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National Labor Relations Board v. Local 420

December 11, 1956

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PETITIONER,
v.
LOCAL 420, UNITED ASSOCIATION OF JOURNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES OF THE PLUMBING AND PIPEFITTING INDUSTRY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, AFL, JOHN SMALL, BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE, A. J. BREEN, BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE, AND A. MCHENRY, BUSINESS MANAGER, RESPONDENTS.



Author: Goodrich

Before GOODRICH, MCLAUGHLIN and STALEY, Circuit Judges.

GOODRICH, C.J.: This case is before the Court upon petition for enforcement by the National Labor Relations Board of an order against Local 420 and certain of its officers. The Board has found that Local 420 and the respondent officials violated Section 8(b)(2) and (1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act as amended.*fn1 The two things which the Board found against the respondents were: (1) that they maintained an illegal closed shop agreement with J. J. White, Inc. and (2) that they caused the company to discriminate as to hire and tenure of employment against nonunion workmen, particularly the ten named in the charge.

The respondents do not seriously question that if the facts are as the Labor Board has found them unfair labor practices have been committed. NLRB v. F. H. McGraw & Co., 206 F.2d 635 (6th Cir. 1953). They deny that there is a reasonable basis for the conclusions which the Board has drawn.They also add a subsidiary objection to one phase of the proposed remedy. This will be discussed later.

We start with two propositions the recital of which has become established ritual in these cases. We view the record in its entirety. Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474 (1951).But it is not our task to resolve questions of credibility of those who testify at the Board hearings. NLRB v. Jarka Corp. of Philadelphia, 198 F.2d 618 (3d Cir. 1952); NLRB v. Local 369, International Hod Carriers' Union, AFL, F.2d (3d Cir. Dec. 3, 1956).

I. Was There an Illegal Closed Shop Contract or Equivalent Practice at the Time of the Acts Complained of?

It appears from the almost uncontradicted testimony that White employed, so far as the type of work done by the members of Local 420 is concerned, only members of 420, members of the same international union but some other local, or nonunion men with "permits" issued by Local 420 and paid for at $10.00 weekly by such nonunion workmen. How did this situation come about?

It appears that there is in the Philadelphia area an association of "air conditioning, heating and plumbing employers." The J. J. White, Inc. is not a member of this association. But after an agreement has been reached between Local 420 and the employers' association White, Inc. and other employers not members of the association sign an identical contract for themselves. Now the contract which had been in force between White and Local 420 had a closed shop clause. Article VIII said in part:

"Section 1. It is agreed that the Signatory Contractor shall employ only U. A. Journeymen and Apprentices who are in good standing and who retain their good standing in Local Union No. 420."

This contract was to remain in force until April 30, 1953, and be automatically renewed from year to year thereafter unless either party gave notice of intent to terminate or change. The Union gave such notice through its Business Manager in a communication dated February 27, 1953. In April White, Inc. was told by the Union that "no Agreement had as yet been reached" with the association. And White, Inc. was requested to agree and did agree that the new agreement when negotiated and signed by Local 420 and the employers' association would be agreed to by White, Inc. effective as of May 1, 1953.

On July 25, the Union told White, Inc. that a new labor agreement had been consummated with the association. Certain paragraphs of this letter must be quoted for they are important in determining the answer to the first point made by the Union. The letter said:

"The terms of this New Labor Agreement set forth a wage rate of $3.40 per hour, plus 11 1/2› per hour Health and Welfare Fund. The effective date of the New Agreement will be May 1st, 1953 and will expire April 30, 1954.

"There are a few other changes in this New Agreement which is now being prepared and which will be submitted to you in the near future.

"Your cooperation in putting this new wage rate into effect immediately will be ...


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