Heads and Threads Company, a Division of MSL Industries, Inc., 800 (1982)

Docket Number:29-CA-08396
 
FREE EXCERPT

DECISIONS OF NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

Heads and Threads Company, a Division of MSL Industries, Inc. and Local 210, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America. Cases 29CA-8396 and 29-CA-8442

May 10, 1982 DECISION AND ORDER

BY MEMBERS JENKINS, ZIMMERMAN, AND HUNTER

On November 30, 1981, Administrative Law Judge Steven Davis issued the attached Decision in this proceeding. Thereafter, the General Counsel filed exceptions and 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, as modified herein, and to adopt his recommended Order, as modified herein.2

I Respondent has excepted to certain credibilityfindings made bhythe Administrative Law Judge. It is the Board's established polic nrot to overrule an administrative lawsjudge's resolutions with respect to credibility unless the clear preponderance of all of the relevant evidelce convinces us that the resolutions are incorrect. Standard Dry Wall Products.,

Inc., 91 NL.RB 544 (1950), enfd 188 F2d 362 (3d Cir 1951).We have carefully examined the record and find no basis for reversing his findings In its exceptions, Respondent conteinds, inter alia, that the Administrative Law Judge was biased and prejudiced against Respondent, and disre garded or rejected critical facts, resulting in an unbalanced view of the case. In support of these allegations, Respondent argues that the Administrative Law' Judge's former service with the Board as counsel to the General Counsel has in some way interfered with hisability to evaluate evidence impartially and render fair decisions. We find no merit in these contentions. The record contains no statements orother evidence indicating bias or prejudice against Respondent on the Administrative Iawss Judge's part, and, accordingly, there is no basis for finding same.

In the absence of exceptions we adopt, pro forma, the Administrative Law Judge's finding that striking employee Julius King engaged in strike misconduct of such serious character as to render him unfit for future service with Respondent. Accordingly, we also adopt. proufirma, the Ad ministrative Law Judge's finding that Respondent did not violate the Act by refusing to reinstate King.

The Administrative Law Judge found that Supervisor Richardson's statement to employee Ravenell, 'Hey man, you're trying to get a uniln in here,' violated Sec. 8(a)(1) of the Act because the statement created the impression in its employees' minds that Respondent had a source of information about the employees' union activity We agreew ith Respondent that the statement does not constitute the creation of the impression of surveillance. However, when coupled with Richardson's further statement, in the same conversation, 'you know what happened when you all tried to get a union in here before, whathappened to them guys,' it is clear that Richardson's total statement was nothing less than a threat to discharge. Accordingly, we find that Richardson's remarks were a not-so-veiled threat of discharge and that this statement constituted a violation of Sec. 8(a)X) of the Act Z In his exceptions, the General Counsel, citing John Cuneo, Inc,, 253

NLRB 1025 (1981), contends that the Administrative Law Judge erred in failing to include in his recommended Order language in conformance with his findings and conclusions providing in substance that Respondent 261 NLRB No. 115

In its exceptions, Respondent contends that the Administrative Law Judge's imposition of a Gissel bargaining order' is unwarranted because, inter alia, the record contains no evidence that it had knowledge of its employees' union activity, and no statements were made by its supervisor which would suggest the propriety of a bargaining order or a finding of a violation of the Act. We find these contentions to be completely meritless.

