422 F.2d 571 (5th Cir. 1970), 27538, N.L.R.B. v. Li'l General Stores, Inc.

Docket Nº:27538.
Citation:422 F.2d 571
Party Name:NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner, v. LI'L GENERAL STORES, INC., Respondent.
Case Date:February 12, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 571

422 F.2d 571 (5th Cir. 1970)

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner,

v.

LI'L GENERAL STORES, INC., Respondent.

No. 27538.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

February 12, 1970

Page 572

         Marcel Mallet-Prevost, Asst. Gen. Counsel, N.L.R.B., Washington, D.C., Harold A. Boire, Director, Region 12, N.L.R.B., Tampa, Fla., Allan M. Elster, Miami Beach, Fla., R.W.D.S.U., Local 885, Paul J. Spielberg, Atty., N.L.R.B., Arnold Ordman, Gen. Counsel, Dominick L. Manoli, Assoc. Gen. Counsel, Robertamarie Kiley, Atty., N.L.R.B., Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

         Glenn L. Greene, Jr., W. Reynolds Allen, Jesse S. Hogg, Greene, Hogg & Allen, Miami, Fla., for respondent.

         Before JOHN R. BROWN, Chief Judge, and COLEMAN and CLARK, Circuit judges.

         COLEMAN, Circuit Judge.

         This is a petition for enforcement of an order of the National Labor Relations Board issued against Li'l General Stores, Inc., 170 N.L.R.B. No. 94 (March 28, 1968).

         Agreeing with the Trial Examiner, the Board found that the Company violated § 8(a)(1) of the Act by coercive interrogation of its employees; by threats to discharge employees and hire replacements; by promising benefits; by increasing work loads and written warning notices; and by withholding a company wide wage increase from the employees involved in this proceeding.

         The Board also found that the Company had violated § 8(a) (3) and (1) of the Act by discharging Union adherents Tambor, Sowers, and Martinez for the purpose of discouraging membership in the Union and defeating the Union drive for collective bargaining rights.

          These findings are supported by substantial evidence on the record, considered as a whole, Universal Camera Corporation v. N.L.R.B., 340 U.S. 474, 71 S.Ct. 456, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951); N.L.R.B. v. Transway, Inc., 5 Cir., 1969, 410 F.2d 368.

         There are other issues in the case, which will be discussed at a later point.

         I

         The fact are as follows. Li'l General Stores is a retail food chain, operating extensively in the State of Florida. This labor dispute stems from the ten stores of District 7 of the West Palm Beach Division. The Union began organizational efforts on December 1, 1966. Within the following week nineteen of the twenty-three employees involved had signed authorization cards. The Union forthwith (December 9) petitioned for a representation election.

         The election was held on March 10, 1967.

         In the meantime, company counsel and two assistant managers visited each of the stores in question. The Trial Examiner credited testimony that counsel announced, from store to store, that the Company would stop the Union 'by any means' and that rather than have a union the Company would close 'all ten stores' and 'replace all the employees of the district'.

         Prior to the beginning of the union activity, the Company had decided that a general wage increase was in order. Effective January 22, the increase was given all employees of the West Palm

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Beach Division except those in District 7.

         New disciplinary measures were instituted in District 7. Supervisory calls increased from approximately three per week to two and three per day at each store and the Company began issuing written warning notices for employees who failed to perform the most insignificant tasks.

         The Company discharged three known Union supporters. Kenneth Tambor was first transferred from his own store to one that was in a very poor condition. There was a very heavy volume of business at the latter establishment. The day Tambor took over the new store, a supervisor arrived and gave him a ten page list of deficiencies. In an effort to improve these...

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