Labor Law – Organizational Picketing in Industries not Affecting Interstate Commerce

Representatives of defendant union approached plaintiff, proprietor of a small liquor store, with information that they planned to initiate an organizational campaign to obtain the membership of the store’s three clerks, none of whom were members of any union at that time. Subsequent to this meeting, a picket line of two men was established and was maintained without any acts of violence, for over nineteen months until halted by a permanent injunction issued by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. The union did not make any demands upon plaintiff to sign a contract or to recognize it as bargaining agent for the clerks. Although the picket line caused stock deliveries to be discontinued, no evidence was presented that this was more than an “inconvenience” to the plaintiff; no customers were intimidated or refused admittance to the store; and the business volume was not impaired. On appeal, held, the picketing was “organizational” and thus a lawful labor objective. As a result, the picketing was not enjoinable by the terms of the New York Anti-Injunction Act. Wood v. O’Grady, 307 N.Y. 532, 122 N.E. (2d) 386 (1954).