Livadas v. Bradshaw, 512 U.S. 107, 11 (1994)

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Cite as: 512 U. S. 107 (1994)

Opinion of the Court

and encouraged by the NLRA. Id., at 239; see also Golden State I, supra, at 618 (city may not condition franchise renewal on settlement of labor dispute). This case is fundamentally no different from Nash.11 Just as the respondent state commission in that case offered an employee the choice of pursuing her unfair labor practice claim or receiving unemployment compensation, the Commissioner has presented Livadas and others like her with the choice of having state-law rights under 201 and 203 enforced or exercising the right to enter into a collective-bargaining agreement with an arbitration clause. This unappetizing choice, we conclude, was not intended by Congress, see infra, at 130, and cannot ultimately be reconciled with a statutory scheme premised on the centrality of the right to bargain collectively and the desirability of resolving contract disputes through arbitra-11 While the NLRA does not expressly recognize a right to be covered by a collective-bargaining agreement, in that no duty is imposed on an employer actually to reach agreement with represented employees, see 29 U. S. C. 158(d), a State's penalty on those who complete the collective-bargaining process works an interference with the operation of the Act, much as does a penalty on those who participate in the process. Cf. Hill v. Florida ex rel. Watson, 325 U. S. 538 (1945) (State may not enforce licensing requirement on collective-bargaining agents).

We understand the difference between the position of petitioner (who would place this case within our "Machinists" line of labor pre-emption cases, see Machinists v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Comm'n, 427 U. S. 132 (1976)) and that of her amicus, the Solicitor General (who describes it as a case of "conflict" pre-emption, see Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 14-15, and n. 4) to be entirely semantic, depending on whether Livadas's right is characterized as implicit in the structure of the Act (as was the right to self-help upheld in Machinists) or as rooted in the text of 7. See generally Golden State II, 493 U. S. 103, 110-112 (1989) (emphasizing fundamental similarity between enumerated NLRA rights and "Machinists" rights). Neither party here argues for application of the rule of San Diego Building Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U. S. 236 (1959), which safeguards the primary jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board to pass judgment on certain conduct, such as labor picketing, which might be held protected by 7 of the Act but which might also be prohibited by 8 of the Act.


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