Components, Inc., 163 (1972)

National Labor Relations Board

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Components, Inc., 163 (1972)


Components, Inc. and Local Union No. 387, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Cases 28-CA-2350 and 28-RC-2176

May 26, 1972


On January 20, 1972, Trial Examiner James T.

Barker issued the attached Decision in this consolidated proceeding. Thereafter, the Respondent filed exceptions, a supporting brief, and an answering brief. General Counsel filed cross-exceptions.

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the National Labor Relations Board has delegated its authority in this proceeding to a three-member panel.

The Board has considered the record and the Trial Examiner's Decision in light of the exceptions and briefs and has decided to affirm the Trial Examiner's rulings, findings, and conclusions and to adopt his recommended Order,' except as modified below.

1. We agree with the Trial Examiner that Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Act by interrogating employees Field and McFadden as to their union preferences and sympathies, by requesting employees Luna, Janowicz, and Lamb to remove union insignia from their clothing, and by threatening employee Hurst with the loss of certain employee benefits in the event of unionization.

2. The Trial Examiner also found that statements made by various management officials to a number of employees regarding the possibility of plant closure and the loss of employee benefits in the event of unionization did not violate Section 8(a)(1) of the Act. The General Counsel excepted to this finding.

We find merit in the exception.

During the month prior to the Board-supervised election held among the employees in two of the four buildings comprising Respondent's operations in Phoenix, Arizona, management officials spoke to employees individually in the attempt to persuade them to reject the Union. In these conversations management repeatedly raised the spectre of plant closing and loss of employee benefits in the event of unionization. The conversations in question are as follows.

Two days prior to the election, Hank Lambermont, a products manager, initiated a conversation with employee Hurst. After informing her that he would instruct her when she could vote on the day of the election, he commented that the 'east building,' one of the two the Union was attempting to organize, was losing $2,000 a day. He went on to say that a union would force the Company to pay higher wages, and that if it did the plant would be closed down by the end of the year. He then listed several employee benefits and stated that the employees would 'probably' lose these if the Union came in.

The following day, Lambermont sp -)ke with employee Harrison. He told her that the Company would not pay higher wages even if the employees had a union because the Company could not afford them. He then noted that if the employees selected a union and the Company had to pay higher wages it would close because it was already losing $2,000 a day.

About 2 weeks before the election, William Hagan, a line supervisor, told employee Kellough that she should vote in the election, and then stated that the Company was losing $2,000 a day and was doing employees 'a favor' by staying open.

Contrary to the suggestions by these officials that Respondent was in desperate financial condition, about a week prior to the election, Jerry Belverud, a department manager, told employee Bowen that while Respondent had been prosperous, it could 'only do so much' for its employees, and that if employee demands on Respondent were any greater it might have to close its doors. These comments were preceded by his observation that Respondent had been forced to close a unionized plant in another area, and that he for one would not like to stand in an unemployment line.

About 1 week before the election, William Robertson, a products manager, told employee Kellough that if the Company...

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