Labor Law – Labor Management Relations Act – Unfair Labor Practice Strike Permitted During Sixty-Day “Cooling-Off” Period

Petitioner clearly committed unfair labor practices and a strike in protest resulted. Thirty-one days prior to the strike the union had given petitioner notice, in accordance with section 8 (d) of the amended National Labor Relations Act, of its desire to ‘modify the existing collective bargaining agreement. [Section 8 (d) makes it an unfair labor practice for a party to an existing contract to modify the contract without, inter alia, giving notice to the other party of the desire to modify 60 days before the expiration of the contract, and continuing in effect, without resorting to strike or lockout, all terms of the existing contract for 60 days or until the expiration date of the contract, whichever occurs later. An employee who strikes during the 60-day period loses his status as an employee for the purposes of sections 8, 9, and 10 of the act. ] Petitioner refused to reinstate the strikers upon their offer to return to work.” Both the NLRB and the court of appeals held that 8 (d) does not prohibit an unfair labor practice strike during the 60-day period, and ordered reinstatement of the strikers. On certiorari to the Supreme Court, held, affirmed, three justices dissenting. Section 8 (d) applies only to strikes that seek to modify or terminate an existing agreement. A prohibition on unfair labor practice strikes during the 60-day period would penalize a union that complies with the statute. Mastro Plastics Corp. v. NLRB, 350 U.S. 270 (1956).