Local 702, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Petitioner,
National Labor Relations Board, Respondent, and Consolidated Communications, doing business as Illinois Consolidated Telephone Company, Intervening-Respondent.
May 16, 2019
Petition for Review of an Order of the National Labor
Relations Board. Nos. 14-CA-094626 and 14-CA-101495.
Bauer, Hamilton, and St. Eve, Circuit Judges.
Hudson was a long time employee of Consolidated
Communications ("Consolidated"), who was discharged
due to strike-related misconduct. Following an appeal to the
D.C. Circuit Court, the National Labor Relations Board (the
"Board") issued a supplemental decision concluding
that Consolidated did not violate § 8(a)(3) of the
National Labor Relations Act (the "Act"), as
codified at 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(3). For the reasons that
follow, we affirm.
December, 2012, Consolidated was negotiating with Local 702,
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO (the
"Union"), after the expiration of a
collective-bargaining agreement. When negotiations stalled,
the Union ordered a strike. Hudson, who had worked for
Consolidated for 39 years, was a Union member and
participated in the strike.
The Offending Conduct
morning of December 10, 2012, Hudson was driving to the
Consolidated facility to participate in the picketing of its
corporate headquarters when she saw a company truck on Route
16. She decided to follow the truck so she could set up an
ambulatory picket at the job site as encouraged by the Union.
Hudson was followed by another striking employee, Brenda
Weaver, in a second vehicle.
they caught up with the Consolidated truck, Weaver passed
Hudson and the truck in the passing lane before pulling in
front of the truck. Next, Hudson pulled alongside the truck
and drove in the passing lane parallel to the truck until she
accelerated and drove parallel to Weaver who was in front of
the truck. After some time, traffic began to stack up behind
Hudson who was driving parallel to Weaver.
accelerated, passed Weaver and pulled into the right lane to
allow traffic to pass. At this time the Consolidated truck
switched lanes, joined the line of passing cars and attempted
to overtake Weaver and Hudson. Before it could pass Hudson,
she changed lanes and intentionally blocked the Consolidated
truck from passing. Afterwards, the Consolidated truck
returned to the right lane behind Weaver where it remained
for approximately a mile before it exited Route 16 to avoid
any further incident. The entire incident took place at
December 13, 2012, after the strike ended, Hudson was
suspended pending an investigation of her conduct on December
10, and for two other strike-related incidents-neither of
which are at issue here. On December 17, 2012, at a meeting
between her and Consolidated where her Union representative
was present, she was terminated for her dangerous vehicular
activity in connection with the strike.
NLRB Hearing and Appeal
Hudson's dismissal, the Union filed a claim alleging
Consolidated violated the Act by terminating Hudson for
protected conduct. The Board's Acting General Counsel
filed a complaint and an administrative law judge
("ALJ") held a hearing. The ALJ agreed with the
Union and determined that none of the conduct cited warranted
Hudson's discharge. The ALJ further found that
Hudson's highway conduct was not egregious enough ...