Grede Foundries, Inc., 1312 (1976)

Docket Number:13-CA-14019

Felsenthal Plastics, Inc n/k/a Grede Plastics, a Division of Grede Foundries, Inc and District 8, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO Case 13-CA-14019

June 18, 1976 DECISION AND ORDER

By MEMBERS FANNING, JENKINS, AND PENELLO On February 25, 1976, Administrative Law Judge David S Davidson issued the attached Decision in this proceeding Thereafter, Respondent filed exceptions 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 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 brief and has decided to affirm the rulings, findings,' and conclusions of the Administrative Law Judge and to adopt his recommended Order and (5) of the Act In its answer Respondent denies the commission of any unfair labor practices A hearing in this case was held before me in Chicago,

Illinois, on September 29 and 30 and October 1, 1975 At the conclusion of the third day of hearing Respondent requested a continuance in order to gain attendance at the hearing of additional witnesses The continuance was granted with the understanding that in the interim the parties would submit memoranda on the admissibility of the further testimony which Respondent intended to submit and that the hearing would be closed if it were concluded that such testimony was not admissible On October 20, 1975, after receipt of memoranda from the General Counsel and Respondent, I issued an Order closing the hearing and granted the General Counsel's motion to strike certain testimony previously heard Thereafter the General Counsel and Respondent filed briefs With its brief Respondent also filed an offer of proof which is opposed by the General Counsel Upon the entire record in this case including my observation of the witnesses and their demeanor I make the following FINDINGS OF FACT

I THE BUSINESS OF RESPONDENT

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 the Respondent, Felsenthal Plastics, Inc, n/k/a Grede Plastics, a Division of Grede Foundries, Inc , Chicago, Illinois, its officers, agents, successors, and assigns, shall take the action set forth in the said recommended Order 1 The Respondent has excepted to certain credibility findings made by the Administrative Law Judge It is the Board s established policy not to over rule an Administrative Law Judge s resolutions with respect to credibility unless the clear preponderance of all of the relevant evidence convinces us that the resolutions are incorrect Standard Dry Wall Products Inc 91

NLRB 544 (1950) enfd 188 F 2d 362 (CA 3 1951) We have carefully examined the record and find no basis for reversing his findings DECISION

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

DAVID S DAVIDSON, Administrative Law Judge The charge in this case was filed on February 20, 1975, by the Union, and the complaint issued on August 8, 1975 The complaint alleges that Respondent made a promise of benefits during the pendency of a decertification election and granted certain benefits while objections to that election were pending thereby undermining and destroying the majority status of the Union in violation of Section 8(a)(1) Respondent is a Division of Grede Foundries, Inc, a Wisconsin corporation Respondent maintains an office and place of business at 3500 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, the only facility involved in this proceeding From about July, 1971, until November, 1974, the Kedzie Avenue plant was operated by Felsenthal Plastics, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grede Foundries, Inc Effec tive November 2, 1974, Felsenthal and Salg Plastics, Inc, another wholly owned subsidiary of Grede Foundries, were merged into Grede Foundries, and the two subsidiaries jointly became known as Grede Plastics, a Division of Grede Foundries, Inc After the merger the former Fel senthal plant became known as the Kedzie plant of Grede Plastics At all times material Respondent has been engaged in the manufacture and sale of plastic products at the Kedzie plant and has purchased and received at that plant goods and materials valued in excess of $100,000 directly from points outside the State of Illinois I find that Respondent is an employer within the meaning of the Act and that it will effectuate the policies of the Act to assert jurisdiction herein II THE LABOR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED

The Union, District 8, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, is a labor organization within the meaning of the Act III THE ALLEGED UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

A The Facts In 1948, before Felsenthal Plastics, Inc, was purchased by Grede Foundries, the Union was certified by the Board 224 NLRB No 182 as the exclusive bargaining representative of Felsenthal's production and maintenance employees Thereafter, the Union and Felsenthal entered into a series of collectivebargaining agreements The most recent agreement was negotiated after Grede acquired Felsenthal and ran from June 22, 1972, until October 31, 1974

On August 20, 1974, a timely decertification petition was filed by Leroy McCoy, an employee of Respondent On August 27, 1974, the Union gave notice of its desire to reopen the expiring agreement, and on September 12, 1974,

Respondent replied that in view of the question concerning representation raised by the decertification petition it was required to decline any invitation to engage in bargaining until that question was fully resolved On November 18, 1974,1 a Stipulation for Certification Upon Consent Election was approved by the Regional Director pursuant to which an election was scheduled to be held on December 5, 1974

On December 2, 1974, 3 days before the election Respondent sent the following letter to all employees in the bargaining unit 2 TO ALL GREDE PLASTICS EMPLOYEES

On Thursday, December 5th, you and your fellow workers will decide a very important questionwhether or not you wish to be represented by a union Consider the facts before you vote It is a fact that the employees at our six non-union foundries have received larger and more frequent wage increases than you have under your recent union contract It is a fact that these non-union employees enjoy a better fringe benefit package than you had under your contract It is a fact that these non-union employees have greater job security through satisfied customers than you supposedly had from the union contract These facts are the result of a team effort on the part of all of these employees in satisfying our customers We believe you should be a part of this successful team-and free from union dues Vote NO on December 5th Sincerely,

Burleigh E Jacobs,

Chairman On December 2 and 3 Respondent's Board Chairman Jacobs gave almost identical speeches to two separate groups of bargaining unit employees at the Kedzie Avenue plant The speeches contained a frank appeal for the employees to vote against continued union representation in the decertification election Jacobs attempted to explain to employees what Grede Foundries had done for the plant and them since it had taken over Felsenthal and to describe Respondent's 'Guiding Principles' which had previously been mailed to the employees In his speeches Jacobs After the petition was filed the Union filed a charge against Respondent which was dismissed before the consent election agreement was executed 2 A Spanish translation was sent to the Spanish speaking employees in the unit made the point that solutions to employees' problems could best be reached directly between the employees and management and that the Union's role did not contribute to those solutions In the course of his remarks Jacobs made the following statements upon which the General Counsel particularly relies in its argument that the speeches are part of the background against which Jacobs' December 2 letter must be interpreted I'm sure you're all aware that solutions to problems come only out of open discussions between you and your supervisors and managers, and do not come from the disruption and divisive interference of unions * * You may wonder, well what's wrong with unions Well many of you are well aware of what's wrong with them You know that there is no freedom for you when you are in a union When some union boss says, 'Strike ' you leave your work and your paycheck behind, whether you want to or not The strike that occurred at this plant, just prior to our purchase, is one example of the kind of human relations that unions lead to, the kind of anger and violence that grows out of distrust and dissension * * * * Now, I'm sure that all of you want an uninterrupted and a growing income just as our customers want an uninterrupted source of supplies This is all possible if we work regularly, safely and take the opportunity to remove the present outside interference Much of our business is a result of people having confidence that Grede Plastics will not have work stoppages and will be a continuous source for plastic parts You have an opportunity for increased income Don't let an outsid er interfere with your future, with the future of your family, or with your job * * No matter what the union may say to you, believe me, we do not have unions at any of our six foundries and have been a successful company for more than 50 years Over 2000 employees of Grede are enjoying a union-free environment with excellent benefits and high wages, and paying no union dues for this privilege The election on December 5 resulted in a vote of 96 against the Union and 84 for it On December 9 the Union filed timely objections to the election alleging that in the letter and speeches Respondent promised its employees increased wages and improved benefits if they voted against the...

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