Washington Law Review


John C. Hoover


In Curtis Bros., Inc., the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) first enunciated the rule that picketing for recognition by a union representing a minority of the employees was an unfair labor practice because it violated section 8(b) (1) (A) of the National Labor Relations Act. The doctrine has never had the full support of all Board members. Moreover the initial reaction of the reviewing courts to this ruling has been unfavorable. The Curtis doctrine has been entirely rejected by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, upon review of the Board's decision of the case, and partially rejected by one Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. The NLRB has sought review by the Supreme Court of the unfavorable decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari and the case is now pending in that Court. The purpose of this Comment is to inquire into the nature and rationale of the Curtis rule to determine, if possible, the probability of its ultimate acceptance by the Court. The significance of the rule should be apparent: It both operates as a barrier to the successful unionization of businesses and becomes an important weapon in the hands of an employer or non-union employee to prevent (if that is desired) the unionization of the employer's establishment.

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