West Virginia Law Review

Document Type

Student Note


The scope and variety of the... problems suggest that Section 8(b)(1) may plunge the Board [National Labor Relations Board] into a dismal swamp of uncertainty. Its vagueness alone, not to mention the broad interpretations put upon it in debates in Congress, encourages the filing of great numbers of charges.... A long period of uncertainty and heavy volume of litigations will be necessary before questions of interpretation can be solved. Professor Cox's prediction has proved to be accurate. The legal parameters of appropriate vis-à-vis inappropriate levying of disciplinary fines is still developing. This development is on a slow case by case basis plagued with unarticulated analytical standards, inconsistent legislative interpretation, and contradictory policy determinations. This article examines the legal parameters of union disciplinary actions timidly established by the labor laws, the courts, and the NLRB. Part I examines the ability of, and extent to which, unions may discipline their ranks. This grant of power stems from, and is held in check by, the federal labor law, although the particular remedies available to the disciplining union have been defined by the courts and the NLRB. Part II focuses on the operational constraints placed upon the union's ability to levy penalties, particularly court enforced fines, as delineated by the courts and the Board. Part III examines the operation of these developing concepts in similar factual situations with attention toward discerning operational rules of union conduct. And Part IV examines and summarizes the interface between the theoretical and practical constraints placed upon both unions and employees in exercising their respective statutory rights.



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