NLRB v. Advanced Stretchforming Int'l
Capsule: Under the United States Supreme Court's decision in NLRB v. Burns Int'l Sec Svcs, 406 US 272 (1972), a new employer which has acquired a business is generally free to set the initial terms and conditions of employment. Such an employer is not bound by its predecessor's collective bargaining agreement. The new employer must, however, recognize and bargain with the union representing its predecessor's employees if the new employer is a "successor" employer.
A new employer is a "successor" employer if it conducts
essentially the same business as the former
employer and either
One qualification to the general rule in Burns is the "perfectly clear" exception.
The court stated that "[t]he Burns perfectly clear exception to the right of the employer to set the initial terms of employment applies whenever it is apparent that the incumbent union continues to represent a majority of the initial workforce." The court has previously held that "when it is perfectly clear that the employer intends to hire a majority of his workforce in a unit represented by a union from the ranks of his predecessor, his duty to bargain with the union commences immediately."
Applying this standard, the court held that the exception was applicable and that the new employer had committed an unfair labor practice by imposing terms without first consulting with the union.
The DISSENT argued that 1) the majority
impermissibly relied upon its own argument (rather
than the rationale given by the Board) in
upholding the Board's decision, and 2) the
majority's holding "practically eviscerates" the
rule of Burns.