L. E. Johnson Products, Inc., 67 (1969)

Docket Number:25-CA-03297


L. E. Johnson Products, Inc. and International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America,

UAW. Case 25-CA-3297 practices other than those found by the Trial Examiner.


BY MEMBERS FANNING, BROWN, AND ZAGORIA On August 1, 1969, Trial Examiner Lloyd S.

Greenidge issued his Decision in the above-entitled proceeding, finding that 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. The Trial Examiner further found that Respondent had not engaged in certain other unfair labor practices and recommended that the complaint be dismissed with respect to these allegations. Thereafter,

Respondent filed exceptions and a supporting brief, and the General Counsel filed limited 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 powers in connection with this case to a three-member panel.

The Board has reviewed the rulings of the Trial Examiner made at the hearing 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 briefs, and the entire record in this case, and hereby adopts the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Trial Examiner, with the modifications set forth below.' ORDER

Pursuant to Section 10(c) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the National Labor Relations Board hereby adopts as its Order the Recommended Order of the Trial Examiner, as amended herein, and orders that L. E. Johnson Products, Inc., Elkhart, Indiana, its officers, agents, successors, and assigns, shall take the action set forth in the Trial Examiner's Recommended Order, as herein modified:

In paragraph 1(d) of the Order and the fourth indented paragraph of the notice, supplant the words 'like or related' with the word 'other.' IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the complaint be, and it hereby is, dismissed insofar as it alleges that Respondent engaged in unfair labor 'We find merit in the General Counsel's contention that the unfair labor practices committed by Respondent strike at the heart of the employee rights safeguarded by the Act We shall therefor issue a broad remedial order herein STATEMENT OF THE CASE

LLOYD S. GREENIDGE, Trial Examiner: This proceeding, with all parties represented, was heard on May 13 and 14, 1969, at Goshen, Indiana, on the complaint of the General Counsel issued on April 8, 1969, which was amended on April 28,' and the answers of L E Johnson Products, Inc., herein called the Respondent or Company. The pleadings present questions whether the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(3) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, herein called the Act, by (1) discharging Mary Jane Grabarek,z on about November 7, 1968, and thereafter failing and refusing to reinstate her because she and other employees had joined and assisted the Union and engaged in union or protected concerted activities, and in anticipation of the Union's certification for the purpose of denying said employee the rights of union certification, (2) on November 22, 1968, telling employees the reason why it had discharged Grabarek; (3) in late October and November 1968, interrogating employees concerning their own and other employees' union membership, activities and desires, and (4) on or about November 8, 1968, giving employees the impression that it had engaged in prior surveillance of union meetings Briefs were filed by the General Counsel and Respondent and have been carefully considered by me.

Upon the entire record in the case, his resolution of issues of credibility based upon the appearance and demeanor of the witnesses, and the briefs, the Trial Examiner makes the following.


  1. THE BUSINESS OF RESPONDENT The complaint alleges, the answer admits, and it is hereby found, that the Respondent, an Indiana corporation, is engaged in the manufacture, sale, and distribution of sliding and folding door hardware and related products at its plant in Elkhart, Indiana During the past year, in the conduct of its business,

    Respondent manufactured, sold and distributed at its Elkhart plant products valued in excess of $50,000 which were shipped from said facility directly to States other than the State of Indiana During the same period,

    Respondent purchased and received goods and materials valued in excess of $50,000 directly from points outside the State of Indiana It is, therefore, found that Respondent is now, and at all times material herein has been, an employer engaged in commerce and in a business affecting commerce within The complaint, as amended, is based on a charge filed on December 6, 1968, by International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, herein called the Union or Charging Party, a copy of which was duly served on the Respondent by registered mail on or about December 9, 1968 A motion by Respondent to make Amendment to Complaint More Definite was denied by Trial Examiner Frederick U Reel on May 8, 1969 'The General Counsel's motion to amend the complaint to correct an error in the name of the alleged discriminatee was granted without objection Thus, the name Mary Jane Grabarek was substituted for Mary Ellen Grabarek wherever it appeared in these proceedings 179 NLRB No. 10 the meaning of Section 2(6) and (7) of the Act, and the Board' s jurisdictional standards iI THE LABOR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED The Charging Party is, and at all times material herein has been, a labor organization within the meaning of Section 2(5) of the Act III THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

    1. Introduction There is no dispute, and it is found, that Leonard E Johnson, Jr , president, and Guy Lavon Johnson,' plant superintendent are, and at all times material have been, supervisors within the meaning of Section 2(11) of the Act and agents of the Respondent Further, the parties stipulated and it is, therefore, found that June Mary Rinehart is, and at all times material has been, a supervisor within the meaning of the Act Leonard and Guy Lavon are brothers and June is their sister.

    Organizational activity by the Union at Respondent's plant began on or about October 17, 1968. The campaign lasted from that time until December 10, 1968 when an election was held among Respondent's employees on separate petitions filed by the Union and the Employer on November 12 and November 14, respectively.' The Union won the election and was certified by the Board on December 18 The campaign was characterized by union meetings held on October 31, November 7, November 25,

    December 3 and December 9 and, by solicitations of signatures to authorization cards Respondent became aware of its employees' desire for union representation when the idea was still in a stage incubation and even before formal advent of the Union Thus, during the last week in September, employee Anna M Doyle told Guy Lavon Johnson, herein at times called Von, that some 'people' had visited her home where they asked her to join a union Reports of union meetings and activities continued to flow to Von from other employees such as Jack Klip, Dean Grabill, and Bill Valentine, from Jack Goff, who advised that the Union had pledged to fight for the restoration of smoking privileges, and, from Dudley Frantz, who stated that the Union intended to seek the reinstatement of Grabarek and Florence Jo Ann Goff 5

    As described in more detail below, the Union requested recognition from the Respondent by letter dated November 6 Most of the events with which we are here concerned occurred in the period between mid-August, the date Grabarek responded by letter to a newspaper advertisement placed by Respondent for female machine operators, and November 26 the date of a letter from the Company to all employees concerning the pending election. During this period, Respondent employed approximately 45 employees who were engaged in the performance of about 200 Jobs B. Interference, Restraint, and Coercion The complaint as amended alleges, and the answer to the amendment denies, that the Respondent, by Guy Lavon Johnson, (i) 'on several unknown dates in late 'The name of this official appears as corrected at the hearing 'Cases 25-RC-3930 and 25-RM-268 'Goff left Respondent's employ voluntarily on November 8

    October and November 1968 interrogated its employees concerning their own and other employees' Union membership, activities and desires,' and (u) 'on or about November 8, 1968, gave employees the impression that [it] had engaged in prior surveillance of Union meetings ' During the hearing, the General Counsel announced that he relies on the testimony of Michael Penny to sustain the allegations of interrogation and impression of surveillance set forth heremabove.

    Penny came to Respondent's employ on July 24, 1968, and worked as a shipping clerk from that date until October 31 or early November 6 In the performance of his duties, Penny was required to enter Von's office several times each day to pick up and deliver bills of ladings.

    Consequently, he had developed a business friendship with Von Penny reported three or four conversations with Von in the last month of his employment which, allegedly, bear on the issues presented One took place in Von's office the morning following the initial union meeting held at the Labor Temple on October 31. According to Penny, Von said, on this occasion, 'Well everybody seems excited this morning. What's going on'' Penny shrugged his shoulders and remained mute Penny testified that most of the employees had attended the union meeting the night before and were then engaged in an animated...

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