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Certified union lawfully picketed neutral employer to force primary to recognize it even though union wanted neutral employer to stop doing business with primary employer. Addressing what it called a question of first impression, the National Labor Relations Board, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that a certified union lawfully picketed a neutral employer in order to induce the primary employer to recognize and bargain with it, even though one of the union’s objectives was to force the neutral employer to cease doing business with the primary employer. According to the Board, the NLRA does not prohibit a union from engaging in secondary activity in order to enforce its certification by the Board as the exclusive bargaining representative of the primary employer’s employees. Chairman Hurtgen dissented ( United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1996, 2001-02 CCH NLRB �16,068). Although the union was certified as the bargaining representative for a unit of its nurses, the employer refused to recognize and bargain with it, even after a Board decision finding the employer’s refusal to bargain unlawful. Instead of obeying the Board’s order, the employer appealed the decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In response, the union sent a letter to the United Way which provided millions of dollars in financial support to the employer, a nonprofit corporation that supplies home-health nursing services. Noting that it was a strong supporter of the United Way, the union stated that unless the United Way agreed to stop giving money and assistance to the employer, the union would begin picketing the United Way’s offices. When it failed to obtain its requested result, the union began picketing the United Way. It distributed handbills stating, “To the Public. United Way is unfair. Its money supports [the employer], a convicted labor law violator. Please stop your contributions until United Way discontinues its support of [the employer].” Looking at � 8(b)(4)(B) and its history, the Board majority concluded that Congress did not intend to prohibit the conduct at issue in this case. The Board noted that � 8(b)(4)(B) prohibits secondary activities that are intended to force an employer to cease doing business with any other person (a cease doing business boycott), or that are intended to force an employer to recognize or bargain with a labor organization (a recognition boycott). However, according to the Board, � 8(b)(4)(B) contains an exemption allowing certified unions to engage in recognitional boycotts. Thus, � 8(b)(4)(B) was not intended to condemn secondary activity by a certified union for the purpose of inducing the primary employer to recognize or bargain with that union. Dissenting, Chairman Hurtgen argued that � 8(b)(4)(B) does not allow a union to picket a neutral employer in order to force the neutral to cease doing business with the primary employer, even where the object of the union secondary activity is recognitional. Strikes and picketing for a “cease doing business” objective are illegal, Hurtgen asserted. The majority admitted that the union attempted to induce neutral contributors to stop contributing to the United Way. Indeed, according to the majority, this goal was intregal to the union’s overall objective of inducing the United Way to end its financial support of the employer. However, the majority rejected the argument that because one of the union’s objectives was to force the United Way to cease doing business with the employer, a violation occurred. Because the picketing had an otherwise lawful recognitional objective, it did not violate � 8(b)(4)(B). � 2002, CCH INCORPORATED. All Rights Reserved.

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