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National Labor Relations Board v. International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, & Reinforcing Iron Workers, AFL-CIO

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 28, 2019

National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner,
v.
International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 229, AFL-CIO, Respondent.

          Argued and Submitted February 15, 2019 San Francisco, California

          On Petition for Review of an Order of the National Labor Relations Board LRB No. 21-CC-183510

          Greg P. Lauro (argued), Attorney; Elizabeth A. Heaney, Supervisory Attorney; Linda Dreeben, Deputy Associate General Counsel; John W. Kyle, Deputy General Counsel; Peter B. Robb, General Counsel; National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C.; for Petitioner.

          David A. Rosenfeld (argued), Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld, Alameda, California, for Respondent.

          Before: Mary M. Schroeder and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Circuit Judges, and Robert S. Lasnik, [*] District Judge.

         SUMMARY[**]

         Labor Law

         The panel granted the National Labor Relations Board's petition for enforcement of its order entered against International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 229, enjoining Local 229 from committing violations of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").

         The Board affirmed the administrative law judge's finding that Local 229 had violated Section 8(b)(4)(i)(B) of the NLRA by inducing or encouraging Commercial Metals Company's neutral employees to strike or stop work for the unlawful secondary purpose of furthering Local 229's primary labor dispute with Western Concrete Pumping.

         The panel rejected Local 229's contention that the Board's application of the NLRA to its conduct punished expressive activity protected by the First Amendment. Specifically, the panel refused to extend the Supreme Court's decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S.Ct. 2218 (2015), and refused to apply strict scrutiny to the analysis of Section 8(b)(4)(i)(B). The panel explained that Reed involved content-based restrictions in a municipal ordinance regulating signs directed toward the general public, whereas this case involved communications addressed to neutral employees within the tightly regulated contours of labor negotiations.

          The panel held that the Board reasonably rejected Local 229's contention that Section 8(c) of the NLRA protected its communications because the Supreme Court has concluded that Section 8(c) does not immunize activities that violate Section 8(b)(4).

         The panel held that the Board properly rejected the challenges asserted by Local 229 under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and under the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

         Finally, the panel held that the language of the Board's order adequately apprised Local 229 of its notice obligations.

          OPINION

          ...


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