Building & Constr. Trades Council v. Associated Builders & Contractors of Mass./R. I., Inc., 507 U.S. 218, 9 (1993)

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Opinion of the Court

Angeles, 475 U. S. 608, 614 (1986) (Golden State I); Golden State Transit Corp. v. Los Angeles, 493 U. S. 103, 111 (1989) (Golden State II). Machinists pre-emption preserves Congress' "intentional balance ' "between the uncontrolled power of management and labor to further their respective interests." ' " Golden State I, 475 U. S., at 614 (citations omitted).

In Machinists, we held that the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission could not designate as an unfair labor practice under state law a concerted refusal by a union and its members to work overtime, because Congress did not mean such self-help activity to be regulable by the States. 427 U. S., at 148-150. We said that it would frustrate Congress' intent to "sanction state regulation of such economic pressure deemed by the federal Act 'desirabl[y] . . . left for the free play of contending economic forces . . . ." Id., at 150 (citation omitted). In Golden State I, we applied the Machinists doctrine to hold that the city of Los Angeles was pre-empted from conditioning renewal of a taxicab operating license upon the settlement of a labor dispute. 475 U. S., at 618. We reiterated the principle that a "local government . . . lacks the authority to ' "introduce some standard of properly 'balanced' bargaining power" . . . or to define "what economic sanctions might be permitted negotiating parties in an 'ideal' or 'balanced' state of collective bargaining." ' " Id., at 619 (quoting Machinists, 427 U. S., at 149-150) (internal citation omitted). In Golden State II, supra, we determined that the taxicab employer who was challenging the city's conduct in Golden State I was entitled to maintain an action under 42 U. S. C. 1983 for compensatory damages against the city. In so holding, we stated that the Machinists rule created a zone free from all regulations, whether state or federal. 493 U. S., at 112.


When we say that the NLRA pre-empts state law, we mean that the NLRA prevents a State from regulating

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