Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Reich, 510 U.S. 200, 18 (1994)

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Cite as: 510 U. S. 200 (1994)

Opinion of the Court

does not convey "an uncontrolled access right to the mine property to engage in any activity that the miners' representative wants." App. 49. Statutory inspections of petitioner's mine need occur only twice annually and are conducted with representatives of the Secretary and the operator. Because the miners' representative cannot receive advance notice of an inspection, the ability of the non-employee UMWA designees to exercise these limited walk-around rights is speculative. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 31; Brief for International Union, UMWA, as Amicus Curiae 11, n. 2. Although it is possible that a miners' representative could abuse his privileges, we agree with the Court of Appeals that petitioner has failed to demonstrate that such abuse, entirely hypothetical on the record before us, cannot be remedied on an individual basis under the Mine Act. See 969 F. 2d, at 976-977, and n. 6; Utah Power & Light Co. v. Secretary of Labor, 897 F. 2d 447, 452 (CA10 1990); Kerr-McGee Coal Corp. v. Secretary, 15 F. M. S. H. R. C. 352, 361-362 (1993).21

Nor will petitioner face any serious prehearing deprivation if it refuses to post the designations while challenging

21 Without addressing the merits of petitioner's underlying claim, we note that petitioner appears to misconstrue Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB, 502 U. S. 527 (1992). The right of employers to exclude union organizers from their private property emanates from state common law, and while this right is not superseded by the NLRA, nothing in the NLRA expressly protects it. To the contrary, this Court consistently has maintained that the NLRA may entitle union employees to obtain access to an employer's property under limited circumstances. See id., at 537; NLRB v. Babcock & Wilcox Co., 351 U. S. 105, 112 (1956). Moreover, in a related context, the Court has held that Congress' interest in regulating the mining industry may justify limiting the private property interests of mine operators. See Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S. 594 (1981) (unannounced Mine Act inspections do not violate the Fourth Amendment).


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