This is an open-book examination. You may consult any written materials you wish. You may not communicate with any person other than Thomas Lilly about the exam until the exam is over and you have turned it in. The Old Westbury Academic Integrity Policy applies, including the rules against plagiarism. Do not use language written by someone else without putting that language in quotes and stating the source.
Hardware Megastore, Inc. (“Megastore”) operates a chain of large hardware stores, including one in Westbury, New York. Two years ago, the Hardware Workers Union (“Union”) tried to organize the Westbury store. Megastore ran an aggressive campaign, and the Union lost an election conducted by the NLRB.
Al recently interviewed for a job as a clerk at the Westbury store. The interviewer told Al about the Union’s prior attempt to organize the store employees and asked Al what he thought about unions generally. Al answered that he thought unions were good for working people. Megastore then declined to hire Al, even though he was the best-qualified applicant for the job.
Al was upset about not being hired. He contacted the Union and told them what happened. The Union than did two things. First, it filed a charge against Megastore. Second, it set up a picket line outside the Westbury store with signs urging people to boycott the store until it recognized the Union as the collective bargaining representative of the employees. A significant number of store employees stopped working and joined the picket line. The Union did not file a petition for an election.
Megastore responded by filing a charge with the NLRB alleging that it was an unfair labor practice for the Union to picket to gain recognition. The picket line has now been in place for two weeks.
You are the NLRB agent assigned to assess both the Union’s and Megastore’s charges. Write a memorandum to the Regional Director explaining why he should or should not issue a complaint against a) Megastore and b) the Union.
In 2015 the Meatpackers Union struck the Overton Food Company, which employs 2,000 people and is located in Overton, Pennsylvania. The strike lasted eighteen weeks. During the strike, there were dozens of fistfights on and around the picket line. During one such altercation, a police officer suffered a broken jaw while trying to restore order. Most of the time, it was impossible for traffic to move unimpeded along the streets abutting the Overton Food Company property.
Because of the strike, Overton’s expenditures on police and safety in 2015 were three times what had been budgeted. As a result of the budget shortfall, Overton canceled its plan to build a new elementary school.
In response to its experience in 2015, Overton passed the following town ordinance:
Whereas the town of Overton supports the right of workers and employers to settle their disputes through peaceful collective bargaining; and
Whereas the town of Overton is charged with protecting the safety of persons and property within the town; and
Whereas the town of Overton does not have the financial resources necessary to ensure the safety of its persons and property in the event of picketing in connection with a labor dispute;
It is hereby resolved that picketing in conjunction with a strike is prohibited in the town of Overton. Nothing herein shall prevent workers from exercising their right to withhold their labor during a lawful strike.
The collective bargaining agreement between the meat Packers Union and Overton Food Company expires tomorrow. The president of the Meat Packers Union has declared that the parties are not close to a new agreement and that the workers will begin picketing as soon as the collective bargaining agreement expires. The town of Overton has asked the Pennsylvania state trial court to enjoin the picketing.
Write a decision on behalf of the court explaining why it should or should not grant the injunction.
What is the Constitutional basis for the National Labor Relations Board’s jurisdiction to enforce the National Labor Relations Act?
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