Optimum Fire Protection Service Co., (2006)

Optimum Fire Protection Service Company and Road Sprinkler Fitters Local Union No. 669, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO. Case 5–CA–32690

May 30, 2006


By Chairman Battista and members Kirsanow and Walsh

The General Counsel seeks a default judgment in this case on the ground that the Respondent has failed to file an answer to the complaint. Upon a charge filed by the Union on September 27, 2005, the Acting General Counsel issued the complaint on December 21, 2005 against Optimum Fire Protection Service Company, the Respondent, alleging that it has violated Section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the Act. The Respondent failed to file an answer.

On February 16, 2006, the General Counsel filed a Motion for Default Judgment with the Board. On February 22, 2006, the Board issued an order transferring the proceeding to the Board and a Notice to Show Cause why the motion should not be granted. The Respondent filed no response. The allegations in the motion are therefore undisputed.

The National Labor Relations Board has delegated its authority in this proceeding to a three-member panel.

Ruling on Motion for Default Judgment

Section 102.20 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations provides that the allegations in a complaint shall be deemed admitted if an answer is not filed within 14 days from service of the complaint, unless good cause is shown. In addition, the complaint affirmatively stated that unless an answer was filed by January 4, 2006, all the allegations in the complaint would be considered admitted. Further, the undisputed allegations in the General Counsel’s motion disclose that the Region, by letter dated January 10, 2006, notified the Respondent that unless an answer was received by January 20, 2006, a motion for default judgment[1] would be filed.

In the absence of good cause being shown for the failure to file a timely answer, we grant the General Counsel’s Motion for Default Judgment.

On the entire record, the Board makes the following

Findings of Fact

i. jurisdiction

At all material times, the Respondent, a Maryland corporation with an office and place of business in Knoxville, Maryland, has been engaged as a fire protection contractor in the construction industry, installing fire protection systems for commercial construction.

During the 12-month period preceding issuance of the complaint, a representative period, the Respondent, in conducting its business operations described above, performed services valued in excess of $50,000 in states other than the State of Maryland.

We find that the Respondent is an employer engaged in commerce within the meaning of Section 2(2), (6), and (7) of the Act, and that Road Sprinkler Fitters Local Union No. 669, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL–CIO (the Union) is a labor organization within the meaning of Section 2(5) of the Act.

ii. alleged unfair labor practices

At all material times, James Clark has held the position of the Respondent’s president, and has been a supervisor of the Respondent within the meaning of Section 2(11) of the Act, and an agent of the Respondent within the meaning of Section 2(13) of the Act.

The following employees of the Respondent (the unit), constitute a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining within the meaning of Section 9(b) of the Act:

All Journeymen Sprinkler Fitters and Apprentices employed by Respondent, who are engaged in all work as set forth in Article 18 of the collective-bargaining agreement; but excluding office clerical employees, professional employees, guards and supervisors as defined in the Act.

Since about January 20, 2005, and at all material times, the Union has been the designated exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the unit and, since that date, the Union has been recognized as the representative by the Respondent. This recognition has been embodied in an agreement dated January 20, 2005, and in the collective-bargaining agreement effective from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2007.

At all times since January 20,...

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