Labor Law – LMRA – Strike Without Compliance with Arbitration Clause of Collective Agreement as Unprotected Concerted Activity
A dispute arose over the working hours and assignment of one of the employer’s truck drivers. The employer suggested to the union that they refer the question to an arbitration panel for adjudication. The collective bargaining agreement provided that the panel was to be the exclusive means of settling all such matters, but the agreement did not contain a specific no-strike clause. The union refused to arbitrate and ordered a strike. Subsequently, the employer discharged twenty of the strikers and then refused to reinstate them at the termination of the strike. The union claimed that the strike was a protected concerted activity under section 7 of the amended National Labor Relations Act, and that the discharges were violations of sections 8 (a) (1) and 8 (a) (3) of the act. The National Labor Relations Board held that, by striking, the employees had breached their collective bargaining agreement, and, therefore, had forfeited any protection the act might give to such concerted action. W. L Mead, Inc., 113 N.L.R.B. No. 109, 36 L.R.R.M. 1392 (1955).