What is Past is Prologue...or...It Never Ends? 

On February 25, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board issued an "unpublished" decision finding Philadelphia Teamsters Local 107 violated Sections 8(b)(4)(B) and 8(b)(1)(A) in its dispute with construction industry employer, Eureka Stone Quarry, Inc. d/b/a JDM Materials Company. The formal settlement stipulation and Board Order acknowledges and requires Teamsters Local 107 to cease and desist from restraining or coercing employees by:

1. Blocking or otherwise preventing employees or vehicles from entering or leaving jobsites or facilities;
2. Hitting vehicles attempting to cross picket lines;

3. Spitting on vehicles attempting to cross picket lines;

4. Placing objects in front of vehicle windows in order to interfere with and obstruct the vision of drivers entering or leaving jobsites;

5. Attempting to remove employees from vehicles by force;
6. Causing damage to vehicles through the use of nails or other implements;

7. Threatening to inflict bodily harm upon employees attempting to make deliveries;
8. Physically assaulting employees;

9. Preventing employees from delivering to jobsites concrete or other materials produced by any employer;

10. In any like or related manner restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization, to form labor organizations, to join or assist Teamsters Local 107 or any other labor organization, or to refrain from any and all such activities.

In 2003, the Teamsters' International Union settled scores of charges involving its infamous and unsuccessful decade long corporate campaign against Overnite Transportation Company. The Settlement Stipulation required the Teamsters to cease and desist from:

1. Brandishing or carrying any weapon of any kind, including, but not limited to, guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, sledge hammers, bricks, sticks, or two by fours at or near any picket line, handbilling effort, rally or in any vehicle engaged in ambulatory picketing of any Overnite vehicle or following the private vehicle of any Overnite employee;
2. Using or threatening to use a weapon of any kind, including but not limited to guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, picket signs, sticks, sledge hammers, bricks, hot coffee, bottles, two by fours, lit cigarettes, eggs, or balloons filled with excrement against any non-striking Overnite employee or security guard, or in the presence of any Overnite employee;

3. Damaging, threatening to damage or attempting to damage any vehicle or equipment owned or operated by Overnite, its employees or security guards, by any means or manner, including but not limited by slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, knives, picket signs, sticks, sledge hammers, bricks, bottles, two by fours, eggs, or paint, or by tearing off mirrors, windshield wipers or antennas, or breaking windows;

4. Disabling or attempting to disable vehicles owned or operated by Overnite, by any means or manner, including but not limited to disconnecting or otherwise severing air brake lines, padlocking doors, spraying substances in or otherwise jamming locks, stealing keys, puncturing radiators, cutting hoses or door cables, flattening tires or throwing, placing or otherwise spreading any nails, screws, star nails, jack rocks or similar devices capable of puncturing tires on any road surface;

5. Endangering or impeding the progress of, or harassing any non-striking employees or employees of a neutral person doing business with Overnite, while they are operating a company or personal vehicle, by forcing or attempting to force them off the road, blocking, delaying or limiting their access to or passage on any road, swerving toward, driving recklessly near, tailgating or braking abruptly in front of them, impeding their progress by speeding up and slowing down, or driving at speeds below the legal minimums while in front of them;

6. Endangering or impeding the progress of, or harassing any non-striking employees or employees of a neutral person doing business with Overnite, while they are operating a company vehicle or personal vehicle, by jumping on vehicles, attempting to open the doors of vehicles, throwing paint on windshields, using mirrors, laser pointers, spot lights or flash photography in the eyes of drivers, or obstructing the view of drivers by holding picket signs over the windshields of vehicles;

7. Engaging in mass picketing or otherwise impeding the ingress or egress of Overnite employees or employees of any other employer to or from any Overnite service center or any facility of any neutral person doing business with Overnite, or patrolling or walking across the entrance of any Overnite service center or a facility of any neutral person doing business with Overnite in such a manner as to impede or delay the ingress or egress of any individual;

8. Battering, assaulting, spitting on, blowing whistles loudly near a person’s ear, throwing any liquid or solid object at, or attempting to assault any non-striking employees of Overnite, any member of their family, or any employee of a neutral employer doing business with Overnite, or any security guard or supervisor or manager of a neutral employer doing business with Overnite in the presence of employees;

9. Threatening to kill or inflicting bodily harm, making throat slashing motions, making gun pointing motions, challenging or threatening to fight or assault employees, threatening to sexually assault non-striking employees or their family members, threatening to follow non-striking employees to their homes, using racial epithets or obscene gestures at non-striking employees or otherwise threatening unspecified reprisals on any non-striking employees of Overnite or any member of their family or any employee of a neutral employee doing business with Overnite, or on any security guard, supervisor or manager of Overnite or neutral employers doing business with O vernite in the presence of employees;

10. Videotaping or photographing any non-striking employees of Overnite, or vehicles of Overnite or of its non-striking employees while engaging in coercive activity observed by or known by those being videotaped or photographed or threatening to release the photographs, names, addresses or phone numbers of non-striking employees in order to intimidate the non-striking employees;

11. Preventing any non-striking employee from accessing an Overnite vehicle or a personal vehicle or blocking Overnite vehicles or the personal vehicles of non-striking Overnite employees;

12. Threatening to fine or cause the discharge of non-member employees because they cross a picket line or refuse to go on strike;

13. Threatening to cause any employee’s discharge if they do not engage in a strike or picketing of Overnite or of any neutral person doing business with Overnite;

14. Attempting to harass and intimidate employees or security guards on Overnite property by using mirrors to reflect sunlight into the eyes of Overnite drivers or use mirrors or laser pointers to shine light into the eyes or video cameras of security guards;

15. Issuing documents or otherwise ratifying or condoning acts which restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights;

16. Removing the personal property of non-striking employees from their personal vehicles;

17. In any other manner, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights.

Although Teamsters Local 107 was not engaged in a multi-year, countrywide, corporate campaign, as was the International against Overnite, some tactics Local 107 used suggest a standard Teamsters playbook against non-striking employees. Notably, the NLRB did not issue a press release about the Local 107 settlement. Why? Is it good news that Local 107 used fewer unlawful tactics over a shorter period? While the AFL-CIO currently rethinks its mission and why it is in "crisis," perhaps Congress should answer why, after 40 years, it has done nothing to correct the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Enmons, 410 U.S. 396 (1973), which held that union violence is exempted from the 1934 Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. §1951, in combating racketeering in labor-management disputes.

Where is the "rule of law"? When will Congress "right the ship" to protect employees and other citizens and bring a modicum of civility to labor relations by passing legislation overturning Enmons?

Last NLRB Watch: What the Noel Canning Decision Means for NLRB Cases

Next NLRB Watch: The NLRB's 'Bias Scorecard'


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