Labor Law–NLRB Refuses To Apply Related Work Doctrine to Construction Site Picketing–Building and Construction Trades Council (Markwell & Hartz)
The New Orleans Building and Construction Trades Council, an association of craft unions, was engaged in a labor dispute with Markwell & Hartz, the general contractor on a construction project. In support of its dispute with the general contractor (primary employer), the Council picketed all gates leading to the job site, although some gates had been specifically reserved for the exclusive use of those subcontractors (secondary employers) with whom the union had no dispute. Employees of the subcontractors refused to cross the picket line to perform work pursuant to their employers’ contracts with the general contractor. Markwell & Hartz filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that the Council’s activities constituted a violation of section 8(b) (4)(B) of the National Labor Relations Act. The Board held, two members dissenting, that the Council had committed an unfair labor practice. The picketing of gates reserved for the exclusive use of employees of subcontractors at a construction site is an illegal appeal to such employees.