UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; STRIKES, SLOWDOWNS AND WORK STOPPAGES – Sympathy
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301.06000 – Sympathy
The California Supreme Court has recognized that there is no common law prohibition on strikes by California public sector employees and their unions. Thus, a sympathy strike only constitutes an unlawful unilateral change if prohibited by a collective bargaining agreement. The term ‘sympathy strike’ refers to one group of employees supporting the strike of another group of employees of the same employer. However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Federal Courts have recognized the right of employees to refuse to cross “stranger” picket lines. Here, District employees represented by SEIU respected ILWU informational picket lines at the District’s place of business. The ILWU was protesting the lockout by their employer, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The connecting factor is that the District provides the work location for employees of the PMA. This conduct falls somewhere in between the conduct described in Children’s Hospital and that in Southern California Edison and thus should be considered a sympathy strike.