Secondary Boycott

Posted in Human Resource Terms, Total Reads: 411
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Definition: Secondary Boycott

Secondary Boycott is a kind of ban by members of a trade union where the union tries to force a neutral third party (usually their employer) to stop purchasing products, performing services or doing business with the target company which is the company involved in a dispute with the union, in order for the target company to give in to the demands of the union.

In other words it is like harming one person by influencing others to harm him.

An example of a secondary boycott can be like when the clerks of a bakery chain are on strike and they coerce the delivery drivers union of the supplier of the bakery to not supply goods to any of the bakery’s stores then it will be secondary boycott.


In this case the third party chosen by the union is usually a client, supplier or some party with whom the target is directly involved in some business activity. Labor unions involve in secondary boycott mostly when less intense actions against the employer have been ineffective in giving them results. There are two main forms of secondary boycott. In one form the union forces the consumers not to buy products from the company in another form the union dissuades employees of another business from working for the company. Secondary boycott mostly has a bad effect on the neutral third party which gets dragged in the dispute between the direct target company and the union.


Secondary boycotts are illegal when it is organized by a labor union under the National Labor Relations Act. The Taft Hartley Act and the Landrum – Griffin Act state secondary boycotts to be illegal.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Secondary Boycott along with its overview.

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