Commonwealth Plastic Company And International Union, Plaything And Novelty Workers Of America (cio), 1129 (1941)

Docket Number:C-1779
Party Name:1151
 
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In the Matter of COMMONWEALTH PLASTIC COMPANY and INTERNATIONAL UNION, PLAYTHING AND NOVELTY WORKERS OF AMERICA (CIO) Case No. C-1779.--Decided August 26, 1941 Jurisdiction: plastic products manufacturing industry.

Unfair Labor Practices Interference, Restraint, and Coercion: questioning employees concerning union activities and identity of union leaders; expressing preference for one type of labor organization over another; advising employee to rejoin labor organization recognized by the respondent.

Company-Dominated Union: charges of, dismissed.

Discrim4nation: charges of, dismissed.

Remedial Orders: employer ordered to cease and desist from engaging in unfair labor practices.

Mr. Benjaminn E. Gordon, for the Board.

Salny & Salny, by Mr. Samuel M. Salny, of Fitchburg, Mass., for the respondent.

Mr. Sam Sandberg, of Clinton, Mass., and Grant & Anzoff, by Mr. Sidney S. Grant, of Boston, Mass., for the Union.

Dyer & Comerford, by Mr. Richard Comerford, of Leominster,

Mass., for the Council.

Miss Fannie M. Boyls, of counsel to the Board.

DECISION AND ORDER STATEMENT OF THE CASE Upon a third amended charge duly filed on July 1, 1940, by International Union, Plaything and Novelty Workers of America (CIO), herein called the Union, the National Labor Relations Board, herein called the Board, by the Regional Director for the First Region (Boston, Massachusetts), issued its complaint dated July 1, 1940, against Commonwealth Plastic Company, Leominster, Massachusetts, herein called the respondent, alleging that the respondent had engaged in and was engaging in unfair labor practices affecting commerce, within the meaning of Section 8 (1) and (2) and Section 2 (6) and (7) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449, 1129 herein called the Act. Copies of the complaint and the third amended charge accompanied by notices of hearing were duly served upon the respondent, the Union, and Workers Council of Commonwealth Plastic Company, herein generally called the Council, a labor organization alleged in the complaint to be dominated by the respondent.

Upon a fourth amended charge duly filed on August 6, 1940, by the Union, the Board by the Acting Regional Director for the First Region issued its Amendment to Complaint, dated August 7, 1940, additionally alleging that the respondent had engaged in and was engaging in unfair labor practices affecting commerce within the meaning of Section 8 (3) and Section 2 (6) and (7) of the Act.

Service of the Amendment to Complaint, notice of hearing, and a copy of the fourth amended charge was acknowledged by the respondent in a stipulation filed at the opening of the hearing on August 8, 1940, which stipulation was at the same time joined in orally by counsel for the Council and a representative of the Union.

With respect to the unfair labor practices, the complaint, as amended, alleges in substance: (1) that from about April 1, 1940, the respondent engaged in threats, questionings, and other statements to discourage membership in the Union; (2) that on or about April 22, 1940, the respondent dominated, interfered with the formation and at all times since with the administration of the Council and contributed financial and other support thereto by (a) instigating and participating in its formation; (b) suggesting its desirability; (c) assisting it in securing memberships and permitting the conduct of Council business on company time and property; (d) making known its opposition to the Union; (e) on or about May 10, 1940, granting recognition to the Council as the collective bargaining agent of its employees exclusive of clerical and supervisory employees; (f) on or about May 11, 1940, entering into a written contract with the Council concerning wages, hours, and working conditions; and (3) that on or about June 24, 1940, the respondent laid off or discharged Clarence Girouard and refused and refuses to reinstate him because of his union membership and activity.

On July 30, 1940, the respondent filed an answer admitting certain allegations with respect to its business and admitting that the Council is a labor organization, but denying the alleged unfair labor practices.

At the opening of the hearing, it was stipulated that the new matter added by the Amendment to Complaint be deemed generally denied by the respondent. On July 12, 1940, the respondent filed a motion for specifications with respect to certain allegations in the complaint.

