Curtis Manufacturing Co., Inc., 1094 (1968)

Docket Number:12-CA-03955

Curtis Manufacturing Co., Inc. and Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Case 12-CA-3955


BY MEMBERS BROWN , JENKINS , AND ZAGORIA On April 22, 1968, Trial Examiner Benjamin B.

Lipton issued his Decision 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 therefrom and take certain affirmative action, as set forth in the attached Trial Examiner's Decision. Thereafter, 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 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,2 and recommendations3 of the Trial Examiner, as modified herein.


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 as modified below and hereby orders that the Respondent, Curtis Manufacturing Co., Inc., Tampa, Florida, and its officers, agents, successors, and assigns, shall take the action set forth in the Trial Examiner's Recommended Order, as herein modified:

  1. Delete from paragraph 1(c) of the Trial Examiner 's Recommended Order that part thereof which reads 'In any like or related manner' and substitute therefore 'In any other manner.' 2. Delete from the sixth-indented paragraph of the notice marked 'Appendix' the words 'in any like or related manner'and substitute therefor 'in any other manner.' Additionally, in reciting employee Heller's testimony regarding President Blake's conversation with her, the Trial Examiner was apparently under the impression that ' Union Pants ' referred to the union When we read Heller's testimony, we find that the Union Pants of which Blake was speaking was another company rather than the Union This finding in no way modifies our conclusion that in that conversation Blake made threats of discharge, layoff, plant closure, and withdrawal of benefits to discourage union activities ' The Trial Examiner found that the first discharge of employee Dykes was unlawful We disagree In the first place, the July 19 discharge of Dyke-, was not alleged to be discriminatory Secondly, the Trial Examiner observed at the hearing that only the August 3 discharge was being litigated However, we have considered the discriminatory motive in the July 19 discharge as background in concluding that the August 3 discharge was unlawfully motivated ' Although he found that the Respondent had violated Sec 8 ( a)(3) and (I ) of the Act, the Trial Examiner recommended a narrow cease-and-desist order However, it has been the Board's policy to issue broad orders where Respondent's discrimination goes to the very heart of the Act In view of the nature of Respondent 's violation here, we shall order the Respondent to cease and desist from in any manner infringing upon the rights of employees as guaranteed by Sec 7 of the Act TRIAL EXAMINER'S DECISION STATEMENT OF THE CASE

    BENJAMIN B LIPTON, Trial Examiner: Upon a complaint by the General Counsel' alleging that Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) and (3) of the Act, a hearing was held before me on December 21 and 22, 1967, in Tampa, Florida. All parties appeared at the hearing and were afforded full opportunity to present relevant evidence and to argue orally on the record. A brief filed by Respondent has been duly considered. Disposition is made of Respondent's motion to dismiss and its proposed findings and conclusions consistent with the treatment below.

    Upon the entire record in the case, and from my observation of the demeanor of the witnesses on the stand, I make the following:


  2. THE BUSINESS OF RESPONDENT Curtis Manufacturing Co., Inc., herein called the Respondent, maintains a plant in Orlando, Florida, where it is engaged in the manufacture of men's trousers. During the year preceding issuance of the complaint, Respondent had a direct inflow in interstate commerce of purchased goods and materials valued in excess of $50,000. Respondent admits, and I find, that it is engaged in commerce within the meaning of the Act.

    1. THE LABOR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America,

      AFL-CIO, herein called the Union, is a labor organization within the meaning of the Act.

      ' In fn I of the Trial Examiner's Decision, the Trial Examiner stated that the Union's charge was filed November 12, 1967 We hereby correct this inadvertent error and note that the Union's charge was filed September 12, 1967 ' Complaint issued on November 6, 1967, based upon the Union's charge filed on November 12, 1967 All dates hereinafter are 1967 unless otherwise shown 172 NLRB No. 112

      CURTIS MFG. CO., INC. 1095

    2. THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES A. Essential Questions Alleged and litigated are various issues of coercive conduct, including interrogation, creating the impression of surveillance, threats of discharge, plant closure, and economic reprisals. The major portion of the record involves alleged discriminations in the discharge of Connie C. Dykes on July 19, and following her reinstatement on July 20, in her further and final discharge on August 3.

      Respondent denies all such allegations and asserts that Dykes was discharged for cause. Virtually all questions are factual and pose credibility conflicts.

      1. Introductory Facts About 75 female employees are employed in the plant, principally in machine sewing and related work in the production of men's trousers. Most are pieceworkers guaranteed a minimum hourly rate and others are paid a straight hourly rate. The pertinent events took place generally from latter May through August. Fom June 23 to July 10, the plant was shut down for the annual 'vacation'(without pay). Union organizational activity effectively commenced during June when International Representative Eva Lafever spoke with and visited the homes of employees. It is particularly evident that in early June, Eddie Brown at his home was thus approached by Lafever to sign a union authorization card. They discussed extraneous matters relating to the union and, inter alia, Lafever indicated that several employees had expressed desire for representation. When Brown disclosed that he was a supervisor, it became apparent that she had visited him by mistake. Brown advised Lawrence Blake, Respondent's president, about his visit from the Union.' Nell Rea Cobia was also solicited by Lafever, presumably without initial knowledge that Cobia was a supervisor. In latter June, five employees were specifically invited to attend a scheduled organizational meeting with the Union.

        On July 6, such a meeting was held, attended by Union Agents Lafever and Leonard Sydney, employees Myra Heller, Nellie F. Rodgers, Irene Trail,

        Addie Wilson, and the alleged discriminatee,

        Dykes. These five employees constituted an organizing committee and were distributed lists of other employees to approach for card signatures.

        Dykes received a list of 10-12 names, but actually spoke to 18 or 19 employees beginning July 10, after the vacation period. The remaining four women on the committee were divided into two 'teams,' each pair giver 10 names. Dykes made her solicitations during 'breaks,' at lunchtime in the shop, and after work in the plant parking lot. On September 15, an election was conducted among the employees, resulting in Board certification of the Union on September 25.

      2. Restraint and Coercion On or about May 30, Supervisor Cobia asked Rodgers, at her machine, if she had a visitor. Cobia said a woman was going around to the employees and 'had come to see her,' Cobia, by mistake.

        Rodgers inquired as to how she should 'vote' if the woman came to her. Cobia replied, 'I don't know about you, but I need my job, and before Mr. Blake will run a plant with a union in it, he'll close and lock the doors.' She then asked Rodgers to try to find out from this woman 'who the ringleaders of the union were,' and to inform Cobia, but...

To continue reading