General Motors Corporation, Rochester Products Division And United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers Of America, Cio, 74 (1947)

Docket Number:3-C-846
Party Name:89
 
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In the Matter of GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION, ROCHESTER PRODUCTS DIVISION and UNITED ELECTRICAL, RADIO & MACHINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, CIO Case No. 3-C-846.-Decided March 31, 1947 Mr. Philip Licari, for the Board.

Mr. Henry M. Hogan, by Messrs. Harry S. Benjamin, Jr., and Wil/Jam J. Oldani, of Detroit, Mich., for the respondent.

Miss Katherine Hull and Mr. Hugh Harley, of Rochester, N. Y., for the Union.

Mr. Julius Topol, of counsel to the Board.

DECISION AND ORDER On August 8, 1946, Trial Examiner Charles E. Persons issued his Intermediate Report in the above-entitled proceeding, finding that the 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 copy of the Intermediate Report attached hereto. Thereafter, the respondent and counsel for the Board filed exceptions to the Intermediate Report and supporting briefs. On January 5, 1947, the Board, at Washington,

D. C., heard oral argument in which the respondent participated.,

The Board has reviewed the rulings of the Trial Examiner at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed. The Board has considered the Intermediate Report, the exceptions and briefs, the Union's memorandum in lieu of oral argument and the respondent's reply thereto, and the entire record in the case, and finds merit in the respondent's exceptions.

The Trial Examiner found that Personnel Manager Snyder's statement to employee Scales, 'that the Union would never get in and I On January 9, 1947, the Union filed a motion for leave to submit a memorandum in lieu of oral argument, stating that it had failed to appear at the oral argument because of a misapprehension as to the time at which oral argument was to be heard, and, on that date, it submitted a memorandum for the Board's consideration. On January 14, 1947, the respondent filed its opposition to the Union's motion and submitted a reply to the Union's memorandum. The Union's motion is hereby granted.

74 that they had a different class of people working there,' coerced Scales in the exercise of the rights guaranteed under the Act. While we agree that this remark revealed an anti-union attitude, we are of the opinion that, on the state of the record herein, Snyder's statement was not coercive and hence that it was protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech.

The Trial Examiner also found that Supervisor Vollick's antiunion statements to Scales, in the course of their repeated arguments concerning unionism, interfered with, restrained, and coerced the respondent's employees in violation of Section 8 (1) of the Act. We do not agree. Under all the circumstances, we are of the opinion that Vollick's statements in the course of such arguments, as set forth in the Intermediate Report, do not warrant a finding that Vollick's conduct was coercive.

Nor do we agree with the Trial Examiner's finding that, as a result of a statement made by Foreman Marriott to employee Pardee on September 28, 1945. the respondent interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in violation of Section 8 (1) of the Act. On that date, Marriott told Pardee 'that [he] was foolish to belong to the Union and that [he] wasn't supposed to talk about the Union or solicit members in the Union on company property at any time.' Had the respondent promulgated a rule prohibiting solicitation of union members by employees on company property during their nonworking time, it would clearly be in violation of the Act, absent a showing of circumstances requiring such a rule.2 However, shop rule 21 of the rules promulgated by the respondent, by means of bulletins posted throughout the plant and information booklets issued to employees, forbids 'soliciting or collecting contributions for any purpose whatever on company time.' Marriott's statement to Pardee was the sole instance in which any management representative stated that the restriction on soliciting applied not only to working time, as stated in rule 21, but to non-working time as well.3 In view of the wide degree of publicity given to the respondent's shop rule 21, and in the absence of any evidence that the respondent authorized or ratified Marriott's statement, we are of the opinion that the employees had no reasonable basis for believing that Marriott's statement to Pardee reflected the respondent's policy. Marriott's statement is, therefore, not attributable to the respondent.

2 See Republic Aviation Corporation v. N. L. R. B., 324 U. S. 793, enf'g 1186.

1 There is testimony by Pardee that, on a different occasion, Personnel Manager Snyder had stated that the respondent's rules prohibited soliciting union members or talking about the Union on company property at any time. Snyder, however, denied having made such statement. The Trial Examiner did not credit Pardee's testimony in this regard. We adopt the Trial Examiner's resolution of the conflicting testimony.

