Nelson J.A. also found that the non-legal work exemption no longer applied because “the parties have completely abandoned the framework of collective agreements” and “as soon as the union fails to fulfill its role as a bargaining partner for its members. . . . The protection afforded to employers by the non-legal work exemption is removed” (1040). In agreement with McNeil, Nelson J.A. found that the dissolution of the union ended the collective relationship and thus ended the absence of work. When the union ceased to exist, workers gave up their labour and protection rights and had access to antitrust legislation and its protection from trade restrictions. The 8th circle of a divided body overturned the district court`s decision and overturned the injunction, pointing out that a “labour dispute” did not require the existence of a union (Brady). The court did not consider the existence of the non-legal work exemption, but found that the exclusion of interests (regardless of its effect on the exemption) “did not suddenly disappear [create conflict] simply because the players were elected to pursue the dispute through cartel disputes rather than collective bargaining” (673). Although the prevailing view was that the norris-LaGuardia act protection was exclusively intended to protect unions and workers, the 8th Circle took a holistic view of the law and considered that its safeguards were bilateral and protected both the behaviour of workers and employers. The court therefore found that Norris-LaGuardia “deprives a federal court of the power to issue a remand order prohibiting a party to a conflict from locking out its employees” (680-81).

The parties eventually closed the case, the players formed the NFLPA as a union, and the two parties entered into a new collective bargaining agreement. The NLRB ultimately concluded that this narrow view of the lockout led to an imbalance of bargaining power that shifted the balance too far in favour of workers. The Supreme Court (p. 212) extended the authorized use of the lockout in NLRB v. Truck Drivers Local Union No. 44, so that employers could lock up striking employees to push them back to work. The Supreme Court`s agreement on this “defensive lockout” signalled an end to the presumption of illegality of lockouts and replaced it with a more symmetrical view of labour law, which was supposed to reconcile the interests of management and work.

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