Scabby The Rat, Union Protest Icon, Survives Legal Challenge From Trump Appointee
Scabby the Rat lives to see another day! The beloved inflatable rodent, a fixture at U.S. labor protests for decades, survived near-extermination Wednesday when the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the use of Scabby in labor disputes was legal.
The case before the NLRB could have effectively banned Scabby’s presence outside businesses on the grounds that the rat was so off-putting and intimidating as to be “unlawfully coercive.” But the board ultimately found in favor of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, which had deployed the 12-foot rat outside an Indiana RV trade show in 2018.
The decision appears to put an end to the war against Scabby started under former President Donald Trump. The Trump-appointed NLRB general counsel, Peter Robb, had wanted to ban Scabby’s use under certain circumstances. Unions were concerned not just for their beloved Scabby but for broader First Amendment rights during labor protests. Read more here, and long live Scabby!