Spotlight Co., Inc., 491 (1971)

Docket Number:26-CA-03750


Spotlight Company, Inc. and International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, AFL-CIO. Case 26-CA-3750



On March 25, 1971, Trial Examiner Samuel M.

Singer issued his Decision in the above-entitled proceeding, finding that the Respondent had engaged in the,unfair labor practices alleged in the complaint, and recommending that the complaint be dismissed in its entirety, as set forth in the attached Trial Examiner's' Decision. Thereafter, the General Counsel' and the Charging Party filed exceptions to the Trial Examiner's Decision with supporting briefs.'The Respondent filed cross-exceptions to the Trial Examiner's Decision, a brief in support thereof, and a brief in answer to the exceptions filed by, the General Counsel and, the Charging Party.

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, cross-exceptions, And briefs, and the entire record in the case, and hereby adopts, the findings,' conclusions, and recommendations; of the Trial Examiner.3 ORDER

Pursuant to Section 10(c) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the National Labor Relations Board adopts as its Order the Recommended Order of the Trial Examiner and hereby orders that the, complaint herein be, and it hereby is, dismissed in its entirety.

i The General Counsel's exceptions, as well as those of the Charging Party, are in large part directed to the credibility findings made by the Trial Examiner.''° It is the Board's established policy, however, not to overrule a Trial Examiner's resolutions as to credibility unless, as is not the case here,,a clear preponderance of all the relevant evidence convinces us that they are incorrect. Standard Dry Wall Products. Inc., 91 NLRB 544, enfd. 188 F.2d 362 (CA. 3).

2 We hereby correct the following inadvertent, errors in the Trial Examiner's Decision: Under section-II; C, 2, the Board-conducted election was held on March 26, 1970, -rather than on March 6s 1970; and under section 11, E, Employee , Louise Lamon, on June 29, asked Floorgirl Murray, rather than Floorgirl Madden, to take off at 3 p.m., and in same section, Floorgirl Murray testified that the June 30 layoff of Harris and Lemon was occasioned by lack of work, rather than Harris and Murray.

3, In view of our disposition of this case, we deem it unnecessary to pass on the issues raised by the Respondent's cross-exceptions.

TRIAL 'EXAMINER'S' DECISION SAMUEL M. SINGER, Trial ' Examiner: This proceeding was heard ^ before me in Texarkana, Texas, on various dates between December 1 and 9,'pursuant to a charge filed on July-27;-and complaint issuedon September 8-{as'amended October 29), 1970.1 `The complaint alleges that Respondent violated Section 8(axl), (3), and (4) of the National Labor Relations Act,' as amended. This is denied by Respondent.

All parties were represented by counsel and wereafforded full opportunity to adduce relevant evidence, and contentions.-Briefs were received from all parties on or.-before February 4,1971. s - n Upon -the entire records and my observation of the testimonial demeanor, of the witnesses, I make., the following:' FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS, 1. RESPONDENT'S BUSINESS; THE LABOR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED

Respondent, an Arkansas corporation, manufactures lingerie at its plant here involved in Ashdown,Arkansas. It annually sells and delivers to purchasers in other States, and purchases and ,receives from sellers in other States, products valued in - excess- of $59,000.1, Bind that 4t'° all material times 'Respondent has been and is;engaged in commerce within the meaning of tie Act. , The Charing Party, herein called the Union, is a labor organization within the meaning of the Act.

H. THE ALLEGED UNFAIR LABOR - PRACTICES A. Background the Board's Findings in, Prior Proceedings; the Issues in the Instant Case' The instant proceeding is a sequel to three prior complaint proceedings involving Respondent. In the- first (Case 26-CA 3396), the Board on '° March If,' 1970, affirmed Trial Examiner Pollack's December 31, '1969,

Decision in which he found that ' Respondent violated Section 8(axl) of -the Act by interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in their right to join and participate in the Union and 8(aX3) by laying off one employee and discharging-five others for Union activiiies' (181-NLRB'°No.

94).3 In the second proceeding (Case 26-CA 3535), the Board on' March 3, 1971, affirmed, `with `modifications,

Trial Examiner Hinkes' -Decision in which he found that Respondent discharged or refused to recall three employ in--violation of Section 8(ax3)'of the Act (188 NLRB'No.