Pursuant to notice, a hearing was held on August 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, and 21, 1940, at Leominster, Massachusetts, before Samuel 1131 H. Jaffee, the Trial Examiner duly designated by the Chief Trial Examiner. At the opening of the hearing the Council filed a motion to intervene which was allowed as to the allegation of violation of Section 8 (2) of the Act. The Board, the respondent, and the Council were represented by counsel and the Union by a representative;

all participated in the hearing.1 Full opportunity to be heard, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to introduce evidence bearing on the issues was afforded all the parties. At the beginning of the hearing, the respondent's motion for specifications was denied, and in lieu of granting such specifications the phrase 'and by other acts and conduct' was stricken from the complaint as amended. At the conclusion of the Board's case, counsel for the Board moved to add a paragraph to the complaint as amended alleging certain formal matter. The motion was allowed. Counsel for the respondent moved to restrict the effect of certain evidence and to dismiss certain portions of the complaint as amended. These motions were denied. At the onuien- of-the-hearing -eounsel for the Board-moved-to amend the pleadings to conform to the proof. There was'no objection and the motion was allowed. Counsel for the respondent moved to dismiss the complaint. Ruling on this motion was reserved and later denied in the Trial Examiner's Intermediate Report except to the extent therein indicated. At the conclusion of the hearing, the parties were afforded opportunity to argue orally before the Trial Examiner and were advised that they might file briefs with the Trial Examiner. No arguments were made. The respondent thereafter filed with the Trial Examiner a brief and supplemental brief. The Board has reviewed the rulings of the Trial Examiner on motions and on objections to the admission of evidence and finds that no prejudicial errors were committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed.

On January 4, 1941, the Trial Examiner filed his Intermediate Report, copies of which were duly served upon the parties. He found that the respondent had engaged in unfair labor practices within the meaning of Section 8 (1) of the Act and recommended that the respondent cease and desist from engaging in such unfair labor practices. He found further that the respondent had not engaged in unfair labor practices within the meaning of Section 8 (2) and (3) of the Act and recommended that the complaint be dismissed in so far as it so alleged. Thereafter the respondent and the Union filed exceptions to the Intermediate Report and briefs. Pursuant to notice a hearing was held before the Board on March 6, 1941, in Washington, D. C., for the purpose of oral argument. The respondent and the Union appeared by counsel and participated in the argument.

1The Council's participation was limited to the issue raised by the allegation of violation of Section 8 (2) of the Act.

The Board has considered the exceptions and briefs, and in so far as the exceptions are inconsistent with the findings, conclusions, and order below, finds them to be without merit.

Upon the entire record in the case, the Board makes the following:

FINDINGS OF, FACT 1. THE BUSINESS OF THE RESPONDENT Commonwealth Plastic Company is a corporat~ion organized December 5, 1933, under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with an office and plant at Leominster, Massachusetts. It is engaged in the manufacture, sale, and distribution of various plastic products, principally buttons, buckles, plastic jewelry, and automobile and radio supplies. During the year 1939 the respondent purchased raw materials costing approximately $375,000, of which 85 per cent were purchased from places outside the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and shipped to the respondent at its plant in Leominster, Massachusetts. During the same period, the respondent's sales amounted to approximately $750,000, about 90 per cent of the finished products being sold and shipped by the respondent to destinations outside the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The respond-,ent admits that it is engaged in interstate commerce within the meaning of the Act.

IT. THE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED International Union, Plaything and Novelty Workers of America is a labor organization, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, herein called the C. 1. 0., admitting to membership employees of the respondent.

Workers Council of Commonwealth Plastic Company is an unaffiliated labor organization admitting to membership employees of the respondent.

  1. THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES A. The alleged dom~ination of and interference with the Council 1. Concerted activities At the request of a large group of employees of the molding department,2 Foreman Joseph shortly after Christmas in 1939, arranged a meeting between these employees and Superintendent Lubars, at which they presented demands for wage increases and 2 The respondent's plant is divided into about eight departments, the largest of which are the polking and molding departments.

    1133 better working conditions. Lubars informed the molders that the respondent's plant would be moved in about a month and that all of their complaints would be taken care of at that time. Regarding the demand for an increase in wages, Lubars stated that, although he could not make a definite statement concerning the amount of increases, the respondent would grant...

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