Keystone Steel & Wire Company, a Corporation And United Farm Equipment & Metal Workers Of America, C. I. 0., 683 (1945)

Docket Number:13-C-2069
Party Name:710
 
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In the Matter of KEYSTONE STEEL & WIRE COMPANY, A CORPORATION and UNITED FARM EQUIPMENT & METAL WORKERS OF AMERICA,

C. I. 0.

Case No. 13-C-2069.-Decided June 22, 1945 Mr. Leon Rosell, for the Board.

Baer, Clendenin & Davis, by Messrs, Theodore C. Baer, Arleigh Davis, and Shelton F. McGrath, of Peoria, Ill., for the respondent.

Mr. E. V. Champion, of Peoria, Ill., for the Alliance.

Meyers & Meyers, by Mr. Ben Meyers, of Chicago, Ill., for the Union.

Mr. Gilbert V. Rosenberg, of counsel to the Board.

DECISION AND ORDER STATEMENT OF THE CASE Upon a third amended charge duly filed on April 8, 1944,' by United Farm Equipment & Metal Workers of America, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, herein called the Union, the National Labor Relations Board, herein called the Board, by its Regional Director for the Thirteenth Region (Chicago, Illinois), issued its complaint on April 8, 1944, against Keystone Steel & Wire Company, Bartonville, Illinois, 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), (2), and (3) and Section 2 (6) and (7) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449, herein called the Act.

Copies of the complaint and the third amended charge, together with notice of hearing thereon, were duly served upon the respondent, the Union, and Independent Steel Workers' Alliance, herein called the Alliance, a labor organization alleged in the complaint to be existing in violatoin of the Act.

With respect to the unfair labor practices, the complaint, as amended at the hearing, alleged in substance (1) that the respondent dominated, 1 The original charge was duly filed on February 15, 1943, the first amended charge on July 13, 1943, the second amended charge on July 14, 1943.

683 interfered with the administration of, and contributed support to, the Keystone Employees Association, a labor organization herein called the K. E. A., and its successor the Alliance; (2) that the respondent demoted and subsequently discharged eight named employees because of their membership in the Union and activity against the Alliance; and (3) that by the foregoing acts, by urging and warning its employees to join the Alliance, by advising and threatening its employees not to join the Union, by interrogating its employees about their union membership, by disparaging the Union, by according the Alliance exclusive recognition without first securing adequate proof of its majority status and subsequently signing a written exclusive bargaining agreement with the Alliance, by promulgating and discriminatorily invoking and enforcing a rule prohibiting union and other types of solicitation on company time and property,' and by other acts, the respondent interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act.

On April 20, 1944, the respondent filed an answer, and on May 11, 1944, an amended answer, denying the unfair labor practices and asserting that the eight individuals named in the complaint were discharged for cause.

The amended answer also alleged that the Board was without jurisdiction to hear and determine the issues regarding the legality of the Alliance and its contract of February 11, 1943, with the respondent, on the ground that the proceedings herein were not brought within the time prescribed by the rider attached to the Feedral Security Appropriation Act of 1944, Chapter 221, Public Law 135, 78th Congress.' Thereafter, the Alliance filed an answer, and an amended answer, denying the allegation of the complaint with respect to its domination and its connection with the K. E. A. and challenging the jurisdiction of the Board because of the limitation contained in the above-mentioned Appropriation Act rider.

Pursuant to notice, a hearing was held on various days between May 15 and June 30, 1944, at Peoria, Illinois, before Howard Myers, the Trial Examiner duly designated by the Chief Trial Examiner. At the opening of the hearing, the Alliance moved to intervene. The motion was granted without objection. The Board, the respondent, the Union, and the Alliance were represented by counsel and participated in the hearing. Full opportunity to be heard, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to introduce evidence of the Board's case, counsel for the respondent moved to 2 Pursuant to a fourth amended charge filed by the Union during the hearing, the attorney for the Board moved to amend the complaint to include the allegation pertaining to the respondent's no-solicitation rule. The motion was granted by the Trial Examiner over objections by the respondent and the Alliance. The respondent then amended its answer to cover this amendment to the complaint.

