The Thirty Years War With Denver Building
Eissinger, James R.
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This 1982 article discusses the law surrounding NLRB v. Denver Building & Construction Trades Council, a decision that trade unions have been trying to overturn for over thirty years, as well as the effect of Local 761, IUE v. NLRB (General Electric) on Denver Building. Denver Building involved a construction union’s attempt to picket a common situs involving a general contractor and subcontractors. The Court found the union strike to be a violation of the secondary boycott provision of the Taft-Hartley Act since its object was to force the general contractor to cease doing business with the subcontractors. The secondary boycott provision, which was amended in section 8(b)(4)(B) of the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959, was intended to preserve a union’s right to primary picketing and striking while prohibiting secondary boycotts. This article attempts to develop guidelines for interpreting this provision and distinguishing between primary and secondary activity. Although they were not applied in Denver Building, Professor Eissinger posits that the Moore Dry Dock principles as well as the reserved gate doctrine laid out in General Electric would justify a relaxation in the rigidity of the Denver Building rule.