NLRB Building a Pathway to Overturn Moore Dry Dock

According to Moore Dry Dock, a case from 1950, unions are required to provide assurances to secondary employers at a “common situs” that might be affected by picketing against a primary employer that their activity will not target the secondary companies. This law, which has been around for over 60 years, will likely soon be overturned.

IBEW Local 357 asked the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council for a strike sanction against Convention Technical Services (CTS) for its alleged failure to pay “area standard wages and benefits.” CTS furnishes portable electrical services to the Las Vegas Convention Center, which includes common-situs exhibition halls where employees dispatched by the local and other labor organizations perform work.

In its strike sanction request letter to the trades council, Local 357 intentionally did not inform anyone that it would comply with Moore Dry Dock standards if it established a picket line at the Las Vegas Convention Center. CTS filed an unfair labor practice charge over the union’s intentional omission. After a hearing on the matter, the ALJ observed the “purpose of the foregoing sequence of events was to put” the Moore Dry Dock issue “directly before the Board in view of the fact that both the [NLRB] General Counsel and the union believe that current Board law is no longer viable.”

Although the ALJ found the NLRB General Counsel’s position to break unions from the Moore Dry Dock handcuffs persuasive, he said he must nevertheless conclude that Local 357 violated the Act by not providing the required assurances to secondary employers, like the Convention Center, when it sought a strike sanction against CTS, the primary employer. Now, the decision will be appealed to the NLRB who will undoubtedly change the law in favor of unions.