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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
September 25, 1987, Argued ; August 23, 1988, Decided ; August 23, 1988, Filed
[*144] MERRITT, Circuit Judge.
This secondary boycott labor case brought under § 8(b)(4) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 158(b)(4), and § 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 187 (providing for actions to enforce the prohibitions against secondary boycotts) is controlled by the Supreme Court's recent decision in DeBartolo Corp. v. Florida Gulf Coast Bldg. and Const. Trades Council, 485 U.S. 568, 108 S. Ct. 1392, 1400, 99 L. Ed. 2d 645 (1988), which holds [*145] that ] "handbilling without picketing" does not violate § 8(b)(4) because such activity is not "coercive" within the meaning of the statute.
Storer Communications, Inc., owner of Cleveland television station [**2] Channel 8, appeals the District Court's grant of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians' motion for summary judgment. This case raises this issue: whether the union violated § 8(b)(4) when its members distributed handbills urging a consumer boycott at the entrances to secondary businesses and wrote letters to, telephoned and visited secondary businesses warning of the impending handbilling? We affirm the District Court because no genuine issue of material fact remains and the handbilling, letters, phone calls and visits are permitted under DeBartolo.
In the Spring of 1983 when this dispute arose, Storer and the union were parties to a collective bargaining agreement set to expire March 31, 1983. During the March 30 bargaining session, Storer announced a new wage proposal for TV-8's union members calling for a two percent annual reduction in wages for each of the contract's three years. Negotiations continued past the agreement's expiration date, but on May 3, 1983, the union went on strike.
Beginning on March 31, the union conducted a letter-writing campaign asking businesses to withdraw their advertising on TV-8. There were several versions of the letters. [**3] The first letter indicated that only as a last resort would the union encourage a consumer boycott of those advertisers that did not pull their ads. App. 841. The other letters stated that if the businesses continued to advertise on TV-8, the union would distribute handbills in front of their buildings to inform the public that the businesses continued to advertise on the television station. The letters promised that if the businesses cancelled their TV-8 advertising the union would discontinue its plans to distribute handbills in front of their businesses. App. 842-46.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
854 F.2d 144 *; 1988 U.S. App. LEXIS 11541 **; 129 L.R.R.M. 2129; 109 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P10,696
STORER COMMUNICATIONS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCAST EMPLOYEES AND TECHNICIANS, AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants-Appellees
Prior History: [**1] ON APPEAL from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
handbilling, union member, advertising, customers, picketing, front, secondary, distribute, letters, summary judgment, boycott, walked, employees, entrances, visited, urging
Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Unfair Labor Practices, General Overview, Protected Activities, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment, Appellate Review, Standards of Review, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Strikes & Work Stoppages, Union Violations, Secondary Activities