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LEE LUMBER AND BUILDING MATERIAL CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD </h1> <p class="docCourt"> </p> <p> July 8, 1997 </p> <p class="case-parties"> <b>LEE LUMBER AND BUILDING MATERIAL CORP., PETITIONER<br><br>v.<br><br>NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT</b><br><br> </p> <div class="caseCopy"> <div class="facLeaderBoard"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1233285632737842"; /* FACLeaderBoard */ google_ad_slot = "8524463142"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div class="facLeaderBoard"> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p><br> Before: Silberman, Ginsburg and Sentelle, Circuit Judges.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Karen LeCraft Henderson, Circuit Judge</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> FOR PUBLICATION</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Argued May 14, 1997</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Chicago and Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters, Carpenter Local No. 1027, Mill-Cabinet Industrial Division and Chicago and Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters, Intervenor</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> On Petition for Review and Cross-Application for Enforcement of an Order of the National Labor Relations Board</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Opinion for the Court filed Per Curiam.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Concurring opinion filed by Circuit Judge Silberman.</p></div> <div class="facAdFloatLeft"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1233285632737842"; /* FACContentLeftSkyscraperWide */ google_ad_slot = "1266897617"; google_ad_width = 160; google_ad_height = 600; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script> </div class="facLeaderBoard"> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Opinion filed by Circuit Judge Sentelle concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Per Curiam: Lee Lumber and Building Material Corporation ("Lee" or "Company") petitions from a decision of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or "Board") holding that it had engaged in various unlawful practices and ordering it to bargain with Carpenter Local No. 1207 ("Union"). Agreeing with two of Lee's principal contentions, we remand the case to the Board for further proceedings.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> BACKGROUND</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> The Poll and the Filing of the Petition</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Petitioner runs a mill shop in Chicago. In October 1988 the NLRB certified the Union as the exclusive bargaining representative of the previously unrepresented mill shop employees. The unit contained approximately 14 employees. The Company and the Union entered into a collective bargaining agreement that expired in May 1990.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> In February 1990 the Union informed the Company that it wished to begin negotiating for a renewal contract. The parties informally agreed to a schedule for negotiations. Around this time a number of employees became concerned that the Union would push to substitute the Union's pension plan for the Company's profit-sharing plan. In the wake of this concern, the employees conducted a straw poll to see if a majority still wished to be represented by the Union. The poll indicated that a majority still did.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Sometime after the poll, a number of employees asked Randy Baumgarten, a part owner and Secretary-Treasurer of Lee Lumber, about the profit-sharing plan. Baumgarten held a meeting at which he answered questions about the profit-sharing plan and the Union pension plan. Baumgarten reminded the employees that in negotiations the Union had sought to replace the profit-sharing program with a Union pension plan, and said that the Union might do so again in the upcoming negotiations.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Shortly after this meeting, two employees prepared and began circulating a petition seeking another certification election. Twelve of the fourteen employees signed the petition. The Company allowed these employees to take paid time off from work to take the petition to the Board's regional office. The general rule at the Company was that employees did not get paid for time spent away from work on personal business.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> The Initial Refusal to Negotiate</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> On March 26, one week after the employees' petition was filed with the Board, the Union sent the Company a letter requesting that the parties meet on April 11 to begin negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement. On March 29 the Union filed a charge seeking to "block" a decertification election, alleging that Lee Lumber had sponsored or assisted in the filing of the March 20 petition.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> On April 11, when Union negotiators appeared at the Company, Baumgarten handed them the following statement:</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"> <p> Due to the petition signed by a majority of the employees in the bargaining unit it is appropriate to defer the onset of negotiations until your local is shown to still represent the men after the election. We ...</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="caseToolTip" class="caseToolTip" style="display: none;"> <div class="toolTipHead"> </div> <div class="toolTipContent"> <p> Our website includes the first part of the main text of the court's opinion. To read the entire case, you must purchase the decision for download. 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