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62 Tex. L. Rev. 111 (1983-1984)
Still As Strangers: Nonemployee Union Organizers on Private Commercial Property

handle is hein.journals/tlr62 and id is 133 raw text is: Note
Still as Strangers: Nonemployee Union
Organizers on Private Commercial
I. Introduction
On July 23, 1953, Georgia Sukenis, an organizer for the Interna-
tional Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, stood in the private parking
lot of a manufacturing plant and began to distribute union literature to
employees reporting for work. After she had given away two pam-
phlets, an officer from the Holdenville, Oklahoma, police department
arrested her for trespassing. Sukenis was taken to the police station,
fined twenty dollars, and released.'
In NLRB v. Babcock & Wilcox Co. ,2 the United States Supreme
Court held that her arrest and exclusion from the parking lot was not
an unfair labor practice. For a unanimous3 Court, Justice Reed wrote:
It is our judgment ... that an employer may validly post his
property against nonemployee distribution of union literature if
reasonable efforts by the union through other available channels
of communication will enable it to reach the employees with its
message .... 4
This Note examines the history of the alternative channels of com-
munication analysis announced in Babcock. In the twenty-five years
since its original application, the Babcock rule has been applied by the
courts and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board)
to exclude virtually all nonemployee organizational activity from pri-
vate commercial property. The Board and the courts often explain the
application of Babcock as a process of balancing or accommodating the
property rights of employers and the organizational rights of employ-
ees. This Note argues that in each situation in which the Babcock prin-
1. Ms. Sukenis' unhappy encounter with the law of trespass is recounted in detail in Seam-
prufe, Inc., 109 N.L.R.B. 24, 30 (1954), enforcement denied, NLRB v. Seamprufe, Inc., 222 F.2d
858 (10th Cir. 1955), affdsub nom. NLRB v. Babcock & Wilcox Co., 351 U.S. 105 (1956).
2. 351 U.S. 105 (1956).
3. Justice Harlan did not participate.
4. 351 U.S. at 112. An employer forfeits his right to exclude nonemployee union organizers
if his notice. . . discriminate[s] against the union by allowing other distribution. Id


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