Allentown Mack Sales And Service v. National Labor Relations Board

522 U.S. 359 (1998)


Mack Trucks, Inc. had a factory branch in Allentown, Pa, whose service and parts employees were represented by Lodge 724 of the IAMAW, AFL-CIO. Mack notified its managers in May 1990 that it intended to sell the branch. Several of those managers formed, Allentown Mack Sales & Service, Inc., which purchased the assets on December 10, 1990. They hired 32 of the original 45 Mack employees. During the period before and after the sale, employees made statements that the union had lost support and eight of the employees indicated they no longer supported the union in job interviews. The shop steward told them that it was his feeling that the employees did not want a union and that it would lose any vote taken in the new company. They were also told that the entire night shift did not want a union. Local 724 asked Mack to recognize its employees. They rejected the offer and claimed a good faith doubt as to support for the union because they made a secret poll supervised by a Roman Catholic priest, and the union lost 19 to 13. The union then filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB. The Board concluded that Mack had not demonstrated a reasonable doubt based on objective considerations as to the continued majority status after the transition. They ordered Mack to recognize and negotiate. Eventually, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.