Labor arbitrator and Professor of Law, Stanford University. This article is based on portions of the forthcoming book, "Black Workers in White Unions, The Role of Law and Private Initiative." Copyright of this article is retained by Professor Gould.
This fall the Supreme Court will hear argument in a case presenting numerous and important issues involving the sometimes competing policies of federal labor law and civil rights legislation. The case is an appeal for the Circuit Court of Appeals from the District of Columbia, NLRB v. Western Addition Community Organization (W.A.C.O.).
The issues presented relate to the conflict between the right of minority group workers and their allies to engage in self-help so as to protest racial injustice. They involve protest against unlawful discrimination through picket lines and leafletting, on the one hand, and, on the other, the Taft-Hartley policies favoring industrial peace and the resolution of disputes through impartial arbitration,^ with the union playing a prominent role as exclusive bargaining representative.