Auciello Iron Works, Inc. v. NLRB, 517 U.S. 781, 7 (1996)

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Cite as: 517 U. S. 781 (1996)

Opinion of the Court

support, or (2) the employer had a 'good-faith' doubt, founded on a sufficient objective basis, of the union's majority support." Curtin Matheson, supra, at 778 (emphasis in original).4 Auciello asks this Court to hold that it may raise the latter defense even after a collective-bargaining contract period has apparently begun to run upon a union's acceptance of an employer's outstanding offer.


The same need for repose that first prompted the Board to adopt the rule presuming the union's majority status during the term of a collective-bargaining agreement also led the Board to rule out an exception for the benefit of an employer with doubts arising from facts antedating the contract. The Board said that such an exception would allow an employer to control the timing of its assertion of good-faith doubt and thus to " 'sit' on that doubt and . . . raise it after the offer is accepted." 317 N. L. R. B., at 370. The Board thought that the risks associated with giving employers such "unilatera[l] control [over] a vital part of the collective-bargaining process," ibid., would undermine the stability of the collective-bargaining relationship, id., at 374, and thus outweigh any benefit that might in theory follow from vindicating a doubt that ultimately proved to be sound.

The Board's judgment in the matter is entitled to prevail. To affirm its rule of decision in this case, indeed, there is no need to invoke the full measure of the "considerable defer-4 Auciello maintains that Curtin Matheson requires reversal here since it appears that the employer in that case asserted its good-faith doubt after the union's acceptance of the contract offer. Brief for Petitioner 19-21. But the case is not authority on the issue of timing. The question presented was whether the Board "in evaluating an employer's claim that it had a reasonable basis for doubting a union's majority support, must presume that striker replacements oppose the union." Curtin Matheson, 494 U. S., at 777 (emphasis in original). We did not discuss or consider whether the timing of the employer's assertion should affect the outcome of that case, and the decision does not answer that question.


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