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In the application of § 8(b)(4)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act to a separate-gate situation, there must be a separate gate marked and set apart from other gates; the work done by the men who use the gate must be unrelated to the normal operations of the employer and the work must be of a kind that would not, if done when the plant were engaged in its regular operations, necessitate curtailing those operations.
Petitioner union called a strike against a company because of unsettled grievances. Picketing occurred at all the gates of the company, including the gate through which the employees of the independent contractors entered. As a result, almost all of the employees of the independent contractors refused to enter the company premises. Respondent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that the petitioner union violated of § 8(b)(4)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act (Act). The NLRB held that because only the employees of the independent contractors were allowed to use a particular gate, the union's object in picketing at that particular gate was to involve the employees of the neutral employers in its dispute with the company, thereby constituting a violation of § 8(b)(4)(A). The lower court affirmed and enforced the NLRB's order. Petitioner union appealed.
Was the picketing before the gate a conduct proscribed by § 8(b)(4)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act (Act)?
Yes, only if the gate was utilized exclusively by the employees of the independent contractors.
The Court reversed the judgment of the lower court and directed the court to remand the case to the NLRB. The Court held that the order was enforceable only if the particular gate was utilized exclusively by employees of independent contractors. If the gate was used by the company's employees as well as the independent contractor's employees, mixed use of the premises would not bar picketing rights of the striking employees. The Court held that the question of mixed use required determination by the NLRB.