1) Was the picketing peaceful or tainted with violence?
• The picketing was peaceful.
2) At the time of this case, what states were mining coal on a closed-shop basis?
3) What is a closed shop?
• A shop in which persons are required to join a particular union as a precondition to employment and to remain union members for the duration of their employment.
• Section 8(a)(3) of the Taft-Hartley Act (1947) specifically outlawed the closed shop but did allow a collectively bargained agreement for a union shop, provided certain safeguards were met. Under the union shop provision, a union and an employer could agree that employees must join the union within thirty days of employment in order to retain their jobs.
4) Were the organizing efforts of the UMWA peaceful? Was this a good defense?
• The organizing efforts were peaceful, but it was not a good defense. The methods used to bring about a strike - coercing the employees to breach their current contracts (yellow-dog) of employment, misrepresentation, deceptive statements, and threats of pecuniary losses - were unlawful and malicious.
5) Did the court concede that workers had the right to form and join labor organizations?
• Yes. The Court freely conceded the right if the workers to form union, and to increase their membership by inviting others to join, providing the objectives of the union are proper and legitimate.
6) Did the Court uphold the yellow-dog contract?
• The court determined that the plaintiff was acting within its lawful rights in employing its men only upon terms of continuing non-membership win the UMWA.
• The court had repeatedly held that the employer is as free to make non-membership in a union a condition of employment as the working man is free to join the union.