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LABOR BOARD V. SERVETTE, INC., 377 U. S. 46 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. Servette, Inc., 377 U.S. 46 (1964)

National Labor Relations Board v. Servette

No. 111

Argued February 19, 1964

Decided April 20, 1964

377 U.S. 46


In support of a strike against respondent, which is a wholesale distributor of food products, the union asked supermarket chain store managers to refrain from selling any goods supplied by respondent. It warned that handbills asking the public not to purchase those goods would be distributed at noncooperating stores, and handbills were in fact distributed at some stores. A complaint charging that the union's conduct violated §§ 8(b)(4)(i) and (ii) of the National Labor Relations Act was dismissed by the National Labor Relations Board. The Board held that the appeal to supermarket managers did not fall within subsection (i), which makes it an unfair labor practice for a union to induce "any individual employed by any person" to refuse to perform services with an object of forcing his employer to cease doing business with another. It also held that the handbilling was protected by the proviso to § 8(b)(4), which exempts truthful publicity, other than picketing, to advise the public that an employer is distributing products "produced" by an employer with whom the union has a primary dispute. The Court of Appeals set aside the Board order, holding that "individual" in § 8(b)(4)(i) includes the market managers, and that the "publicity" proviso was inapplicable, since respondent is a distributor, not a producer.


1. It is not an unfair labor practice for the union to request supermarket managers not to handle products of the distributor against whom the union is striking. Though store managers come within the term "individual" in § 8(b)(4)(i), that provision is inapplicable here, since they were requested to make decisions within their managerial authority, rather than to cease performing duties to force their employers to stop dealing with respondent. Pp. 377 U. S. 49-54.

2. The union's distribution of handbills was protected by the "publicity" proviso in § 8(b)(4). Products "produced" by an chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 377 U. S. 47

employer include products distributed by a wholesaler with whom the primary dispute exists. Pp. 377 U. S. 54-56.

3. Warnings that handbills would be distributed at noncooperating stores are not "threats" prohibited by § 8(b)(4)(ii). P. 377 U. S. 57.

310 F.2d 659, reversed.

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