Decision 1580M – Oxnard Harbor District

LA-CO-9-M

Decision Date: January 9, 2004

Decision Type: PERB Decision

View Full Text (PDF)

Perc Vol: 28
Perc Index: 56

Decision Headnotes

301.00000 – UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; STRIKES, SLOWDOWNS AND WORK STOPPAGES
301.01000 – In General

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.

301.00000 – UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; STRIKES, SLOWDOWNS AND WORK STOPPAGES
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.

801.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES;RESTRAINT, COERCION, INTERFERENCE OR DISCRIMINATION
801.02000 – Employee Right to Refrain from Union Activities

District challenged the legality of a union threatening to fine its members for failing to honor a picket line or call to strike. Under the NLRA, a union is free to enforce a properly adopted rule which reflects a legitimate business interest, impairs no policy Congress has imbedded in the labor laws, and is reasonably enforced against union members who are free to leave a union and escape the rule. Applying these criteria, the NLRB has held that a union did not violate the NLRA by threatening to fine members who failed to engage in a sympathy strike if the strike did not violate the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

801.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES;RESTRAINT, COERCION, INTERFERENCE OR DISCRIMINATION
801.04000 – Union Rules and Discipline in General; Union Dues and Fees; Fines, Assessments, Etc.

District challenged the legality of a union threatening to fine its members for failing to honor a picket line or call to strike. Under the NLRA, a union is free to enforce a properly adopted rule which reflects a legitimate business interest, impairs no policy Congress has imbedded in the labor laws, and is reasonably enforced against union members who are free to leave a union and escape the rule. Applying these criteria, the NLRB has held that a union did not violate the NLRA by threatening to fine members who failed to engage in a sympathy strike if the strike did not violate the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

801.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES;RESTRAINT, COERCION, INTERFERENCE OR DISCRIMINATION
801.05000 – Union Threats; Violence

District challenged the legality of a union threatening to fine its members for failing to honor a picket line or call to strike. Under the NLRA, a union is free to enforce a properly adopted rule which reflects a legitimate business interest, impairs no policy Congress has imbedded in the labor laws, and is reasonably enforced against union members who are free to leave a union and escape the rule. Applying these criteria, the NLRB has held that a union did not violate the NLRA by threatening to fine members who failed to engage in a sympathy strike if the strike did not violate the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

802.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; UNLAWFUL STRIKES AND WORK STOPPAGES
802.01000 – In General

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.

1402.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; WAIVER
1402.01000 – In General

The right to engage in a sympathy strike may be waived in a collective bargaining agreement. However, it is critical to note that the courts have held that a general no-strike clause that does not specify whether sympathy strikes are included or excluded, does not, simply by virtue of its incorporation in a collective bargaining agreement, prohibit such strikes.

1402.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; WAIVER
1402.02000 – Union’s Waiver of Employee or Organizational Rights

The right to engage in a sympathy strike may be waived in a collective bargaining agreement. However, it is critical to note that the courts have held that a general no-strike clause that does not specify whether sympathy strikes are included or excluded, does not, simply by virtue of its incorporation in a collective bargaining agreement, prohibit such strikes.