Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB, 502 U.S. 527, 16 (1992)

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542

LECHMERE, INC. v. NLRB

White, J., dissenting

erty has been required to yield to the extent needed to permit communication of information on the right to organize." Ibid. Later the Court said: "The right of self-organization depends in some measure on the ability of employees to learn the advantages of self-organization from others. Consequently, if the location of a plant and the living quarters of the employees place the employees beyond the reach of reasonable union efforts to communicate with them, the employer must allow the union to approach his employees on his property." Id., at 113. The Court went on to hold that no such conditions were shown in the records of the cases before it.

In the case before us, the Court holds that Babcock itself stated the correct accommodation between property and organizational rights; it interprets that case as construing 7 and 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to contain a general rule forbidding third-party access, subject only to a limited exception where the union demonstrates that the location of the employer's place of business and the living quarters of the employees place the employees beyond the reach of reasonable efforts to communicate with them. The Court refuses to enforce the Board's order in this case, which rested on its prior decision in Jean Country, 291 N. L. R. B. 11 (1988), because, in the Court's view, Jean Country revealed that the Board misunderstood the basic holding in Babcock, as well as the narrowness of the exception to the general rule announced in that case.

For several reasons, the Court errs in this case. First, that Babcock stated that inaccessibility would be a reason to grant access does not indicate that there would be no other circumstance that would warrant entry to the employer's parking lot and would satisfy the Court's admonition that accommodation must be made with as little destruction of property rights as is consistent with the right of employees to learn the advantages of self-organization from others. Of course the union must show that its "reasonable efforts,"

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