Labor Law – LMRA – Status of a Walkout Prompted by Health Reasons in the Face of a No-Strike Clause

The employer and the union were covered by a contract which contained a no-strike clause. In spite of this agreement, buffers in the employer’s plant walked off their jobs when a blower in the buffing room failed to carry away dust and cool the area properly. The trial examiner found that the walkout was a protected concerted activity and not a strike, and that the employer had therefore committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to permit the buffers to return to their jobs when the blower had been repaired. On exceptions taken to these findings, the NLRB reviewed and accepted the trial examiner’s report. The walkout was a protected concerted activity, in spite of the no-strike clause, by virtue of section 502 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, which specifically excepts walkouts engaged in in good faith and prompted by abnormally dangerous conditions of work from the definition of a strike. Knight Morley Corp., 116 N.L.R.B. No. 6, 38 L.R.R.M. 1194 (1956).