicate with them through the usual channels, the right to exclude from prop-


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