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National Labor Relations Board v. Wasson

February 12, 1970

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PETITIONER,
v.
H.P. WASSON & COMPANY, RESPONDENT



Knoch, Senior Circuit Judge, Cummings and Kerner, Circuit Judges.

Author: Knoch

KNOCH, S. C. J.:

Petitioner, the National Labor Relations Board, seeks enforcement of its Order of March 13, 1968, reported at 170 NLRB No. 3, pursuant to § 10(e) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, Title 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq., against respondent, H.P. Wasson & Company.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, AFL-CIO, had been certified by the Board as the collective bargaining representative of respondent's two warehouses in Indianapolis, Indiana, after a Board-conducted election. The Union and respondent had executed a one-year collective bargaining agreement on November 19, 1965. On August 24, 1966, the Union wrote respondent requesting negotiations for a new agreement.

After receipt of the Union's letter, respondent's president, Louis Wolf, employed Walker Research, Inc., a firm engaged in such services as marketing research studies and public relations consulting for its clients, to make a survey of respondent's warehouse employees. The president of Walker, Dorothy Mae Walker, was provided a list of the employees' names and addresses. Her interviewers were to ask a single question, the answer to which would be recorded verbatim by a court reporter. The question was:

After the present labor contract expires on November 19, 1966, do you or do you not want the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to continue to represent you as your collective bargaining agent? Putting it another way, in a very simple way, "Do you or don't you want the Union at the warehouse?"

The question was to be preceded by the following statement:

Hello, I am Mrs. . . . of Consumer Research Service and we have been employed by H.P. Wasson and Company to take a short opinion survey among all ware house employees. (Pause, then state-slowly-) We want to ask you a question, but before we do so, we want you to know that in our report to Wassons, you will not be identified by name. Instead, we will report only the number of "yes" answers and the number of "no" answers to our one question. We also wish to assure you that you will not be prejudiced in any way by the results of this survey or by your answer to my question.

A report only of the numerical results as "yes", "no" or "refused" with no identification of any employees, as agreed in advance, was given to respondent. The report read:

yes 7

no 27

undecided 5

refused 1

not home ...


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