Labor Law – Legality of a Temporary Lockout as a Countermeasure to a Strike

After several months of unsuccessful negotiations on a new contract, a local union of truck drivers, affiliated with the A.F.L. Teamsters International Union, struck one of the members of a multi-employer bargaining association. The following day the remaining members of the association locked out their non-striking employees after advising the union that the action was the result of the union’s strike against one member of the association, and that the employees who had been laid off would be recalled if the union withdrew its picket line and ended the strike. The union processed a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the members of the association who had locked out their employees had coerced and discriminated against their employees in violation of §§8(a)(1) and (3) of the amended National Labor Relations Act. Held, with Member Murdock dissenting, an economic strike against one member of a multi-employer association constitutes a threat of strike action against the remaining members which is per se the type of economic or operative problem at the plants of the non-struck employers which justifies their resort to a temporary lockout of employees. Buffalo Linen Supply Co., 109 N.L.R.B. No. 69 (1954).