MANAGEMENT: Speech Freed

"In the history of jurisprudence in the U.S. everyone has been equal under the law until the Wagner Act dispelled this privilege."

That was what Big Bill Knudsen said in 1938. He and most other businessmen were outraged because an employer, if he so much as remarked that he did not like unions, could promptly be hauled before the National Labor Relations Board and charged with unfair labor practices. But unions could say anything they felt about management, short of libel.

Last week in Philadelphia the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did something to correct this one-sided conversational rule. Before...