E. L. Rice and Co. of Southgate, Inc., 746 (1974)

Docket Number:07-C-10806
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E. L. Rice and Company of Southgate, Inc. and Retail Store Employees Union Local No. 876 , Retail Clerks International Association, AFL-CIO. Case 7CA- 10806

September 30, 1974 DECISION AND ORDER

By CHAIRMAN MILLER AND MEMBERS FANNING AND PENELLO

On June 25, 1974, Administrative Law Judge Abraham H. Mailer issued the attached Decision in this proceeding. Thereafter, Respondent filed exceptions and a supporting brief, and the General Counsel and Charging Party filed answering briefs in support of the Administrative Law Judge's Decision.

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 attached Decision in light of the exceptions and briefs I and has decided to affirm the rulings, findings, and conclusions of the Administrative Law Judge and to adopt his recommended Order.

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 Administrative Law Judge and hereby orders that Respondent, E. L. Rice and Company of Southgate, Inc., Southgate, Michigan, its officers, agents, successors, and assigns, shall take the action set forth in the said recommended Order.

1 Respondent's request for oral argument is hereby denied as the record, exceptions, and briefs adequately present the issues and positions of the parties DECISION

ABRAHAM H . MALLER, Administrative Law Judge: On February 5, 1974, the Regional Director for Region 7 of the National Labor Relations Board, herein called the Board, issued on behalf of the General Counsel a complaint against E. L. Rice and Company of Southgate , Inc., herein called the Respondent. The complaint was issued upon a charge filed on December 27, 1973, by Retail Store Employees Union Local No. 876, Retail Clerks International Association, AFL-CIO, herein called the Union. Essentially, the complaint alleges that on or about October 17, 1973, the Respondent signed an agreement recognizing the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of Respondent's employees in the following appropriate unit:

All employees of the Respondent employed at its store located at 16700 West Fort, Southgate, Michigan; but excluding warehouse employees, clerical employees, managerial employees, and guards and supervisors as defined in the Act; that since on or about December 5, 1973, and at all times since then, Respondent has refused, and continues to refuse, to bargain collectively with the Union as the exclusive bargaining representative of all the employees in said unit, by refusing to recognize and bargain with the Union and by repudiating the recognition agreement, in violation of Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended (29 U.S.C Sec. 151, et seq.), herein called the Act. In its duly filed answer, the Respondent denied any violations of the Act. Affirmatively, the Respondent alleged that the execution of the recognition agreement was induced by the false and fraudulent representations of the Union's representatives; that at no time has any credible evidence been provided to the Respondent that the Union enjoyed the support of a majority of the Respondent's employees in the proposed bargaining unit ; that prior to, and at all times after, December 5, 1973, the Respondent has had real, good-faith doubts as to whether the Union had majority support among Respondent's employees in the proposed bargaining unit when the recognition agreement was executed.

Pursuant to notice, a hearing was held before me at Detroit, Michigan, on March 8 and 11, 1974. Both parties were represented at the hearing and were afforded full opportunity to be heard, to introduce relevant evidence, to present oral argument, and to file briefs with me. Briefs were filed by both parties on or before April 11, 1974. Upon consideration of the entire record I and the briefs, and upon my observation of each of the witnesses, I make the following:

FINDINGS OF FACT

I THE BUSINESS OF THE RESPONDENT

Respondent is, and has been at all times material herein, a corporation duly organized under, and existing by virtue of, the laws of the State of Michigan. At all times material herein, Respondent has maintained its only office and place of business at 16700 West Fort Street in the city of Southgate, and State of Michigan, herein called the Southgate store. Respondent is, and has been at all times material herein, engaged in the operation of a retail department store in Southgate, Michigan. From the period starting on or about July 21, 1973, when the Southgate store opened, Respondent has been making sales in an amount that, if projected on an annual basis, would amount to in excess of $500,000, of which in excess of $100,000 would be in goods and materials that would be shipped to Respondent's Southgate, Michigan, store directly from points outside the State of Michigan. Accordingly, I find and conclude that i The General Counsel has filed a motion to correct the record in certain particulars No opposition to said motion has been received Upon consideration of the motion, it is hereby ordered that said motion be and it is hereby granted and that the record be corrected as requested.

213 NLRB No. 99

E. L. RICE AND COMPANY Respondent is now and has been at all times material herein an employer engaged in commerce within the meaning of Section 2(2), (6), and (7) of the Act, and that it will effectuate the policies of the Board to assert jurisdiction here.

II THE LABOR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED

Retail Store Employees Union Local No. 876, Retail Clerks International Association, AFL-CIO, is now, and has been at all times material herein, a labor organization within the meaning of Section 2(5) of the Act.

Ill THE ISSUE Having voluntarily agreed to recognize the Union as the collective-bargaining representative of its employees in an appropriate unit, may the Respondent repudiate such agreement absent a showing that the Union did not represent a majority of the employees in said unit? IV THE ALLEGED UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

A. The Appropriate Unit The complaint alleges, the Respondent's answer admits, and I find that the following constitutes a unit appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining within the meaning of Section 9(b) of the Act:

All employees of the Respondent employed at its store located 16700 West Fort Street, Southgate, Michigan;

but excluding warehouse employees, office clerical employees, managerial employees, and guards and supervisors as defined in the Act.

B. The Facts Early in October 1973, Union President Horace Brown and Business Representative Joseph Ferrante met with Norman Allan, president of the Respondent.' Brown and Ferrante told Allan that the Union represented a majority of the employees at the Southgate store. Allan replied that he had no objection as long as the Union represented...

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