Memphis Furniture Manufacturing Co., 26 (1937)

Docket Number:00-C-00118


Furniture Industry-Interference, Restraint or Coctcton. expressed opposition to labor organization, threats of retaliatory action; surveillance of union meetings; questioning employees regarding union affiliation; attempts to persuade employees not to join or to resign from union; refusal to recognize or negotiate with union representatives--Strike: averted by filing of charges with BoardDiscrinunat2on: discharge-Rcinsta lenient Ordered-Rac,7r, Pay: awarded.

Mr. Walter G. Cooper, Jr., for the Board.

Canale, Glanlcler, Loch cC Little, by Cllr. Phil H. Canale, of Memphis, Tenn., for the respondent.

Mr. N. Fowler, of Memphis, Tenn., for the Union.

Hilda Droshnicop and Mr. Hyman A. Schulson, of counsel to the Board.



Upon charges duly filed by the Furniture Workers Local Union No. 1174, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, herein called the Union, the National Labor Relations Board, herein called the Board, by Charles N. Feidelson, Regional Director for the Tenth Region (Atlanta, Georgia), issued its complaint dated May 9, 1936, against the Memphis Furniture Manufacturing Company,

Memphis, Tennessee, herein called the respondent. The complaint and notice of hearing thereon were duly served upon the respondent and the Union.

The complaint alleged that the respondent had engaged in and was engaging in unfair labor practices affecting commerce, in violation of Section 8, subdivisions (1) and (3), and Section 2, subdivisions (6) and (7) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449, herein called the Act. In reference to the unfair labor practices the complaint alleged in substance that the respondent discharged the following 13 employees upon the dates set forth : W. O. Sullivan, A. U.

Barmer, B. A. Mauldin, and Troy Pugh, on April 7, 1936; C. B.

Forester, W. E. Jordan, J. E. Choate, H. F. Hoppes, and M. Kay on April 8, 1936; R. R. Jordan on April 10, 1936; James Western on April 11, 1936; Alonzo Dabney on April 13, 1936, and N. W. Bowers on April 16, 1936, for joining and assisting the Union and for engaging in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid and protection, and that the respondent discharged Mrs. Barmer on April 8, 1936, because of the union activities of her husband.

The respondent filed an answer to the complaint alleging that it had not discharged the employees named in the complaint, other than Mrs. Barmer, or refused to reinstate them, but that they were temporarily laid off in due course of business and would be reinstated when their employment was needed. As to Mrs. Barmer, the respondent admitted that she was discharged but denied the reasons therefor alleged in the complaint.

At the same time that the charge was filed, the Union also petitioned the Board for, an investigation and certification of representatives pursuant to Section 9 (c) of the Act. On May 9, 1936, the Board directed the Regional Director to conduct an investigation and provide for an appropriate hearing upon clue notice, pursuant to Section 9 (c) of the Act and Article III, Section 3 of National Labor Relations Board Rules and Regulations-Series 1, as amended. Pursuant to notice, a joint hearing on the complaint and petition was held in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 21, 22, 25, 26, and 27, 1936, before Walter Wilbur, the Trial Examiner duly designated by the Board. The Board, the Union, and the.responclent were represented by counsel.

At the hearing, the respondent, appearing specially, interposed a motion to dismiss on the ground (1) that the Act is unconstitutional in that it violates the Fifth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution, and (2) that the authority granted by the Act, even if constitutional, does not extend to jurisdiction over the respondent. The respondent further moved to.dismiss the complaint for insufficiency.

The Trial Examiner denied the motion. The respondent's motion to make the complaint more specific in respect to the allegations of paragraph 12 thereof was granted and paragraph 12 was thereupon stricken from the complaint on motion of the regional attorney. A similar motion with respect to the general allegations, respecting the interstate commerce character of the respondent's business was denied. At the hearing the motion of counsel for the Board to consolidate the hearings in both the complaint and representation cases was granted.

Full opportunity to be heard, to cross-examine witnesses, and to produce evidence bearing upon the issues was afforded to all parties.

Counsel for the Board and counsel for the respondent filed briefs to which we have given clue consideration.

Subsequently, the Trial Examiner filed his Intermediate Report, finding that the discharge of all those named in the complaint, with the exception of Troy Pugh, was in violation of the Act, and recommending their reinstatement with back pay. Exceptions to the Intermediate Report were thereafter filed by the respondent.

On July 9, 1937, counsel for the respondent, pursuant to his request, orally argued the cause upon the record before the Board in Washington, D. C.

On July 13, 1937, the Board granted the Union permission to withdraw its petition.

The Board has reviewed all the rulings made by the Trial Examiner on motions and objections and other matters and finds that no prejudicial errors were committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed.

We have fully considered the exceptions to the Intermediate Report and find no merit in them. They are hereby overruled.

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


  1. THE RESPONDENT AND ITS BUSINESS The respondent is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of...

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