loader
Page is loading...
Print Logo Logo
Scabby the rat

Scabby The Rat On The Chopping Block


For decades, unions have used Scabby the Rat as a protest symbol. The giant inflatable rat is most commonly used by unions to protest on job sites where contractors are employing non-union labor. The use of the rat has come under scrutiny over the years, as courts and the NLRB have weighed in on whether the rat is unlawfully coercive secondary picketing, or whether it is a lawful exercise of a union’s free speech rights.

NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb has advocated for the former interpretation of Scabby’s legal status. Robb has signaled that Scabby’s days are numbered and the current NLRB seems to be moving in that direction. 

This year, however an ALJ ruled that the use of the 12-foot inflatable rat was not coercive where it was used to protest alleged safety violations of a secondary employer. The NLRB announced this week that it is inviting public briefs in that case, asking the public if it should restrict the use of Scabby. This Board has taken the same approach in the past, soliciting public briefing before issuing employer-friendly decisions. A decision could come next year on Scabby’s fate. 


RELATED ARTICLES

Unions by the Numbers: 2022 Edition

January 24, 2022 | Labor Relations, Unions and Union Membership, Union Organizing

NLRB and Department of Labor Join Forces: What Does This Mean for Employers?

January 19, 2022 | Labor Relations, Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board

New Test for a New Year? Labor Board Reconsiders Independent Contractor Status

January 4, 2022 | Labor Relations, National Labor Relations Board, Union Organizing

Union Organizing Alert: Micro-Units May Be Back at the Labor Board

December 16, 2021 | Labor Relations, Union Organizing, National Labor Relations Board

Abruzzo's Tweets Take Aim at Employer-Friendly Labor Law Precedent

December 8, 2021 | Labor Relations, National Labor Relations Board, Unions and Union Membership

Subscribe

Do you want to receive more valuable insights directly in your inbox? Visit our subscription center and let us know what you're interested in learning more about.

View Subscription Center
RELATED TOPICS
union protest
NLRB
Trending Connect
We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to use cookies.