Boich Mining Company v. National Labor Relations Board

955 F.2d 431 (1992)

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Boich Mining Company v. National Labor Relations Board

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
955 F.2d 431 (1992)

Facts

Boich Mining Company (Boich) (plaintiff) operated a coal mine 31 miles from a coal mine operated by Aloe Coal Company (Aloe). Aloe Holding Company wholly owned both companies, but each had separate management. The companies ran separate operations with no interchange of employees or supervisors and sold coal to different principal customers. However, Boich purchased equipment from Aloe in arm’s-length transactions, and Boich and Aloe combined some coal in a washing-and-blending process, each taking a proportionate share of the final product based on the amount of coal each contributed. The United Mine Workers (UMW) represented workers at both mines under separate collective-bargaining agreements (CBAs). When Boich’s CBA expired, Boich and the UMW agreed on a new CBA. But when Aloe’s CBA expired, Aloe and the UMW could not agree on a new CBA, and Aloe’s workers went on strike. After three weeks, the UMW called on Boich workers to strike in support of the workers striking at Aloe. Boich claimed the UMW called the second strike to prevent Boich from continuing regular business with Aloe and filed an unfair-labor-practice (ULP) charge against UMW claiming the second strike violated National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provisions that prohibited strikes against a neutral employer. After a hearing, an administrative-law judge found that Boich and Aloe were a single or allied employer and that the second strike was a permissible extension of the original strike against Aloe. Because Boich was not a neutral employer, the judge dismissed Boich’s complaint. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (defendant) affirmed, relying on evidence of common ownership and interrelated operations. Boich appealed to the Sixth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Timbers, J.)

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