Howard Industries, Inc.,

Docket Number:15-CA-164449
 
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NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the bound volumes of NLRB decisions. Readers are requested to notify the Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C. 20570, of any typographical or other formal errors so that corrections can be included in the bound volumes.

Howard Industries, Inc. and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1317. Case 15–CA–164449

December 21, 2016

DECISION AND ORDER

BY CHAIRMAN PEARCE AND MEMBERS MISCIMARRA AND MCFERRAN

On September 2, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Geoffrey Carter issued the attached decision. The Union filed exceptions and a supporting brief and the Respondent filed an answering brief. The General Counsel filed an “Answer in Support of Union’s Exceptions.”

The National Labor Relations Board has considered the decision and the stipulated record in light of the exceptions and briefs and has decided to affirm the judge’s rulings, findings, and conclusions and to adopt the recommended Order.

ORDER

The recommended Order of the administrative law judge is adopted and the complaint is dismissed.

Dated, Washington, D.C. December 21, 2016

______________________________________

Mark Gaston Pearce, Chairman

______________________________________

Philip A. Miscimarra, Member

______________________________________

Lauren McFerran, Member

(SEAL) NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

The Board’s decision can be found at www.nlrb.gov/case/15-CA-164449 or by using the QR code below. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy of the decision from the Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1015 Half Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20570, or by calling (202) 273–1940.

Matthew Dougherty, Esq., for the General Counsel. Roger Doolittle, Esq., for the Charging Party. Elmer E. White, III, Esq., for the Respondent.

DECISION

GEOFFREY CARTER, Administrative Law Judge. The General Counsel asserted in this case that Howard Industries, Inc. (Respondent) ran afoul of Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) by unilaterally changing its policy regarding gifts to employees (including hams during the Christmas season) without first notifying the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1317 (the Union) and giving the Union an opportunity to bargain about the policy change. As explained below, I find that Respondent did not violate the Act because Respondent implemented the policy change after following the procedure set forth in the collectivebargaining agreement regarding proposing, negotiating and implementing new or modified policies. Accordingly, I recommend that the complaint be dismissed.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This case was submitted to me via joint motion, dated July 5, 2016, to have the case decided based on an agreed stipulation of facts and exhibits. I granted the parties’ joint motion, and I also granted the General Counsel’s unopposed July 6, 2016 motion to supplement the record with formal papers (including, but not limited to, the complaint, answer, and various unfair labor practice charges).

The Union filed the charge in this case on November 18, 2015, and amended that charge through filings on January 5, February 25, March 1 and 29, and July 1, 2016. In a complaint that the General Counsel issued on March 30, 2016, the General Counsel alleged that Respondent violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the Act by, on or about November 19, 2015, unilaterally changing its policy regarding which employees would receive hams from Respondent during the Christmas season, without first notifying the Union and giving the Union an opportunity to bargain about the policy change.1 Respondent filed a timely answer denying the alleged violations in the complaint.

On the entire record, and after considering the briefs filed by the General Counsel and Respondent, I make the following

1 The General Counsel also alleged that Respondent violated Sec. 8(a)(5) and (1) of the Act by unreasonably delaying in responding to an information request that the Union submitted on December 3, 2015. The General Counsel withdrew that complaint allegation on or about July 1, 2016.

365 NLRB No. 4

2

DECISIONS OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

FINDINGS OF FACT2

I. JURISDICTION

Respondent, a corporation with an office and place of business in Laurel, Mississippi, engages in the manufacture and nonretail sale of electrical transformers. On an annual basis, Respondent sells and ships from its Laurel, Mississippi facility goods that are valued in excess of $50,000 and go directly to locations outside the State of Mississippi. Respondent admits, and I find, that Respondent is an employer engaged in commerce within the meaning of Section 2(2), (6), and (7) of the Act. Respondent also admits, and I find, that the Union is a labor organization within the meaning of Section 2(5) of the Act.

II. ALLEGED UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

  1. Collective-Bargaining History

    Since about 1970, Respondent has recognized the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the following appropriate bargaining unit:

    All full time and regular part-time production and maintenance employees (excluding all other employees, guards, and supervisors as defined by the Act).

    That recognition has been embodied in a number of successive collective-bargaining agreements, the most recent of which is effective from October 5, 2015, to October 4, 2018. (GC Exhs. 1(k) (par. 7), 1(m) (par. 7).)

  2. Collective-Bargaining Agreement Language Concerning Creating or Changing Workplace Policies and/or Job Performance Standards

    Section 1 of article XXI of the collective-bargaining agreement sets forth a procedure that applies when Respondent wishes to change an existing policy, create a new policy...

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