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Flambeau Plastics Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board

January 19, 1973


Author: Swygert

Before SWYGERT, Chief Judge, and KILEY and FAIRCHILD, Circuit Judges.


SWYGERT, Ch. J.: The National Labor Relations Board filed a petition requesting that Flambeau Plastics Corporation be adjudged in civil contempt of the court for failing and refusing to comply with the decree of th court entered herein on August 29, 1968. The decree enforced an order of the NLRB on the Company to cease and desist refusing to bargain collectively with the Union and to take affirmative action to bargain collectively. The Company filed an answer and this court appointed a special master to determine the issues of fact and law raised by the pleadings and to file a report and recommendations. The special master filed the report with this court. He found the Company to be in civil contempt of this court's decree of August 29, 1968 and made recommendations as to how the Company should purge itself of the contempt.

The Company filed exceptions to the findings, conclusions, and recommendation of the special master and the Board filed a brief in support of his report.

This court has considered the Company's exceptions to the report of the special master. The findings of fact are not clearly erroneous and the findings support the conclusion of law that the Company was in contempt of our decree of August 29, 1968. We adopt the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the special master as our own.

It is ordered, adjudged and decreed that the Company is in contempt of this court and its decree of August 29, 1968. This court adopts the recommendations of the special master as to how the Company should purge itself of its contempt and orders that the Company:

(a) Fully comply with and obey the said judgment of the court by, upon request, meeting and conferring with the Union at reasonable times and engaging in meaningful bargaining concerning, among other subjects, dues checkoff, union security, grievance and arbitration procedures, merit wage increases, wage and job progression, classifications and reclassifications, including wage ranges for tool and die makers and lathe hand operators, sex discrimination, wages and vacations and other matters involving terms and conditions of employment which are proper subjects of bargaining.

(b) Assemble its employees and advise them of their rights under the Act to Union representation in the presentation and handling of their grievances.

(c) Permit employees to have unrestricted access to Union organizers during nonworking time on plant approaches and parking lots for a period of one year from the issuance date of the contempt judgment, subject only to such reasonable and non-discriminatory regulations as the Company may find it necessary to impose in the interest of plant efficiency and discipline, provided, however, that said regulations do not serve to thwart the employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed them herein.

(d) Immediately post in conspicuous places, including all places where notices to employees customarily are posted, for a period of sixty (60) consecutive days, copies of an appropriate notice in the form prescribed by the Board and signed by a duly authorized representative of the Company, stating that it has been adjudicated in civil contempt of court for violating, resisting, disobeying and failing and refusing to comply with the court's decree, and that the Company will take the action in purgation ordered by the court, and maintain such notices and copies of the contempt adjudication in clearly legible condition throughout such posting period, and insure that they are not altered, defaced or covered by any other material.

(e) File a sworn statement with the Clerk of this court and a copy thereof with the Director of the Thirtieth Region of the Board within ten (10) days after the entry of adjudication and again at the end of the posting period show what steps have been taken by the Company with the court's direction.

(f) Pay to the Board its costs and expenses including master fees and attorneys' salaries incurred in the investigation, preparation, presentation and final disposition of these proceedings. Said amount unless agreed upon by the parties shall be fixed by further order of the court upon submission by the Board of a verified statement of such costs and expenses. The total of such required payment shall not exceed $7,500.

(g) Take such other and further action as may be adjudged just, reasonable and necessary to assure compliance with the court's decree and as this proceeding in civil contempt requires.

Upon failure of compliance with any of the foregoing within thirty (30) days from the date hereof, or of continuing compliance with paragraph (a), the Board may move the court for issuance of a writ of attachment against any officer responsible therefor, the assessment of an appropriate fine or for such other relief as the court may then deem appropriate.

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

This referral having been heard from December 13th to 17th, 1971, upon the issues joined by the Petition and Answer, before the undersigned Special Master appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, I, the Special Master, do find and decide as

Findings of Fact

1. On August 29, 1968, the Court issued its decree (its preceding opinion is reported at 401 F.2d 128), enforcing in full the Board's Decision and Order, dated October 12, 1967 and reported at 167 NLRB 735. In pertinent part the Board's order as enforced by the Court directs that Flambeau Plastics Corporation (herein referred to as "the Company"), its officers, agents, successors and assigns shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(d) Refusing to bargain collectively with Local 380, International Union, Allied Industrial Workers of America, AFL-CIO (herein "the Union") as the exclusive representative of its employees ...

2. Take the following affirmative action which is necessary to effectuate the policies of the Act:

(b) Upon request, bargain collectively with (the Union) as the exclusive representative of the employees in the appropriate unit and embody any understanding reached in a signed contract.

2. The aforesaid decree has been in full force and effect since its entry, and at all material times, the Company, its officers and agents, have had notice and actual knowledge of the terms thereof.

3. By letter dated January 21, 1969 (hereafter all dates are for 1969 unless otherwise indicated) Smiley, vice-president and corporate counsel of the Company, to Schaefer, regional director of the Union, the Company notified the Union that it stood ready to institute such collective bargaining sessions as required by the Board and requested to know when the Union bargaining committee would be willing to meet with representatives of the Company. Schaefer replied by letter to Smiley dated January 24 in which he demanded that the Company provide certain specified information "so that the Union can intelligently represent the employees in the forthcoming negotiations," and expressed the hope that the requested information would be supplied "as early as possible so that negotiations can commence as rapidly as possible." The requested information consisted of the employees' names, addresses, dates of hire, dates and amounts of wage increases of all employees commencing June 15, 1966, past and present classifications and wage rates, and the dates the employees received such classifications.

4. The Company sent to the Union the requested information in several instalments except that up to April 25, when it was agreed by telephone between Schaefer and Smiley that the first bargaining session would be held May 8, the Company had not supplied the dates and amount of wage increases and classification changes of those employees who were on the payroll after June 15, 1966, and prior to February 5, 1969. Thereafter, Robert E. Diggelman, Board Compliance Officer, requested the Company to furnish the omitted requested material both to him and to the Union. On May 16 the Company mailed to Diggelman Xeroxed duplications of the Company 604 forms covering employees on the payroll from June 15, 1966 to February 5, 1969 and sent Diggelman a copy of a Company letter to Schaefer indicating that similar material was being sent to Schaefer. The material sent to Schaefer consisted of copies of Company's form 610 for most of the employees on the Company's payroll after June 15, 1966 to February 5, 1969, and neither Diggelman nor Schaefer learned that each had received different material than the other until long after all bargaining sessions had ended. Form 604 sets forth the complete wage and change in classification history of the employee in whose name it is made out. Form ...

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