The Duty to Bargain in Good Faith: NLRB v. Truitt Manufacturing Co. and NLRB v. Insurance Agents’ International Union
This article discusses two classic Supreme Court cases from the 1950's that explore the contours of the obligation to bargain in good faith: NLRB v. Truitt Manufacturing Co. and NLRB v. Insurance Agents' International Union. In the Truitt case, the Supreme Court held that the obligation to bargain in good faith requires an employer to open its books to the union when the employer refuses a request for a wage increase on the basis that such an increase will drive the employer out of business. In the Insurance Agents' case, the Supreme Court held that union slow-down tactics were consistent with the union's obligation to bargain in good faith even though these tactics were not protected by the NLRA. These two cases are considered together because their seemingly inconsistent holdings illustrate the tension in the NLRA between regulating the conduct of collective bargaining to promote the parties' ability to bargain cooperatively in industrial peace, while still allowing the recourse to economic weapons that is necessary for the process of collective bargaining. This chapter offers the stories behind these two great cases, the arguments the lawyers made on behalf of their clients, how these cases were resolved by the Board and the courts, and some of the theory behind what it means to bargain in good faith.
Labor and Employment Law
Date of this Version
Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, "The Duty to Bargain in Good Faith: NLRB v. Truitt Manufacturing Co. and NLRB v. Insurance Agents’ International Union" (August 11, 2005). bepress Legal Series. bepress Legal Series.Working Paper 1318.