3 This Appropriation Act prohibited the Board, during the fiscal year 1943-44, from using funds 'in connection with a complaint case arising over an agreement between management and labor which has been in existence for three months or longer without complaint being filed....'

685 dismiss the complaint for lack of proof. The motion was denied. Counsel for the respondent then moved to dismiss the complaint, insofar as it involved the Alliance, on the ground that the charge on which the complaint was issued had not been timely filed, within the meaning of the rider in 1943-44 Appropriation Act. A similar motion was made by the Alliance.

The Trial Examiner denied both motions.! At the close of the hearing, the respondent and the Alliance renewed these motions and further moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of proof. The Trial Examiner reserved decision on these motions and later denied them in his Intermediate Report.

He granted without objection a motion by counsel for the Board to conform the pleadings to the proof with respect to names, dates, and other minor recitals. During the course of the hearing, the Trial Examiner ruled on other motions and objections to the admission of evidence. On about September 18, 1944, after the close of the hearing, the respondent filed with the Trial Examiner a written motion to introduce in evidence a copy of a certain letter from the respondent to the Union, dated December 4, 1942, copies of which were duly served on the other parties. By order dated September 19, 1944, the Trial Examiner granted the motion and received in evidence said letter and made it a part of the record herein. The Board has reviewed all the rulings of the Trial Examiner and finds no prejudicial error. The rulings are hereby affirmed.

On September 23, 1944, the Trial Examiner issued his Intermediate Report, copies of which were duly served upon all the parties, in which he found 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), but not within the meaning of Section 8 (3), of the Act. He recommended that the respondent cease and desist from its unfair labor practices and that it disestablish and withdraw all recognition from the Alliance. He recommended, further, that the complaint be dismissed insofar as it alleges that the eight individuals named therein were discriminatorily demoted and discharged. Exceptions to the Intermediate Report and supporting briefs were filed by the respondent, the Alliance, the Union, and the attorney for the Board.

Pursuant to notice, a hearing was held before the Board at Washington,

D. C., on April 12, 1945, for the purposes of oral argument. The respondent, the Union, and the Alliance were represented by counsel and participated in the argument: The Board has considered the exceptions to the Intermediate Report, the briefs filed, and the contentions advanced at the oral argument before the Board and, insofar as the exceptions are inconAside from the fact that the evidence fails to support said motions, this question is now moot since the limitations in the current Appropriation Act rider are expressly therein made inapplicable to complaint cases involving 'agreements with labor organizations formed in violation of [Section 8 (2) of the Act].' See also Opinion of the Comptroller General, dated October 14, 1944, B-44156.

sistent with the findings, conclusions, and order set forth below, finds them to be without merit.

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

FINDINGS OF FACT I. THE BUSINESS OF THE RESPONDENT Keystone Steel & Wire Company, an Illinois corporation, owns and operates a plant, consisting of a steel mill and a wire mill, at Bartonville,

Illinois, where it is engaged in the manufacture, sale, and distribution of semi-finished and finished steel products. The respondent's annual purchases of raw materials are in excess of $4,000,000, more than 50 percent of which is purchased and shipped to its plant from points outside the State of Illinois. During 1943, the respondent's sales of finished products amounted to more than $13,000,000, more than 50 percent of which was shipped to points outside the State of Illinois.

The respondent does not contest the fact, and we find, that it is engaged in commerce, within the meaning of the Act.

  1. THE ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED United Farm Equipment & Metal Workers of America is a labor organization, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, admitting to membership employees of the respondent.

    Independent Steel Workers' Alliance is an unaffiliated labor organization admitting to membership employees of the respondent.

    Keystone Employees' Association was an unaffiliated labor organization admitting to membership employees of the respondent.

  2. THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES A. Domination and support of the K. E. A. and the Alliance; interference, restraint, and coercion 1. Formation and history of the K. E. A.

    So far as it appears, there was no organizing activity among the respondent's employees prior to 1933. However, in the fall...

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