Labor Law – Authority of National Labor Relations Board to Require Reaffirmation of Non-Communist Affidavit

Section 9(h) of title I of the Labor-Management Relations Act requires that officers of unions which desire access to NLRB facilities file non-Communist affidavits with the Board. During the effective period of appellee unions’ compliance with this requirement, the Board referred certain affidavits to the Department of Justice for investigation. After the suspected officers had refused to testify concerning the truth or falsity of their affidavits in subsequent grand jury proceedings the Board issued a Notice and Order requiring the officers to reaffirm the truth of the prior affidavits and to attest to non-membership in the Communist Party since filing them. The unions applied for and obtained an injunction against enforcement of this order. On appeal, held, affirmed. ”The Board has no authority . . . to deprive the Unions of their compliance status under section 9(h). The scheme of section 9(h) is clear. It imposes a criminal penalty for filing a false affidavit. . . . There is nothing in the Act or in its legislative history or in good sense to indicate that Congress meant to go further and impose the drastic penalty of excluding the union from the Act’s benefits because its officer had deceived the union as well as the Board by filing a false affidavit.” Farmer v. United. Electrical, Radio and. Machine Workers of America, (D.C. Cir. 1953) 211 F. (2d) 36, cert. den. 347 U.S. 943, 74 S.Ct. 638 (1954).