Green Colonial Furnace Company Ard International Union Of Mine, Mill And Smelter Workers, 161 (1943)

National Labor Relations Board

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Green Colonial Furnace Company Ard International Union Of Mine, Mill And Smelter Workers, 161 (1943)

In the Matter of GREEN COLONIAL FURNACE COMPANY ard INTERNATIONAL UNION OF MINE, MILL AND SMELTER WORKERS Case No. C-2661.--Decided August 25, 19/3 DECISION AND ORDER On June 28, 1943, the Trial Examiner issued his Intermediate Report in the above-entitled proceeding, finding that the respondent had engaged in and was engaging in certain unfair labor practices, and recommending that it cease and desist from the unfair labor practices found and take certain affirmative action, as set out in the copy of the Intermediate Report attached hereto. Thereafter the respondent and the Union filed exceptions to the Intermediate Report and supporting briefs. Oral argument was held before the Board in Washington, D. C., on August 3, 1943. The Board has considered the rulings of the Trial Examiner at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial errors were committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed.

The Board has considered the Intermediate Report, the briefs and exceptions, and the entire record in the case, and hereby adopts the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Trial Examiner, with the exceptions and qualifications noted below:

1. The Trial Examiner considered two anti-union statements of Plant Superintendent Woodyard, deceased at the time of the hearing, as part of the totality of the respondent's conduct which violated the Act. The respondent contends that Woodyard's statements should not be considered because they are too remote from the events which form the basis of the present proceedings. It appears that these statements were uttered by Woodyard in 1936 and 1939, and are not directly related to any of the conduct set forth in the complaint, which alleges the commission of unfair labor practices only during 1943.

Moreover, the record indicates a definite hiatus from 1939 to 1943 in any conduct violative of the Act. Under all the circumstances, we are of the opinion that Woodyard's statements are not properly a part of the unfair labor practices involved in this proceeding, and we therefore reverse the Trial Examiner's findings to that extent.

The statements, however, are clearly anti-union, and we believe that they are properly cognizable to establish the respondent's background of hostility to unions.

2. The Trial Examiner found, and we agree, that the respondent interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act. He based this finding upon the totality of the respondent's conduct as evidenced, among other things, by two speeches of President Percival addressed to the assembled employees in February and March 1943, shortly after the commencement of the Union's organizational campaign. The respondent contends that the statements contained in these speeches were not coercive but were mere expressions of opinion protected by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and hence that they can form no basis for a finding of a violation of the Act. There is no merit to this contention. In both speeches Percival emphasized that it was not necesary for the employees to join a union in order to obtain all possible benefits from the respondent and in effect invited the employees to continue to bargain on an individual basis as in the past; in the course of the February speech Percival stated, 'If you think you can get an outside bargaining agency to come in here and do better with me than you can, you don't know me'; and at the conclusion of the March speech he threatened to close the plant if the employees were not satisfied with existing conditions. Obviously, such statements are no mere expressions of opinion but are...

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