Finally, the Trial Examiner found that, by Personnel Manager Snyder's conduct in presenting an anti-union leaflet for Scales' consideration, by Snyder's statement to employee LeMoyne that 'there was no outside organization going to run this shop,' and by Superintendent Braun's suggestion to LeMoyne that 'if [he] didn't like [his] job, why didn't [he] quit,' the respondent interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees within the meaning of Section 8 (1) of the Act. While similar conduct and statements have been found, under certain circumstances, to be violative of the Act, we note that, in the instant case, there is no showing of any other conduct on the part of the respondent, violative of the Act, which would import into the statements and conduct in question a coercive quality. Accordingly, we disagree with the Trial Examiner's findings referred to in this paragraph.

In his exceptions to the Intermediate Report, counsel for the Board contends that the Trial Examiner should have found that the respondent's shop rule 22 is a violation, per se, of the provisions of Section 8 (1) of the Act. We find no merit in this contention. Shop rule 22 provides that it shall be sufficient ground for disciplinary action, including discharge, 'to distribute or circulate literature, petitions, or written or printed matter of any description on company premises.' There is no evidence here that rule 22 was discriminatorily adopted or enforced, or that enforcement of the rule impeded the employees' exercise of the right of self-organization.4 In the absence of these factors, we cannot find that the rule is improper under the Act.5 Inasmuch as we have reversed all the Trial Examiner's findings of unfair labor practices, and in view of the fact that we agree with his findings and conclusions with respect to the allegations of the complaint as to which he recommends dismissal, we shall dismiss the complaint in its entirety.

ORDER Upon the basis of the foregoing findings of fact and the entire record in the case, and pursuant to Section 10 (c) of the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board hereby orders that the complaint against the respondent, General Motors Corporation, Rochester Products Division, Rochester, New York, be, and it hereby is, dismissed.

CHAIRMAN HERZOG took no part in the consideration of the above Decision and Order.

4 See Matter of Le Tourneau Company of Georgia,

U. S. 793.

* See Matter of Tabin-Picker & Co.,

Aviation, Inc.,

INTERMEDIATE REPORT Philip Licari, Esq., for the Board.

Henry M. Hogan, Esq., by Harry S. Benjamrnin, Jr., Esq., and William J. Oldani,

Rsq., all of Detroit, Mich., for the Respondent.

Miss Katherine Hull and Hugh Hurley, Esq., both of Rochester, N. Y., for the Union.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE Upon an amended charge duly filed on June 10, 1946, by the United Electrical,

Radio and Machine Workers of America, CIO, herein called the Union, the National Labor Relations Board, herein called the Board, by its Regional Director for the Third Region (Buffalo 2, New York), issued its complaint dated June 10, 1946, against General Motors Corporation, Rochester Products Division, 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) and Section 2 (6) and (7) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449, herein called the Act. Copies of the complaint and notice of hearing thereon were duly served upon the Respondent and the Union.

With respect to the unfair labor practices, the complaint alleges in substance that the Respondent by: (a) threatening its employees with discharge if they engaged or continued to engage in soliciting union membership on company premises, even though such solicitation is conducted during the employees' nonworking time; (b) interrogating its employees about their union affiliation; (c) urging, persuading and warning its employees not to join the Union; (d) making disparaging and derogatory remarks to its employees about the Union, its members and representatives; (e) engaging in espionage and surveillance of its employees, interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of.the Act and engaged in unfair labor practices within the meaning of Section 8 (1) of the Act.

On or about June 20, 1946, the Respondent duly filed its answer in which it admits the facts alleged in the complaint as to its corporate organization, and the character and extent of its business, and that the Union is a labor organization within the meaning of Section 2 (5) of the Act. However, the Respondent denies that it has committed any of the unfair labor practices alleged by the complaint.

Pursuant to notice a hearing was held on June 26 and 27, 1946, at Rochester,

New York, before the undersigned, Charles E. Persons, the Trial Examiner duly...

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