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Western Cartridge Co. v. National Labor Relations Board.

December 16, 1943

WESTERN CARTRIDGE CO.
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.



On petition to Set Aside and on Request for Enforcement of an Order of the Nation Labor Relations Board.

Author: Minton

Before KERNER and MINTON, Circuit Judges, and LINDLEY, District Judge.

MINTON, Circuit Judge.

On March 24, 1943, the National Labor Relations Board in a case brought before it by Local 12418, District 50, of the United Mine Workers of America, hereinafter called the Union, found the Western Cartridge Company, hereinafter called the Company, guilty of unfair labor practices in violation of Sections 8(1) and 8(3) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. ยง 158(1), (3), hereinafter called the Act. The Board entered the usual order. The Company seeks to review this order, and the Board has applied for its enforcement. The sole question before us is whether or not there is substantial evidence to support the Board's findings.

We consider first the Board's finding that the Company violated Section 8(1) of the Act. Various labor organizations had in the past attempted to organize the Company's employees. The Congress of Industrial Organizations began such a campaign in 1937, and the American Federation of Labor in 1940. Late in 1941 and early in 1942, the Union, which was then affiliated with the CIO, started to organize the Company's employees. When the employees appeared in the plant wearing their union buttons, they were ridiculed and chided by their foremen for doing so. Walter Crawford, the foreman of the Cupping Department, where the employees herein concerned worked, on several occasions made derogatory and ridiculing remarks to the men about wearing their union buttons. To employee Page, Crawford said, "Page, as long as you have been here, I would not have thought you would have joined the Union."

Page replied, "Well, I thought maybe I would better myself."

Crawford responded, "If the Company would lay you off, you would raise hell."

Page replied, "If they did lay me off for joining the Union, yes."

Crawford said, "They can do it."

Page replied, "No, they can't."

To which Crawford responded, "You will see."

Another employee testified that when he entered the plant wearing his union button, Foreman Crawford grabbed hold of it and said, "What are you doing with this button on?" and "What are you getting for wearing it?" to which the employee responded that, "Well, if you want it I will give it to you," and started to do so. The foreman and his assistant withdrew laughing. The employee testified he thought they were trying to make a fool of him at the time.

Later Foreman Crawford in a conversation with employee Bailey referred to the activities of Herron and Seeger, who were leaders among the Union men. Crawford remarked in substance that Herron and Seeger were causing the trouble in there and that after the war the Company would remember who had been the strong men for the Union.

These incidents standing alone may be considered weak support for a finding of violation of Section 8(1) of the Act. However, the Company has a long, consistent record of persistent opposition to the organization of its employees. This Court quite recently sustained and enforced an order of the National Labor Relations Board in which it found the Company guilty of several unfair labor practices.National Labor Relations Board v. Western Cartridge Co., 7 Cir., 134 F.2d 240. In view of the Company's known hostility to the organization of its employees and its established record of unfair labor practices, we think that the conduct of the foreman, Crawford, in this instance was quite persuasive evidence that the Company's attitude toward the organization of its ...


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