161 F.3d 1047 (7th Cir. 1998), 96-3400, Production Workers Union of Chicago and Vicinity, Local 707 v. N.L.R.B.

Docket Nº:96-3400, 96-3833.
Citation:161 F.3d 1047
Party Name:PRODUCTION WORKERS UNION OF CHICAGO AND VICINITY, LOCAL 707, Petitioner, Cross-Respondent, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent, Cross-Petitioner, and Faustino Ramos, Intervening Respondent, Cross-Intervening Petitioner.
Case Date:November 20, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 1047

161 F.3d 1047 (7th Cir. 1998)

PRODUCTION WORKERS UNION OF CHICAGO AND VICINITY, LOCAL 707,

Petitioner, Cross-Respondent,

v.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent, Cross-Petitioner,

and

Faustino Ramos, Intervening Respondent, Cross-Intervening Petitioner.

Nos. 96-3400, 96-3833.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

November 20, 1998

Argued Jan. 20, 1998.

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Patrick J. Calihan (argued), Chicago, IL, for Production Workers Union of Chicago and Vicinity in No. 96-3400.

Patrick J. Calihan (argued), Chicago, IL, Cora Vaughin, Gary, IN, for Production Workers Union of Chicago and Vicinity in No. 96-3833.

Elizabeth Kinney, National Labor Relations Board, Region 13, Chicago, IL, John D. Burgoyne, National Labor Relations Board, Appellete Court, Enforcement Litigation, Washington, DC, for National Labor Relation Board in No. 96-3400.

Steven B. Goldstein (argued), National Labor Relations Board, Contempt Litigation Branch, Washington, DC, Elizabeth Kinney, National Labor Relations Board, Region 13, Chicago, IL, John D. Burgoyne, National Labor Relations Board, Appellete Court, Enforcement Litigation, Washington, DC, for National Labor Relation Board in No. 96-3833.

Glenn M. Taubman (argued), National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, Springfield, VA, for Faustino Ramos.

Before BAUER, COFFEY and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

COFFEY, Circuit Judge.

Mavo Leasing, Inc. ("Mavo"), an Illinois corporation, leases personnel to meat-packing plants. In 1990, three Mavo employees, intervenor-respondent Faustino Ramos ("Ramos"), Michael Beal ("Beal") and Francisco Murillo ("Murillo"), were discharged by Mavo for failing to pay union dues to the Production Workers Union of Chicago and Vicinity, Local 707 ("PWU"), required under the collective-bargaining agreement between the PWU and Mavo. Ramos and Murillo filed charges against the PWU alleging that it violated the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 158, when it terminated the three employees without advising them of their right to dispute unauthorized union expenditures not related to collective-

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bargaining. Administrative Law Judge Richard A. Scully found that the PWU never did have an affirmative obligation to inform non-union member employees of their right to object to union expenditures not related to collective-bargaining. On August 27, 1996, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") found that the PWU violated section 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) of the NLRA by requesting and causing Mavo to fire the three employees. The PWU petitioned this Court for review of the NLRB decision and the NLRB filed a cross-application for enforcement of its order. We order the enforcement of the decision of the NLRB.

I. BACKGROUND

In 1984, AMA Leasing, Ltd. ("AMA"), recognized the PWU as bargaining representative for its employees at the Donna meat packing plant in Forest Park, Illinois, and entered into a collective-bargaining agreement with the PWU. While AMA employees, Ramos and Beal joined the PWU and paid membership fees. Shortly thereafter, the NLRB determined that because the PWU was recognized by AMA before AMA began business operations, AMA's 1984 recognition of the PWU as its employees' bargaining representative was a violation of section 8(b)(1)(A) of the NLRA. The NLRB ordered the PWU to cease its activities as a bargaining representative and return all fees and dues collected from AMA employees, including Ramos and Beal. In 1986, Mavo assumed the meat packing operations at the Donna plant, and hired most of the employees who had been previously working for AMA at Donna. Subsequently, Mavo employees elected the PWU as their bargaining representative, which resulted in the certification of the PWU by the NLRB as the exclusive bargaining representative of Mavo's employees at the Donna plant. Although Ramos, Murillo and Beal were all Mavo employees, they refused to pay any union dues to the PWU. 1 Pursuant to the certification of the PWU, Mavo and the PWU entered into a collective-bargaining agreement with a "union security" clause conditioning Mavo employees' employment on the payment of union dues to the PWU. The clause provided:

It shall be a condition of employment that all employees of Employer covered by this Agreement who are members of the Union in good standing on the date on which this Agreement is signed shall remain members in good standing, and those who are not members on the date on which this Agreement is signed shall, on the thirtieth (30th) day following the date on which the Agreement is signed, become and remain members in good standing in the Union. It shall also be a condition of employment that all employees covered by this Agreement and hired on or after the date on which this Agreement is signed shall, on the thirty-first (31st) day following the beginning of such employment, become and remain members in good standing in this Union.

Under the agreement, all Mavo employees, union members or not, were obligated to submit dues to the union in order to finance the costs of the union's collective-bargaining activities. Beginning in late 1989, the PWU sent multiple notices to all employees covered by the collective-bargaining agreement that the payment of union dues was required as a condition of their employment at Mavo. Ramos, Beal and Murillo contend that they never received these notices. On January 23, 1990, a final notice was delivered to Ramos, Beal and Murillo stating that if payment of the dues was not made by February 7, 1990, their employment with Mavo would be terminated.

On February 6, Ramos contacted Sam Cozzo, PWU president and business representative, and requested an extension on the due date of his back dues. Ramos alleges that Cozzo extended the payment date to February 8, 1990, but was on vacation on the February date and failed to authorize another PWU representative to collect the payment from Ramos. Alternatively, Cozzo alleges that Ramos's request was premised on

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Ramos's desire to contact his lawyer about the lawfulness of the payments and that Cozzo denied this request. Ramos, Beal and Murillo failed to pay the back dues by the due date set by the PWU. On February 8, 1990, Mavo, at the direction of the PWU, ended the employment of Ramos, Beal and Murillo.

Ramos and Murillo filed charges with the NLRB against the PWU for wrongfully causing Mavo to discharge them for failure to pay their dues in a timely fashion. Ramos and Murillo alleged that the Supreme Court's holding in Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735, 108 S.Ct. 2641, 101 L.Ed.2d 634 (1988), required the PWU to notify them of their right to object to dues expenditures not germane to collective-bargaining before discharging them. In Beck, the Supreme Court held that section 8(a)(3) of the NLRA does not permit a union, over the objections of non-union member employees who pay union dues pursuant to collective-bargaining...

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