Supemior Tanning Company And National Leather Workers Association, Local 43, 942 (1939)

Docket Number:C-560
Party Name:970
 
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In the Matter of SUPEmIOR TANNING COMPANY and NATIONAL LEATHER WORKERS ASSOCIATION, LOCAL 43 Case No. C-560.-Decided August 03, 1939 Leather Tanning Induslry-Inte'rference, Restraint, and Coercion: anti-union statements at plant mass meeting in presence of officers and foremen; preparation by employer and presentation to employees of individual contracts of employment during union membership campaign; coercing employees into signing individual contracts of employment, each containing blank space for insertion by employee of name of 'representative'; questioning employees regarding union activities; ordered, to cease giving effect to individual contracts of employment and to give written notice of their invalidity to each employee who signed such a contract-Discrimination: discharge for union membership and activity; allegations of, dismissed as to six employees, sustained as to one--Reinstatement Ordered: of discharged employee; of employees non-discriminatorily laid off, on preferential basis as employment arises-Back Pay: awarded: to discharged employee; not to include period between date of Intermediate Report recommending dismissal and date of Decision-Remedial Order: plant notices to be posted in both English and Polish.

Mr. Lee Loevinger, for the Board.

Jacobson, Merrick, Nierman & Silbert, by Mr. David Silbert and Mr. Robert B. Shapiro, of Chicago, Ill., for the respondent.

Mr. Leon M. Despres, of Chicago, Ill., for the Association.

Mr. Louis Newman, of counsel to the Board.

DECISION AND ORDER STATEMIENT OF THIE CASE Upon a fourth amended charge ' duly filed by National Leather Workers Association, Local 43, herein called the Association, the National Labor Relations Board, herein called the Board, by the Regional Director for the Thirteenth Region (Chicago, Illinois),

SOn June 4, 1937, a charge was filed by the Committee for Industrial Organization.

An amended charge was filed June 21, 1937, by Rudolph J. Burkey, an individual.

A second amended charge and a third amended charge were filed by Tannery Workers Organizing Committee on October 22 and November 17, 1937, respectively. On December 2, 1937, a supplemental charge was filed by United Tannery Workers Union. A fourth amended charge, upon which the present proceeding is based, was filed by National Leather Workers Association, Local 43, on February 5, 1938. All of these charges, except the first, were signed by Burkey either individually or as organizer.

Each of the amended charges was in substitution for, rather than supplementary to, the charge or amended charge filed prior thereto.

942 issued its complaint, dated February 7, 1938, against Superior Tanning Company, Chicago, Illinois, 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 (3) and Section 2 (6) and (7) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449, herein called the Act. Copies of the complaint accompanied by notice of hearing were served on the respondent and the Association.The complaint alleged in substance that the respondent on various dates during 1937 discharged and thereafter refused to employ seven named employees 3 because they had joined and assisted the Association, thereby discriminating in regard to their hire and tenure of employment and discouraging membership in the Association, and that the respondent otherwise interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in their exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act by urging and warning them not to become or remain members of the Association, by soliciting its employees to sign individual contracts of employment, and by interrogating them as to their union affiliation.

Thereafter, the respondent filed its answer, dated February 12, 1938, in which it denied the material allegations of the complaint and affirmatively alleged that Adamczewski and Oppenheim were discharged for cause, that Woodward was laid off because of termination of the kind of work he was doing, and that Terranova,

Dolnick, Semenaro, and Stempinski were not discharged but only temporarily laid off along with approximately 110 other employees because of lack of work.

Pursuant to notice, a hearing was held on February 14, 15, 16, and 17, 1938, at Chicago, Illinois, before George Bokat, the Trial Examiner duly designated by the Board. The Board, the respondent, and the Association were represented by counsel and participated in the hearing. Full opportunity to be heard, to examine and crossexamine witnesses, and to introduce evidence bearing on the issues was afforded all parties. At the close of the Board's case and again during the course of the hearing thereafter and at the close of the hearing, the respondent moved to dismiss the complaint. The respondent also moved at the hearing to strike from the complaint the allegations of interference, restraint, and coercion contained in paragraph 7 thereof. These motions were denied by the Trial Examiner. A motion by counsel for the Board at the close of the hearing to amend the complaint to conform to the proof on matters such 2Although a copy of the complaint and notice of hearing was served on the respondent apparently less than 5 days prior to the hearing herein, no objection was made by the respondent and its answer to the complaint was duly filed.

