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Wilson & Co. v. National Labor Relations Board.

February 19, 1942

WILSON & CO., INC.,
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.



On Petition for Review and to Set Aside in Part an Order of The National Labor Relations Board and on Request for Enforcement.

Author: Evans

Before EVANS, MAJOR, and KERNER, Circuit Judges.

EVANS, Circuit Judge.

These proceedings are before us upon the petition of the employer to set aside an order of the N.L.R.B. and also upon the petition of the N.L.R.B. for an enforcement of its order.

Petitioner is a Delaware corporation, having its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. It is engaged in the meat packing business, which means that it putchases and slaughters livestock, processes meat products and their byproducts, and sells and distributes the finished commodities.

Our controversy deals with a labor dispute in petitioner's packing house at Chicago. As to it, the evidence shows that 85% of its products are shipped to points outside the city. Its business in a single month was $10,000,000. Its employees in Chicago number 3600.

The conclusion is inescapable that it is engaged in interstate commerce, and its employees' relations fall within the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act, Sec. 8(1),(2), 29 U.S.C.A. ยง 158(1, 2). Petitioner, in fact, raises no question of the applicability of the Act to the controversy here involved.

The Board found that petitioner dominated and interfered with the formation and administration of, and contributed support to, the Joint Representative Committee Plan and the Joint Representative Committee established under such plan, which for years covered petitioner's and employees' method of handling labor problems and settling labor disputes. The Board also found that petitioner dominated and interfered with the formation ans administration of the Wilson Employees' Representation Plan,*fn1 and the Employees Representative Committee*fn1 established thereunder, in violation of Section 8(1), (2).

Its order, in addition to requiring petitioner to cease and desist from the unfair labor practices which it found to exist, ordered petitioner to refuse to recognize the Joint Representative Committee Plan and the Joint Representative Committee as collective bargaining representatives of its employees, to disestablish the Wilson Employees' Representation Plan and the Employees' Representative Committee as such representative, and to post appropriate notice of the substance of the order in its plant.

This controversy and its disposition turn upon the existence of evidence sufficient to support the Board's finding of unfair labor practices. This, in turn, depends upon the merits of the charge, and the validity of the finding, that petitioner dictated the Joint Representative Committee Plan financed it, and dominated the Joint Representative Committee. The same is said of the Wilson Employees' Representation Plan and the Employees' Representative Committee.

We are convinced that there is evidentiary support for the finding of the Board on this issue. We must therefore accept it.

Petitioner's counsel with an earnestness which evidences sincere conviction, argues that the finding is false and that never has petitioner dominated, or sought to dominate, the employees' independently selected organization. Nor did it endeavor to dictate, or formulate, the policy of either plan. It asserts that the plan resulted from a mutual desire, entertained by both employer and employees, to improve labor conditions and labor relations between employer and employee. The Committees were selected to protect the employees, rights under the Plans and to study, present, and urge the adoption of changes which might benefit the employees both in matters of wage compensation and hours of service and working conditions.

Petitioner argues that more fruitful results are obtained through the cooperation of employer and employee than through labor wars, and that such cooperation in plans and proposed changes for better working conditions was petitioner's sole object, and it did not evidence domination or interference. Asserting in addition that such cooperation attained through meetings and discussions was conducive to the creation of more friendly and cordial relations between the employer and employee, it was hoped that the strike method of settling labor disputes would thereby be lessened.

While the argument, thus made, must, in the abstract, be accepted as sound, the more specific question concerns the record proof in this case. In other words, the argument which counsel for petitioner has made, was more properly directed to the N.L.R.B., which is the fact-finding body, whose findings we cannot ...


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