(Solution Document) A union engaged in a lawful economic strike against the Brown Bag Company (the primary employer) decided to establish a product picket line at the


A union engaged in a lawful economic strike against the Brown Bag Company (the primary employer) decided to establish a product picket line at the site of the Stop & Shop grocery store, a secondary employer who used grocery bags produced by the Brown Bag Company. Although the Stop& Shop grocery store does provide boxes instead of bags to a few customers who specifically request a box, the vast majority of grocery items are carried from the store in bags produced by the Brown Bag Company.

The unions picket signs were carefully worded to identify the Brown Bag Company as the target of the picket action and to request customers of the Stop & Shop grocery store to boycott only bags produced by the Brown Bag Company. During the two days that picketing occurred, 150 of 4,300 customers who shopped at the Stop & Shop grocery store specifically requested a box to transport their groceries rather than a bag. Managers were able to provide enough boxes for about two-thirds of the customers who requested a box rather than use a grocery bag produced by the Brown Bag Company. A few customers brought their own containers from home (e.g., pillow case, bag, or box) to transport their grocery purchases. One customer, upon being told by a Stop & Shop manager that there alleging that the union' s product picket action was a violation of Section 8 (b)(4), LMRA. The employer sought an order to prevent the union from engaging in further product picket activity at the Stop & Shop grocery store. The employer argued that it is impossible for a customer to comply with the union' s boycott of Brown Bag Company grocery bags without also refusing to purchase grocery items sold by the Stop & Shop grocery store since the grocery store exclusively used grocery bags produced by the Brown Bag Company. As evidence, the employer pointed to the fact that there were only enough boxes available for approximately 2.3 percent of the total customers who shopped at the grocery store during the two days of product picket activity. The employer argued it was not reason- able to expect customers to bring their own containers with them to transport grocery items when shopping at the Stop & Shop grocery store

 

Question:

 

1.      Would the Stop and Shop grocery store in this case be classified as a neutral, secondary employer, or business ally of the Brown Bag Company? Explain your reasoning.

 

2.      Should the merged product doctrine be applied in this case to declare that the union's product picket action was unlawful? Explain your reasoning.

 







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