When contract negotiations between an employer, a Charlotte, North Carolina TV station, and a local union representing the station's technicians reached an impasse, the technicians remained on the job but circulated handbills attacking the inferior quality of the employer's programs. These handbills, which were distributed throughout Charlotte as well as on a picket line which the technicians maintained during their off-duty hours, were signed simply "WBT Technicians" and made no reference to the labor dispute. The company discharged the technicians, whereupon the union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board charging a violation of sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(3) of the amended National Labor Relations Act. The Board upheld the company's right to fire those employees responsible for distributing the handbills, on the ground that such conduct was "indefensible" under the circumstances and therefore outside the protection of section 7 of the NLRA. However, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed, holding that concerted activities do not lose the protection of section 7 unless they are "unlawful." On certiorari, held, reversed, Justices Frankfurter, Black, and Douglas dissenting. The Board was correct in not ordering reinstatement of these employees since their discharge was "for cause" within the meaning of NLRA section 10(c). NLRB v. Local Union No. 1229, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 346 U.S. 464, 74 S. Ct. 172 (1953).
George B. Berridge S.Ed.,
LABOR LAW--LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ACT--DISPARAGEMENT OF EMPLOYER'S PRODUCT AS PROTECTED CONCERTED ACTIVITY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol52/iss7/13