' Vincent Terranova, Steve Dolnick, Daniel Semenaro, Ben Stempinski, Harry Oppenheim, Ulysses Woodward, and Steve Adamczewski.

as names, spelling, and dates was granted by the Trial Examiner.

During the hearing, the Trial Examiner also ruled on other motions and on objections to the admission of evidence. The Board has reviewed the rulings of the Trial Examiner and finds that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed.

The parties were given leave by the Trial Examiner to argue orally at the close of the hearing and to submit briefs, but failed to do either. Thereafter, the Trial Examiner filed his Intermediate Report, dated April 15, 1938, copies of which were duly served on the parties to the proceeding. He found that the respondent had engaged in unfair labor practices affecting commerce, within the meaning of Section 8 (1) and Section 2 (6) and (7) of the Act, but that none of the employees named in the complaint had been discriminatorily laid off or discharged because of union membership or activity. The Trial Examiner recommended that the respondent cease and desist from its unfair labor practices and that it also take certain affirmative action, but that the allegations of the complaint as to the discharge of the seven named employees be dismissed.

On April 29, 1938, the respondent filed with the Board exceptions to the record and to the Intermediate Report and requests for oral argument and for leave to file a brief. On April 30, 1938, the Association filed with the Board exceptions to the Intermediate Report and a supporting memorandum. On June 10, 1938, the Association moved to reopen the hearing for the purpose of taking additional evidence as to events occurring subsequent to the hearing. The respondent, on June 14, 1938, filed a 'motion to strike' the Association's motion to reopen the hearing. By order dated August 19, 1938, the Board denied the Association's motion to reopen. Thereafter, pursuant to notice duly served on the parties, oral argument was had before the Board at Washington, D. C., on November 22, 1938. The respondent was represented by counsel and participated in the argument; the Association did not appear. The respondent, on November 29, 1938, submitted a 'Memorandum of Authorities,' which has been considered by the Board.

The exceptions filed by the parties have also been considered by the Board and are found to be without merit, except as they are consistent with the findings, conclusions, and order set forth below.

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

FINDINGS OF FACT I. THE BUSINESS OF THE RESPONDENT The respondent is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Illinois, having its office and only plant in the city of Chicago, Illinois. It is engaged in the tanning of hides and the sale and distribution of the finished leather. The raw hides used by the respondent in its business are purchased from dealers who obtain the hides from stockyards, meat packers, and country butchers in various parts of the United States. The major source of the respondent's supply of hides is a dealer in Chicago, but approximately 13 per cent of the respondent's requirements come from dealers outside the State of Illinois. Approximately 80 per cent of the respondent's product is sold and shipped to customers outside the State of Illinois. No sales offices are maintained by the respondent outside Chicago, but it employs three salesmen, of whom one covers the New England States, one covers the New York area, and one covers the rest of the country. Gross sales by the respondent during 1937 were approximately $2,408,000.

  1. THE ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED National Leather Workers Association, Local 43, is a labor organization affiliated with the Committee for Industrial Organization, herein called the C. I. O. It admits to membership all tannery workers in the Chicago area, except those occupying supervisory positions.

    Until March 1937, the tannery workers who later formed the Association were organized as United Leather Workers International Union, Local 79, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.

    At a meeting of Local 79 in March 1937, it was voted to cease paying per capita dues to United Leather Workers International Union and to seek affiliation with the C. I. O. The subsequent organizing campaign among the respondent's employees was instituted by the C. I. 0.

    and continued by the Tannery Workers Organizing Committee and the United Tannery Workers Union, both...

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