189 F.2d 582 (6th Cir. 1951), 11212, N.L.R.B. v. Valley Broadcasting Co.

Docket Nº:11212.
Citation:189 F.2d 582
Case Date:June 01, 1951
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Page 582

189 F.2d 582 (6th Cir. 1951)




No. 11212.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

June 1, 1951

Page 583

         Louis Schwartz, Washington, D.C., for petitioner. George J. Bott, David P. Findling, A. Norman Somers, Louis Schwartz, and Robert G. Johnson, Washington, D.C., on the brief.

         Carl A. Weinman, Steubenville, Ohio, for respondent. Carl A. Weinman, Berkman, Weinman & Anglin, Steubenville, Ohio, Allen H. Berkman, Robert Engel, Pittsburgh, Pa., on the brief.

         Before HICKS, Chief Judge, and ALLEN and McALLISTER, Circuit Judges.

         HICKS, Chief Judge.

         Petition of the National Labor Relations Board to enforce its order of December 16, 1949, that the respondent, The Valley Broadcasting Company, cease and

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desist from (1) (a) refusing to bargain collectively with Pittsburgh Local American Federation of Radio Artists (AFL) as the exclusive representative of all employee announcers at radio station WSTV, Steubenville, Ohio; and (b) in any other manner interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights of self-organization, to form labor organizations, or to join or assist Pittsburgh Local or any other labor organization to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, etc., and (2) to take specified affirmative action.

         Respondent was the owner and operator of Radio Station WSTV at Steubenville, Ohio. John Laux was its general manager and Joseph Troesch was his assistant and there is no question but that respondent was engaged in interstate commerce within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq. Donald B. Hirsch, national representative of an American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was located at Pittsburgh. He held two meetings, one in July, 1948 and another on October 4, 1948, with the announcers employed at WSTV. As a result of the meeting of October 4th, the announcers, seven in number, each delivered to Hirsch signed applications for membership in AFRA, herein called 'the Union.' Each of these applications designated AFRA as the exclusive agent for collective bargaining purposes in any and all matters dealing with the radio industry, etc., and each designation was completely independent of the status of the applicant for membership and as a member should the application be accepted. The announcers not only signed these applications but in addition personally requested Hirsch to proceed at once to bargain with respondent as their representative. Withe these applications Hirsch returned to his headquarters in Pittsburgh, forty miles away, and on the next day, October 5th, undertook to telephone Laux at Steubenville. Laux was away and Hirsch therefore talked to Troesch, and it is undisputed that he informed Troesch that he was a representative of the AFRA and there is substantial evidence that he further told Troesch that the announcers at WSTV had signed the application blanks and that the Union had been designated bargaining representative by the announcers and that unless respondent recognized the Union it would file a petition for certification with the National Labor Relations Board, and that upon being asked categorically if he would recognize the Union, Troesch answered that he would not. The Union did file such petition on October 15th but later withdrew it.

         Laux was not only general manager of station WSTV but of a number of other radio stations, among which was station WPIT at Pittsburgh. There is a controversy as to whether Troesch and Hirsch made an agreement to meet Laux for a conference at WPIT on October 6th. This is not particularly material because no such meeting was held. However, Troesch did meet Laux in Pittsburgh on October 6th and reported to him the telephone conversation with Hirsch. Moreover, Teolis, one of the announcers, testified that at a meeting of the announcers called by Troesch on or about October 15, 1948, at a time when Laux and Troesch each knew that the announcers had signed application forms for membership in the Union, Troesch brought out a contract which the Company had with its engineers and said that the engineers were pleased with it 'and that he would like to do the same for us'; that it was a good contract 'and it gave us security over a period of three years' and that 'if that contract looked acceptable to us, we would have one made on a similar structure, including periodic raising and hiring and firing clauses to be included.' Teolis testified that he asked Troesch, 'Why are we going through looking at any other kind of a contract when we have signed these A.F.R.A. application blanks and all those who were present had signed, and we were interested in becoming members of the organization?'; that Troesch replied in substance, 'Why should we call in an outsider'; he said, 'We are one small family and we can handle our own problems...

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