The principal case is concerned generally with the problem of secondary activity by unions, and specifically with the application of a judicially created exception to the general prohibition against such activity. As originally written, section 8(b)(4) was intended to protect neutral employers from becoming involved in disputes between other employers and unions by prohibiting certain union activities. Among the practices forbidden was the traditional secondary boycott which arises when a union in a dispute with a primary employer brings pressure to bear on other employers (secondary employers), through their employees, to cease doing business with the primary. However, the statute did not seek to insulate the primary employer from this indirect pressure; rather, "the gravamen of a secondary boycott is that its sanctions bear, not upon the employer who alone is a party to the dispute, but upon some third party who has no concern in it." In short, Congress intended to prevent those who were only tangentially related from becoming involved.
Michigan Law Review,
Labor Relations--Consumer Picketing Under Section 8(b) (4) (ii) (B) of the National Labor Relations Act--Honolulu Typographical Union, No. 37, I.T.U., A.F.L.-C.I.O. v. NLRB,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol67/iss6/5