Rats, Fatcats, and Corporate Pigs

October 31, 2014: A New York district judge ruled this week that Scabby the Rat is protected by the First Amendment. So are Fat Cats, inflatable corporate pigs and more. Check out our photo gallery and choose your favorite.

Employers have gone to court to try to deflate Scabby the Rat since he was first introduced by the Bricklayers Union in Illinois in 1990. But judges have repeatedly ruled that Scabby and other inflatable union protest tools are protected free speech.

The latest ruling, by Judge Joseph Bianco of the Eastern District of New York, rejected a claim by an asbestos contractor that using the rat was prohibited by a contract clause banning “disruptive activity”.

But the judge ruled that a protest with an inflatable prop like a rat or fatcat doesn’t fall under the same category of “disruptive activity” like strikes, boycotts, and pickets. 

“To hold otherwise would be to prohibit the union from engaging in any speech that is harmful to plaintiff’s business image,” the judge said.

Unions can and will continue to deploy inflatable Rats, Fat-cats, and Corporate Pigs to put the heat on employers who are violating workers’ rights. 

Which one is your favorite?

Scabby the Rat, a trailblazer for union protestors.

UPS Teamsters in New York Local 804 have a custom Fat-Cat choking a UPS worker.

Striking telephone workers at Fairpoint in Northern New England take their message about Corporate Fat-cats straight to the boss.

And for that special landlord or white collar employer, there’s always the Cockroach.

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Teamsters Say It's Time to Deliver on the Dream

TDU members are commemorating Martin Luther King Day with a national day of action to demand that UPS respect the day as a paid holiday and by telling employers it's time to deliver on the dream.

Lame-Duck IBT Leadership Appoints Tony Andrews to Replace Aloise

The IBT General Executive Board (GEB) has approved the recommendation by James Hoffa to appoint Tony Andrews as International VP for the Western Region, over the dissent of president-elect Sean O’Brien and nearly half of the GEB members.

View More News Posts