You not-so-dirty rat

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and I have something in common:  we’re both cool with giant rats.  The giant rat I like is Master Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The giant rat the NLRB likes is the “Giant Rat” – the one that goes hand-in-hand with labor union activity.

On May 26th, 2011, the NLRB decided that placing the “Giant Rat” – a mean looking, inflatable rat measuring 12 feet wide and 16 feet tall – outside an employer’s facility to protest the hiring of a non-union contractor is not unlawful secondary activity under he National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The NLRB decided that the Giant Rat – which was placed 100 feet from the entrance of a hospital that hired non-union workers instead of members of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union – was not unlawful intimidation because it’s placement:

  1. constituted peaceful and constitutional expression
  2. didn’t involve conduct that could be considered unlawful or confrontational picketing, and
  3. was not unlawfully threatening.

Click here to read more about this bizarre NLRB case.


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