I’ll admit it. Posts about union protests are boring. It’s true.
So I pick and choose my moments. Like the time I wrote about a union and its 10-foot inflatable rat. That was
interesting quirky somewhat eventful.
Let’s make this quick:
On August 27, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in a 3-2 decision that “bannering” does not violate the National Labor Relations Act. Here is the NLRB’s summary of the case:
This case presents an issue of first impression for the Board: does a union
violate Section 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) of the National Labor Relations Act when,
at a secondary employer’s business, its agents display a large
stationary banner announcing a “labor dispute” and seeking to elicit
“shame on” the employer or persuade customers not to patronize the
employer. Here, the Union peaceably displayed banners bearing a message
directed to the public. The banners were held stationary on a public
sidewalk or right-of-way, no one patrolled or carried picket signs, and
no one interfered with persons seeking to enter or exit from any
workplace or business. On those undisputed facts, we find that the
Union’s conduct did not violate the Act.
The language of the Act
and its legislative history do not suggest that Congress intended
Section 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) to prohibit the peaceful stationary display of a
banner. Furthermore, a review of Board and court precedent demonstrates
that the nonconfrontational display of stationary banners at issue here
is not comparable to the types of conduct found to “threaten, coerce, or restrain” a neutral employer under Section 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) – picketing
and disruptive or otherwise coercive nonpicketing conduct.
So next time you bring a contractor in to do work at your place of
business, and that contractor has a union bulls-eye on its back, don’t
be surprised to see union banners trashing YOUR business posted on
sidewalks and nearby right-of-ways.