Labor Law – LMRA – Validity Under Federal Act of State Right to Work Statute Interpreted to Bar Exclusive Bargaining Rights Clause

Plaintiff employer, operator of a retail food store, refused to sign a contract with a union representing the only two butchers then employed by him on the ground that acceptance of a clause in the contract making the union the exclusive bargaining representative of all butchers in his establishment would violate the state right to work statute. The two butchers went on strike and began picketing the employer’s establishment. The employer thereupon hired a non-union butcher and sought to have the picketing enjoined. The state district court denied the injunction. On certiorari to the state supreme court, held, reversed, two justices dissenting. A non-union butcher’s right to work would be abridged if the union acted as his agent without his consent. Therefore, the contract provision at issue, if embodied in the collective agreement, would violate the state right to work statute which provides that “it is hereby declared to be … public policy … that the right … to work shall not be … abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization.” Piegts v. Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butchers’ Workmen, Local No. 437-AFL, (La. 1955) 81 S. (2d) 835.