non-verbal communications

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 11 17:35:18 UTC 2012

I saw my first monster rat in 2003 in midtown Manhattan. I mean the
inflatable kind.

A few years before that (I can't say how many, probably five or so), I saw
my first inflatable monster gorilla advertising a "monster" sale, possibly
in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Where a monster inflatable pigeon might have been expected by the unknowing.


On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      non-verbal communications
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > One reason those giant inflatable rats are so popular at picket lines
> > is that they are one way of getting around those antiquated labor laws.
>  From Wiki:
> > Inflatable rats, or union rats, are commonly used in the United States
> > of America by protesting or striking trade unions against their
> > employers or against nonunion contractors, serving as a sign of
> > opposition and to call public attention to companies employing
> > nonunion labor. Unions have been using them for years against
> > companies that employ nonunion labor, and employers have filed
> > lawsuits charging that the use of the giant inflatable rats
> > constituted unlawful picketing, and some courts have agreed. Though in
> > May 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that union
> > use of an inflatable monster rat is not considered an unlawful
> > activity when directed at a secondary employer. Also, in 2011 National
> > Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Sheet Metal Workers Local 15, 356 NLRB
> > No. 162 (2011) ruled that the inflatable rat did not constitute a
> > signal picket, but instead, constituted symbolic speech which is not
> > subject to secondary boycott rules. This holding allows the union not
> > only to place the inflatable rats at neutral entrances, but also to
> > place them at locations where the picketed company is absent. The
> > practice of using inflatable rats in union protests may have something
> > to do with the usage of the word "rat" to refer to nonunion contractors.
>     VS-)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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