The Norris-LaGuardia Act was enacted in 1932 to curb the unbridled use of the federal injunction as a remedy in labor-management disputes. After enactment of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, labor unions grew and gained substantial collective bargaining power. Congressional policy then shifted to encouraging the effective enforcement of collective bargaining agreements between employers and unions. Subsequent to enactment of the LMRA, the no-strike obligation and arbitration procedures became standard bargained-for provisions. However, Judges soon refused to enjoin strikes in alleged violation of no-strike clauses, basing their decisions on the force of section 4. Employers contended that the more recent section 301 of the LMRA qualified section 4's prohibition against injunctions. The sympathy strike in alleged violation of a no-strike clause provided an arena for the Court's accommodation between the broad and competing provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act and the LMRA. In Buffalo Forge Co. v. United Steelworkers, the Supreme Court held that a sympathy strike in alleged violation of a no-strike clause could not be enjoined pending an arbitrator's decision on the legality of the strike. Furthermore, the Court held that the sympathy strike situation did not compel an accommodation between the NLA and the LMRA which would result in issuance of an injunction pending the arbitrator's determinations. The purpose of this Note is to examine this Supreme Court decision in light of the concurrent federal policies that not only encourage the enforcement of collective bargaining agreements through the grievance-arbitration procedures, but also seek to protect a worker's statutory right to engage in sympathy strikes unless that right has been bargained away by the contractual no-strike clause.
Note, Buffalo Forge Co. v. United Steelworkers: The Supreme Court Sanctions Sympathy Strikes, 25 Clev. St. L. Rev. 435 (1976)