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The Duck Dynasty Strike: A Humorous Lesson In Protected Concerted Activity?

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If you haven’t watched at least two episodes the “reality” TV show ‘Duck Dynasty’ in their entirety, you might not fully appreciate the humor in this clip (spoiler alert below).

However, in the episode clip below, the America’s new favorite family shows what happens when family members (who can be employees under the National Labor Relations Act) act in concert–which is protected under the NLRA (see below)–to protest their working conditions without a union.

via the National Labor Relations Board [in PDF]:

The Section 7 Rights. The rights of employees are set forth principally in Section 7 of the Act, which provides as follows:

    Sec. 7. Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in section 8(a)(3).

[snip]

The Right to Strike. Section 7 of the Act states in part, “Employees shall have the right. . . to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” Strikes are included among the concerted activities protected for employees by this section. Section 13 also concerns the right to strike. It reads as follows:

    Nothing in this Act, except as specifically provided for herein, shall be construed so as either to interfere with or impede or diminish in any way the right to strike, or to affect the limitations or qualifications on that right.

It is clear from a reading of these two provisions that: the law not only guarantees the right of employees to strike, but also places limitations and qualifications on the exercise of that right. See for example, restrictions on strikes in health care institutions, page 32.

Lawful and unlawful strikes. The lawfulness of a strike may depend on the object, or purpose, of the strike, on its timing, or on the conduct of the strikers. The object, or objects, of a strike and whether the objects are lawful are matters that are not always easy to determine. Such issues often have to be decided by the National Labor Relations Board. The consequences can be severe to striking employees and struck employers, involving as they do questions of reinstatement and backpay.

It must be emphasized that the following is only a brief outline. A detailed analysis of the law concerning strikes, and application of the law to all the factual situations that can arise in connection with strikes, is beyond the scope of this material. Employees and employers who anticipate being involved in strike action should proceed cautiously and on the basis of competent advice.

Spoiler Alert:

    Management (Willie) and his workers (his family) eventually settle with the help of a mediator (his mother).

Image Credit.

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