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Powers Regulator Co. v. National Labor Relations Board

January 5, 1966

POWERS REGULATOR COMPANY, PETITIONER,
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT. POWERS EMPLOYEES SHOP UNION, PETITIONER, V. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Hastings, Chief Judge, Schnackenberg, Circuit Judge, and Grubb, District Judge.

Author: Schnackenberg

SCHNACKENBERG, C.J.:

Petitioners, The Powers Regulator Company, an Illinois corporation, herein called "petitioner" or "Company", and Powers Employees Shop Union, herein called "PESU ", seek review of an order of the National Labor Relations Board, herein called "Board", entered in proceedings on a charge filed with the Board by United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO and the Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO, herein called "Steelworkers".

It is undisputed that 1963 marked the date of expiration for a collective bargaining agreement between the Company and PESU, one of a series commencing in 1949.

The charge alleged that the Company interfered with the administration of and contributed support to PESU, in violation of section 8(a)(2) of the National Labor Relations Act as amended, hereinafter called "the Act", 29 U.S.C.A. ยง 158(a)(2). It also alleged violations of section 8(a)(1) through interference with and restraint of employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed by section 7. The general counsel of the Board issued a complaint and an amendment, charging a violation of section 8(a)(3) of the Act.

Following a hearing, the trial examiner issued a decision in which he found certain acts and statements of Anthony Liga and James H. Crom, Jr., employees hereinafter called Liga and Crom, to be violations of section 8(a)(1), but dismissed the complaint as to the alleged violations of section 8(a)(2) and (3).

Exceptions and cross-exceptions were filed. On November 30, 1964, the Board issued its decision and order, which adopted the trial examiner's findings, conclusions and recommendations, with certain additions and modifications. More specifically, the Board affirmed the findings that the Company had violated section 8(a)(1), but also found, contrary to the trial examiner, that the Company had violated section 8(a)(2), and affirmed the finding that the Company had not violated section 8(a)(3).

The Board ordered the Company to cease and desist from (1) interrogating employees concerning union membership and activities, and creating an impression of surveillance, (2) threatening employees with a plant shutdown, (3) interfering with the administration of PESU by conducting collective bargaining negotiations with any committee representing PESU "which includes in its membership Chester Bogucki [an employee hereinafter called Bogucki] or any other supervisor within the meaning of section 2(11) of the Act", (4) recognizing PESU as exclusive bargaining agent of its employees until it had been certified by the Board, (5) maintaining or giving effect to any agreement with PESU, exclusive of a proviso immaterial here, unless and until it had been certified by the Board, (6) or in any other manner interfering with, restraining or coercing the Company's employees in the exercise of the right to engage in union activity. The Board also ordered the Company to withdraw and withhold all recognition from PESU unless and until it is certified by the Board as the exclusive representative of the Company's employees.

The Company and PESU each petitioned this court to review and set aside the order of the Board and the latter filed its answer and cross-petition for enforcement.

As to PESU, the Board's complaint charged that Liga was a supervisor within the meaning of section 2(11) of the Act and that the Company interfered in the administration of, and thereby unlawfully assisted PESU, in part, as follows:

1. Permitted PESU to conduct balloting on the premises as to the most recent collective bargaining proposal, which cut off employee discussion of it.

2. Company premises and equipment were used to print PESU recommendations to ratify the contract.

3. Bogucki assisted in aborting and defeating a Company employee's motion that PESU affiliate with the Steelworkers.

PESU answered the complaint as amended by denying that Bogucki and Liga were Company agents and supervisors under section 2(11) of the Act, and pleaded in its answer to the original complaint that the Board 15 years before had in case No. 13 RC 570 found that the title "supervisor" for employees doing the same work as Bogucki and Liga made such "supervisors" eligible to participate in a ...


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