Auciello Iron Works, Inc. v. NLRB, 517 U.S. 781, 2 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

the Board's bright-line rule cutting off the opportunity at the moment of apparent contract formation fails to point up anything unreasonable in the Board's position. Its approach generally allows companies an adequate chance to act on their preacceptance doubts before contract formation, and Auciello's view would encourage bad-faith bargaining by employers. The Board could reasonably conclude that giving employers flexibility in raising their good-faith doubts would not be worth skewing bargaining relationships by such one-sided leverage, and the fact that any collective-bargaining agreement might be vulnerable to such a postformation challenge would hardly serve the Act's goal of achieving industrial peace by promoting stable collective-bargaining relationships. Moreover, rejection of the Board's position is not compelled by the statutory right of employees to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and to refrain from doing so. The Board is entitled to suspicion when faced with an employer's benevolence as its workers' champion against their certified union, and there is nothing unreasonable in giving a short leash to an employer as vindicator of its employees' organizational freedom. Pp. 787-790. (c) Garment Workers v. NLRB, 366 U. S. 731, 738-739, does not compel reversal; its rule concerning recognition agreements is not inconsistent with this decision. The Board reasonably found an employer's pre-contractual, good-faith doubt inadequate to support an exception to the conclusive presumption arising at the moment a collective-bargaining contract offer has been accepted. Pp. 791-792. 60 F. 3d 24, affirmed.

Souter, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

John D. O'Reilly III argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioner.

Richard H. Seamon argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Days, Deputy Solicitor General Wallace, Linda Sher, Norton J. Come, and John Emad Arbab.*

Justice Souter delivered the opinion of the Court. The question here is whether an employer may disavow a collective-bargaining agreement because of a good-faith

*Jonathan Hiatt, Marsha Berzon, David Silberman, and Laurence Gold filed a brief for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

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