In adopting the Administrative Law Judge's finding that a bargaining order is necessary, we conclude that Respondent's unfair labor practices were indeed sufficiently serious and pervasive in character as to preclude the holding of a fair election. When analyzing unfair labor practices in connection with determining the appropriateness of a Gissel bargaining order, we look to the seriousness and scope of the unlawful conduct in the context of the circumstances in the shop when the conduct occurred. In this case, immediately after gaining direct knowledge of its employees' union activity on September 10, 1980, 4 by way of the Union's demand for recognition and bargaining, Respondent began its program of unlawful activity, including the unlawful discharge of employee William Gross on September 11; the September 12 threat to kill Gross and the unlawful offer of a promotion to employee Willie Ravenell conditioned on Ravenell's abandoning his support for the Union; the unlawful changes in the working conditions of Ravenell and Horace Ross and the threats to discharge Ravenell, Lamar Johnson, and Ross on September 15; and the September 15 threat of loss of benefits made to Ravenell by Gregory Svida, Respondent's supervisor. On September 16, during the unfair labor practice strike, Respondent's vice president, Alvin Zee, made an unlawful threat of reprisal against Ravenell by stating the 'union idea is going to get you in a lot of trouble because they don't mean you no good.' In addition, soon after the start of the strike, Respondent threatened to permanently replace unfair labor practice strikers and unlawfully refused to reinstate seven strikers following the unconditional offer to return to work made by the Union on November 10 on behalf of all the strikers.

shall (a) cease and desist from failing to recall and reinstate unfair labor practice strikers, and (b) immediately rescind its newly adopted work assignments anid work rules We find merit in the General Counsel's exceptions and, in accordance with established Board precedent, we have modified the Administrative Iaw Judge's recommended Order Member Jenkins would provide interest on the backpay award in accordance with his partial dissent in Olympic Medical Corporation, 250

NL RB 146 ('180) :' N L. R. v (;imle/ Packing (o., Inc., 395 US. 575 (1969) 4 All dates herein refer to the year 1980.

800

HEADS AND THREADS COMPANY Employee Gross' discharge for union activity following on the heels of the Union's demand for recognition and bargaining was a clear message to the unit employees that they would suffer as a result of their union activity. The seriousness of such unlawful action is heightened when the unit, as in the present case, consists of a small number of employees, thereby permitting word of the unlawful discharge to circulate quickly. Even though Gross was reinstated later during the day of his discharge, the impact of the rapid discharge on all the unit employees remains long after such a reinstatement. Moreover, Respondent's upper management was directly involved in Respondent's unfair labor practices, thereby enhancing the effects of the threats to discharge, changes in working conditions, and threats of reprisals for engaging in union activity.

Therefore, in addition to the reasons set forth by the Administrative Law Judge, we note that the particular circumstances of this case preclude the holding of a fair election and call for the imposition of a Gissel bargaining order.

We agree with the Administrative Law Judge's inclusion of a 'broad' order as part of his recommended remedy herein, and note that the nature and extent of Respondent's violations fully support the imposition of such an order. In Hickmott Foods,

Inc., 242 NLRB 1357 (1979), we stated, inter alia, that a broad order would be warranted when it is shown that a respondent 'has engaged in such egregious or widespread misconduct as to demonstrate a general disregard for the employees' fundamental statutory rights.' The unfair labor practices committed by Respondent are of the type the Board contemplated when it set forth the standards for determining when to impose broad injunctive relief. Respondent's conduct was not isolated or a minor transgression, but represented a pattern of egregious conduct affecting all unit employees and designed to thwart the employees' desire for union representation.

AMENDED CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

We hereby affirm the Administrative Law Judge's Conclusions of Law, as modified below:

Substitute the following for Conclusion of Law 7:

'7. By telling an employee that the 'union idea is going to get you in a lot of trouble'; threatening to discharge employees because of their union activities; threatening bodily injury against an employee because of his union activity; threatening an employee with loss of economic benefits if he did not abandon his membership in and activity on behalf of the Union; threatening unfair labor practice strikers with being permanently replaced; and promising promotions and transfers to employees to induce them to refrain from becoming or remaining members of the Union and to induce them to abandon their membership in and activity on its behalf, Respondent has violated Section 8(a)(l) of the Act.' 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, as modified below, and hereby orders that the Respondent,

Heads and Threads Company, a Division of MSL Industries, Inc., Woodside, New York, its officers, agents, successors, and assigns, shall take the action set forth in the said recommended Order, as so modified:

  1. Substitute the following for paragraph...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP