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N.L.R.B. v. BROWN TRANSPORT CORP.

October 30, 1985

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BROWN TRANSPORT CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

National Labor Relations Board ("Board" or, when cited in case names, "NLRB") has applied under National Labor Relations Act ("Act") § 11(2), 29 U.S.C. § 161(2),*fn1 for an order requiring Brown Transport Corporation ("Brown") to comply with Board's subpoena duces tecum (the "Subpoena"). For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, Board's application is granted.

Facts*fn2

Between November 23, 1984 and March 15, 1985 five unfair labor practice charges were filed against Brown (Ex. 1*fn3). Two of those charges were filed by individual employees Deborah King ("King") and Odell Neals ("Neals"), while competing union Local 710, International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("Local 710") filed the remaining three charges.

On February 1, 1985 Board issued a complaint ("Complaint I," Ex. 2) consolidating King's charge with those brought by Local 710. Complaint I charged Brown had:

    1. interrogated employees about their union
  activities, in violation of Section 158(a)(1)
  (Complaint I ¶ V);
    2. threatened to discharge employees who supported
  a union other than Association, in violation of
  Section 158(a)(1) (Complaint I ¶ V);
    3. threatened to close the Bedford Park terminal if
  the employees there chose a union other than
  Association, in violation of Section 158(a)(1)
  (Complaint I ¶ V);
    4. recognized Association as the bargaining
  representative of its Bedford Park employees before
  that union represented an uncoerced majority of those
  employees, in violation of Sections 158(a)(1) and (2)
  (Complaint I ¶ VI); and
    5. discharged George Witzel ("Witzel") because he
  supported Local 710, in violation of Section
  158(a)(1) and (3) (Complaint I ¶ VII).*fn4

On April 25, 1985 Board issued a complaint (Complaint II, Ex. 3) based on Neals' charge. Complaint II contained allegations against Brown similar to those included in Complaint I. On May 6, 1985 Board consolidated Complaints I and II (Ex. 4).

On June 28, 1985 Board issued the Subpoena (Ex. 7) to Brown, directing production of certain documents at a Board hearing. On July 3, 1985 Brown filed a petition to quash the Subpoena (Ex. 9). During the July 15, 1985 hearing, Administrative Law Judge Alprin ("ALJ Alprin" or simply the "ALJ") granted the petition to quash as to portions of the Subpoena but refused to revoke the Subpoena entirely. Brown continues to refuse to comply with the surviving portions of the Subpoena.

Brown's Contentions

Brown counters Board's application for enforcement of the Subpoena in three ways:

    1. This Court lacks jurisdiction to enforce a
  subpoena already limited by the ALJ.
    2. Documents called for by the Subpoena are
  irrelevant to Board's unfair labor practice case.
    3. Because the Subpoena is insufficiently
  particular, it is overly burdensome and hence
  unenforceable.

This opinion will consider each of those wholly unpersuasive arguments in turn.

1. Jurisdiction To Enforce the Subpoena

Board's power to issue subpoenas derives from Section 161(1), which also enables Board to revoke a ...


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