114). In the third proceeding , (consolidated, Cases 26-CA-3622 and 26-RC-3693) tried before Trial Examiner Brown, the'Board on- March 4,1971, found that `Respondent engaged ' in certain 8(a)(1) conduct-on the ba'sis of which it also sustained the Union's objections to the March 1 Unless otherwise noted,JaU dates herein refer to 1970.

2 Transcript as corrected by my , order on notice dated ,February 17, 1971.

s This case is now pending for enforcement in the,United States. Court of Appealsfor_the Eighth Circuit, No:,20,549.

192 NLRB No. 70 '26, `1970, Board election and-set aside the election, lost by the Union (188 NLRB No. 128).

While the,-unfair,,;laborpractices under,consideration in the above proceedings encompassed the period from April 1969 (when,the Union commenced its organizational drive) until around March, 1970 (whenthe Board conducted the representation election), the instant case deals with. unfair labor practices which, allegedly, commenced thereafter, in May 1970. The instant complaint alleges that Respondent unlawfully. laid off. three employees' on various dates; in May August, and, three others for 1 day (June 30);, that it unlawfully. discriminated-in,a job assignment to,oneof the laid-off `.employees; and, finally, , that it unlawfully discharged still another employee on May 8. At, issue is whether these layoffs were motivated by legitimate business reasons, and the discharge was for cause (as claimed by Respondent), or whether all the actions were motivated by Respondent's desire to punish employees for engaging in Union activities or because they had testified in prior Board proceedings or `had been involved in other protected activities. Also at issue is whether three of Respondent's floorgirls are 'supervisors' within the meaning of the Act 4

B. Operations of Respondent; Supervisory Status of Floorgirls;Madden, Murray, and .Young 11

Respondent , commenced its lingerie operations at Ashdown. , in January 1964; currently it primarily manufactures women's sleepwear, with approximately 220.employees. The plant consists of three departments; viz, cutting (15 employees), finishing, (30 employees), 'and'sewing, (175 employees). The finishing department operations, include trimming, folding, boxing, bagging, assorting, and tagging.

The sewing department has approximately 40 separate sewing operations, including shear lace binding, ; simple binding, bar'tack, zig zag, sleeve setting, and single needle.

During the period here involved' (May-August 1970),

Paul A. Leiby (Lieby) was the Ashdown general manager, answerable to ,Company President Jules Seiff,' who lives in Allentown, Penusylvania.5 Leiby's responsibilities include supervision .over''the cutting department. His Wife, Emily,: is in charge, of the finishing departments and Lucille Sample ()lead;'.floor,, supervisor) is in charge of the sewing department; `the two, department heads are also classified as 'fore ladies.' Working directly under Sample and, Emily Leiby are floorgirls. Paul Leiby testified that the dufies of all three floorgirls whose supervisory status is here in issue (Wanda Madden, ' Delphia Murray, and Charlotte Young);' are '.basically' the same.` They distribute the work among{ the girls in , the. -units or sections; attend management pro4• By posihearing motion accompanying its beef, Respondent also raised the procedural objection that the charge was not properly sworn to under Sees_ 102.11 and 101 .2 of the Board's Rules and Regulations. The charge, filed by the, Union was signed 'Root. L. Uhlig by JEY.' Uhlig is, the Union's attorney of record and, according to uncontradicted sworn statements attached to the Union's opposition to, the motion, the initials JEY stand for James E. Youngdahl, a member or associate of Uhhg's-law firm whom Uhlig authorized to sign his name to the charge. Although the more desirable practice would' seem to be for- the signer of'the charge personally to sign the 'declaration' in the charge , the Board has held that the charge and declaration may b6'-signed by his authorized Agent, followed by the agent's initials. See Walsh-Lumpkrn Wholesale Drug Company, 129 duction meetings and effectuate policiesthere determined;

inspect and evaluate performance of operators and report thereon to the department heads ; ' and effectively recommend specific employees for overtime work .'The floorgirls are also consulted on- transfers- of employees from one unit to another and in selections for layoff. Although without authority to, hire and fire, their recommendations are concededly given 'weight. 'According to General Manager Leiby, the floorgirls are expected to get employees 'to work faster or - ... to do better work''-'and ' to `warn or 'reprimand' them if they fail to'°do so.''-Based on the foregoing, and, the'entire record, I find that Floorgirls'Madden;;Murray; and Young have authority; '`in the interest of the employer...

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