Judge Enjoins Illinois Union’s Picketing

On May 16, U.S. Dist. Court Judge Philip G. Reinhard (N.D. Ill., G.H.W.Bush) enjoined the Chicago and N.E. Ill. Dist. Council of Carpenters from picketing the jobsites of a construction firm and from attempting to pressure the firm, K. Reinke Jr. & Co., to return to a multiemployer bargaining ass’n, the Residential Construction Employer’s Council. Reinhard issued a temporary injunction under the Nat’l Labor Relations Act, as requested by NLRB Regional Director Ralph R. Tremain.

Reinhard found that NLRB had “reasonable cause to believe that the [union] has engaged in, and is engaging in, acts and conduct in violation of Section 8(b)(4)(i)(ii)(A) of the [Labor Management Relations] Act,” which prohibits strikes, picketing, boycotts, or threats that are intended to force an employer to join an employer organization.   Round held that NLRB met this evidentiary burden, by presenting evidence from which the union’s improper motive in picketing the firm could be inferred. Specifically, Tremain presented evidence that for nine months, the union disputed the firm’s withdrawal from the RCEC and that the union’s articulated reason for picketing–to protest an alleged shortfall in company contributions to fringe benefit trust funds–was not credible.

NLRB was represented by Deborah Stefanik, Peoria, Ill. The union was represented by Terrance McGann of Whitfield & McGann. K. Reinke & Co. was represented by Joshua D. Holleb of Klein Dub & Holleb Ltd., Highland Park, Ill. [BNA 5/29/02]