Jim Robbins Seat Belt Co., 76 (1967)
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Jim Robbins Seat Belt Company and Helen M.Hammond. Case 7-CA-5744 August 17, 1967 DECISION AND ORDER BY CHAIRMAN MCCULLOCH AND MEMBERS BROWN AND JENKINS On May 19, 1967, Trial Examiner Frederick U. Reel issued his Decision in the above-entitled case, finding that the Respondent had engaged in and was engaging in certain unfair labor practices within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, and recommending that it cease and desist therefrom and take certain affirmative action, as set forth in the attached Trial Examiner's Decision. Thereafter, only the Respondent filed exceptions to the Trial Examiner's decision, and a supporting brief. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the National Labor Relations Board has delegated its powers in connection with this case to a threemember panel. The Board has reviewed the rulings of the Trial Examiner made at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed. The Board has considered the Trial Examiner's Decision, the exceptions and brief, and the entire record in the case, and hereby adopts the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Trial Examiner. ORDER Pursuant to Section 10(c) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the National Labor Relations Board adopts as its Order the Recommended Order of the Trial Examiner and hereby orders that Respondent, Jim Robbins Seat Belt Company, Ypsilanti, Michigan, its officers, agents, successors, and assigns, shall take the action set forth in the Trial Examiner's Recommended Order, as herein modified: Delete from paragraph 2(d) that part thereof which reads 'to be furnished' and substitute therefor 'on forms provided.' TRIAL EXAMINER'S DECISION STATEMENT OF THE CASE FREDERICK U. REEL, Trial Examiner: This case, heard at Detroit, Michigan, on March 28, 1967, pursuant to a I Apparently, this was misinformation, for the 'temporary' sewers received a flat rate of $1 50, and only the regular sewers like Hammond were paid piece rates if they exceeded production charge filed October 13, 1966, and a complaint issued January 27, 1967, presents the question whether Respondent, herein called the Company, threatened to discharge employees if they engaged in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection, and did discharge the Charging Party for so doing. Upon the entire record, including my observation of the witnesses, and after due consideration of the brief filed by the Company, and the oral argument of General Counsel, I make the following: FINDINGS OF FACT I THE BUSINESS OF THE COMPANY The Company, a Michigan corporation, maintains a plant at Ypsilanti, Michigan, where it manufactures automobile seat belts, and from which it ships annually to points outside the State products valued in excess of $50,000. The Company is an employer engaged in commerce within the meaning of Section 2(6) and (7) of the Act. II. THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES A. Hammond's Discharge On October 12, 1966, the Company discharged Helen Hammond, an employee engaged in machine sewing on manual and automatic machines. The Company had employed Hammond from December 1962 to October 1965, when she voluntarily quit, and from May 1966 to her discharge the following October. From September 8 to 27, 1966, she was laid off for lack of work. The principal issue in the case is whether her discharge in October 1966 was because she engaged in concerted activity protected by the Act or because she was insubordinate, refused to follow work assignments, and used profanity in the plant. Early in October Hammond and her fellow sewers were working on the automatic machines. At this time, her foreman, Herchel Huff, announced to these employees that they would go back to the manual machines and that certain employees on the production line would be brought in as a temporary measure to work on the General Motors order on the automatic machines. Huff explained that this move was necessary to prevent a layoff of these production line workers. During the next few days Hammond and her fellow sewers discussed among themselves what they regarded as an injustice, namely, that according to their information the girls temporarily transferred to the automatic machines were being paid $1.50 per hour, while the Hammond group was paid only $1.37, with both groups making additional piece-rate earnings if they met production standards. I On Tuesday, October 11, Hammond and her fellow employees heard that the 'temporary' girls were continuing on the automatic machines, and were now working on Ford seat belts, having finished the General Motors order. Hammond and several others decided that this was unfair to them, discussed the possibility of a walkout, and considered speaking to Plant Manager Hopka about the 167 NLRB No. 9 JIM ROBBINS SEAT BELT CO. matter. At least one of the sewers, Faye Allen, told Hammond that if Hammond wanted to speak to Hopka, Allen would...
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