Auciello Iron Works, Inc. v. NLRB, 517 U.S. 781, 10 (1996)

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790

AUCIELLO IRON WORKS, INC. v. NLRB

Opinion of the Court

to bargain further, a favorable agreement would have been more difficult to obtain. But by saving its challenge until after a contract had apparently been formed, it could not end up with a worse agreement than the one it had. The Board could reasonably say that giving employers some flexibility in raising their scruples 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. Cf. Fall River Dyeing, 482 U. S., at 38-39; Franks Bros. Co. v. NLRB, 321 U. S. 702, 705 (1944).

Nor do we find anything compelling in Auciello's contention that its employees' statutory right "to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing" and to refrain from doing so, 29 U. S. C. 157, compels us to reject the Board's position. Although we take seriously the Act's command to respect "the free choice of employees" as well as to "promot[e] stability in collective-bargaining relationships," Fall River Dyeing, supra, at 38 (internal quotation marks omitted), we have rejected the position that employers may refuse to bargain whenever presented with evidence that their employees no longer support their certified union. "To allow employers to rely on employees' rights in refusing to bargain with the formally designated union is not conducive to [industrial peace], it is inimical to it." Brooks v. NLRB, 348 U. S. 96, 103 (1954). The Board is accordingly entitled to suspicion when faced with an employer's benevolence as its workers' champion against their certified union, which is subject to a decertification petition from the workers if they want to file one. There is nothing unreasonable in giving a short leash to the employer as vindicator of its employees' organizational freedom.

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