The public policy of the state as to employment relations in the furtherance of which sections 48-901 to 48-912 are passed is declared to be as follows:
(1) It recognizes that there are three major interests involved, namely: That of the public, the employee, and the employer. These three interests are to a considerable extent interrelated. It is the policy of the state to protect and promote each of these interests with due regard to the situation and to the rights of the others.
(2) Industrial peace, regular and adequate income for the employee, and uninterrupted production of goods and services are promotive of all of these interests. They are largely dependent upon the maintenance of fair, friendly and mutually satisfactory employment relations and the availability of suitable machinery for the peaceful adjustment of whatever controversies may arise. It is recognized that certain employers, including farmers and farmer cooperatives, in addition to their general employer problems, face special problems arising from perishable commodities and seasonal production which require adequate consideration. It is also recognized that whatever may be the rights of disputants with respect to each other in any controversy regarding employment relations, they should not be permitted, in the conduct of their controversy, to intrude directly into the primary rights of third parties to earn a livelihood, transact business and engage in the ordinary affairs of life by any lawful means and free from molestation, interference, restraint or coercion.
(3) Negotiation of terms and conditions of work should result from voluntary agreement between employer and employee. For the purpose of such negotiation an employee has the right, if he desires, to associate with others in organizing and bargaining collectively through representatives of his own choosing, without intimidation or coercion from any source.
(4) It is the policy of the state, in order to preserve and promote the interests of the public, the employee, and the employer alike, to establish standards of fair conduct in employment relations and to provide a convenient and expeditious method through the courts by which these interests may have their respective rights and obligations adjudicated. While limiting individual and group rights of aggression and defense, the state substitutes processes of justice for the more primitive methods of trial by combat.
As used in sections 48-901 to 48-912, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) Labor organization shall mean any organization, association, or group of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, whether incorporated or unincorporated, which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work;
(2) Labor dispute shall mean any controversy between an employer and the majority of his or her employees concerning the right or process or details of collective bargaining or the designation of an employee representative. Any organization with which either the employer or such majority is affiliated may be considered a party to the labor dispute;
(3) Employer shall mean a person who engages the services of an employee, and includes any person acting on behalf of an employer within the scope of his or her authority, express or implied, but shall not include the state or any political subdivision thereof, or any labor organization or anyone acting in behalf of such organization other than when it is acting as an employer in fact;
(4) Person shall include one or more individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, or receivers; and
(5) Secondary boycott shall mean combining or conspiring to cause or threaten to cause injury to one with whom no labor dispute exists, whether by (a) withholding patronage, labor, or other beneficial business intercourse, or by intentionally and unreasonably hindering or delaying the same, (b) picketing, (c) refusing to handle, install, use, or work on particular materials, equipment, or supplies, (d) hindering or preventing, by threats, intimidation, force, coercion or sabotage, the obtaining, use, or disposition of materials, equipment, or services, or (e) by any other unlawful means, in order to bring him or her against his or her will into a concerted plan to coerce or inflict damage upon another.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in a secondary boycott as herein defined, notwithstanding the provisions of any contract to the contrary; Provided, that nothing herein shall prevent sympathetic strikes in support of those in similar occupations working for other employers in the same craft.
Employees shall have the right of self-organization and the right to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in lawful, concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection; and such employees shall also have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities.
Any person injured in his business, property or person by reason of any unlawful act as defined in section 48-903, may sue therefor in the district courts of this state, and shall recover the damages sustained by him, trebled, his reasonable attorneys' fees and the cost of the litigation.
Any person injured or threatened with injury in his business, property or person by reason of any commission or threat of an unlawful act as provided in section 48-903 may, if the remedy provided by section 48-905 be inadequate, obtain injunctive relief, including temporary relief pending trial upon showing of an emergency, in the district courts of this state in accordance with the statutes, rules and practices applicable in other civil cases.
The remedies herein provided are cumulative and shall be in addition to any other remedies, civil or criminal, now or hereafter provided by law.
An action under sections 48-901 to 48-912 may be brought in the district court of the county where the cause of action or some part thereof arose, or in the county where the defendant labor organization, or some one of the defendant labor organizations, maintains an office, or in which its agents are engaged in acting for or representing employees or in the county where the plaintiff resides and summons may be served upon the defendant labor organization or some one of the defendant labor organizations.
In any action brought under sections 48-901 to 48-912, any labor organization may be sued in its own name and without identification of any of the persons who are its members.
Any individual, association, or corporation that shall violate any of the provisions of sections 48-901 to 48-912 shall be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, nothing contained in sections 48-901 to 48-912 shall be construed so as to interfere with or impede or diminish in any way the right to strike or the right of individuals to work; nor shall anything in sections 48-901 to 48-912 be so construed as to invade unlawfully the right to freedom of speech.
It is the intention of the Legislature that sections 48-901 to 48-912 shall operate according to their terms to the full extent permitted by the Constitutions of the State of Nebraska and of the United States of America. In the event any section or part of sections 48-901 to 48-912, or the application thereof to any person or situation shall be held unconstitutional, sections 48-901 to 48-912 shall nevertheless continue in full effect with respect to all parts and applications thereof not so held to be unconstitutional.