February 16, 2011
Attack on the NLRB
Not to be outdone by the state attacks on public-sector unions, Rep. Price (R-Ga.) has offered the following amendment to the continuing resolution bill in the House (making appropriations for the rest of the fiscal year):
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel to carry out and implement the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.).
Perhaps some unions should start making noises about secondary activity against businesses in his district to remind him of unintended consequences.
UPDATE: the amendment was voted down by a 250-176 margin.
Hat Tip: Patrick Kavanagh
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Except that employers can sue in federal court under sec. 303 of the LMRA to enjoin secondary activity.
Posted by: jason | Feb 16, 2011 1:20:39 PM
Thanks, good catch.
Posted by: Jeff Hirsch | Feb 16, 2011 1:27:25 PM
I'm pretty sure that 8(b)(4) would not capture this kind of secondary activity, because, in fact, it's not secondary. Assuming that businesses are targeted due to their location in Price's district, and not due to any connection with a primary employer, this activity should not be illegal. The fact that it's a direct protest of political action should remove it even further. And even if an injunction were somehow appropriate, the unions could still employ some "secondary" activities (i.e. boycotts, publication and installations of various types, etc.) within the proviso.
Posted by: Alek | Feb 16, 2011 10:30:29 PM
Of course, my comment directly contradicts the Supreme Court's opinion in Allied Int'l - because I completely disagree with it and fervently hope that it will be partially overruled, in some situation, under the appropriate facts (i.e. not during the cold war, not involving work stoppage).
But my labor law professor would want me to say that under Allied you don't need a primary employer to have secondary activity, and the political nature of such activity does not remove it from the statutory prohibition. So if any form of coercion were to take place, employers in Rep. Price's district might obtain an injunction using 303.
If the activity is non-coercive, as I said, then no injunction.
Posted by: Alek | Feb 16, 2011 11:00:44 PM