Public Control of Labor Relations: A Study of the National Labor Relations Board

By D. O. Bowman | Go to book overview

Chapter IV. UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

The protection of the right of self-organization and the right to bargain collectively under the National Labor Relations Act is positively asserted in Section 7: "Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activities, for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."Section 7 is fortified by Section 8, which prohibits certain unfair labor practices.

Five subsections of Section 8 specify "particular" unfair practices. But the particularity is misleading, for subsection 1 is a blanket prohibition which not only includes the unfair practices listed in the remaining subsections but also permits the Board via decision to determine and cite as "unfair" practices which operate to prevent fulfillment of the Act's purpose.1Subsection 1 makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer "to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7."2 The Board has held that any employer violation of other subsections is, at once, a violation of the first. But not all violations of the first subsection are also violations of other subsections; hence, an analysis of cases falling under the first proscription will indicate practices not specified in other subsections as "unfair" but which have been held to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees. In general, such practices are well- known employer tactics.

____________________
1
The annual reports of the Board were chiefly relied upon to ascertain what types of employer activity violated the Act.
2
See Section 8(1) of the Act, Appendix I.

-69-

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