520 F.2d 693 (6th Cir. 1975), 74-1931, N.L.R.B. v. Local No. 106, Glass Bottle Blowers Ass'n, AFL-CIO

Docket Nº:74-1931.
Citation:520 F.2d 693
Party Name:NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner, v. LOCAL NO. 106, GLASS BOTTLE BLOWERS ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO, and LOCAL NO. 245, Glass Bottle Blowers Association, AFL-CIO, Respondents.
Case Date:July 22, 1975
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Page 693

520 F.2d 693 (6th Cir. 1975)

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner,

v.

LOCAL NO. 106, GLASS BOTTLE BLOWERS ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO,

and LOCAL NO. 245, Glass Bottle Blowers

Association, AFL-CIO, Respondents.

No. 74-1931.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

July 22, 1975

Page 694

Elliott Moore, Peter G. Nash, Deputy Associate Gen. Counsel, N.L.R.B., Robert A. Giannasi, Marion Griffin, Washington, D.C., Emil C. Farkas, Director, Region 9, N.L.R.B., Cincinnati, Ohio, for petitioner.

Howard S. Simonoff, Plone, Tomar, Parks & Seliger, Camden, N.J., for respondents.

Before PHILLIPS, Chief Judge, and EDWARDS and ENGEL, Circuit Judges.

PHILLIPS, Chief Judge.

This case presents the question of whether a labor union with a bargaining relationship in a plant commits an unfair labor practice by maintaining two different locals segregated on the basis of sex and by segregated processing of grievances. The National Labor Relations Board, in a badly split decision, answered this question in the affirmative, and ordered the merger of the two segregated Local Unions. The decision of the Board is reported at 210 N.L.R.B. No. 131 (1974).

We enforce the order of the Board.

Locals 106 and 245 of the Glass blowers Association, AFL-CIO, (Locals or Local Unions) serve as joint bargaining representatives for the production and maintenance employees of Owens-Illinois, Inc., at its plant in Columbus, Ohio. In 1949 the parent International Union, the Glass Bottle Blowers Association, AFL-CIO (International Union), entered into a contract with Ownes-Illinois. From the outset of this contractual relationship there have been two separate locals which serve the agreement: Local 106, which confines its membership to men, and Local 245, which confines its membership to women. There are approximately 800 male employees and approximately 370 female employees.

In 1968 or early in 1969, the Company agreed with the two Locals and the International Union to merge the seniority list of its employees and to eliminate previous inequities as to job availability based on sex. Thereafter positions no longer were designated as men's or women's jobs and were to be open to bidding by all employees in the plant who were physically capable of performing the work, without regard to sex. However, the Local Unions continued to segregate their memberships and the processing of grievances by sex.

The constitution and by-laws of the International Union contain no provisions for discrimination on the basis of sex.

The collective bargaining agreement for 1971-74 was negotiated by a joint

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bargaining committee composed of representatives of both Locals and the International Union and was ratified at a joining membership meeting of the two Local Unions. The agreement, which contains a union security clause, makes no distinctions because of sex or local union membership, and specifically provides that, in the administration and application of the contract, there shall be no discrimination by the company or Union against an employee because of sex. The contract grievance and arbitration procedures are open equally to members of both Locals, and unit memberships of both sexes. however, in practice, women must have their grievances investigated and handled by Local 245 and men must have their grievances investigated and handled by Local 106. The disposition of a grievance affects both male and female employees, regardless of which Local Union processes it.

There are 186 job classifications in the unit, of which 65 are performed by both men and women and 121 are performed by only one sex. Between 40 and 50 percent of the total work force is employed in unit job classifications that are performed by both men and women. At the time of the hearing, the bargaining hourly rate in effect for jobs performed by both sexes ranged from a low of $3.190 to a high of $3.635. For jobs performed by one sex, the beginning hourly rate for the same period ranged from $3.190 to $4.445.

The Administrative Law Judge found, in effect, that the male and female employees received, equal, though separate, treatment and therefore there was no violation.

Rejecting the decision of the Administrative Law Judge the Board found that the Local Unions violated $8(b)(1)(A) of the Act by maintaining segregated memberships, by separately processing grievances of male and female unit members and by refusing to process grievances because of the sex and union membership of employees. 1 The Local Unions were ordered to cease and desist from the unfair labor practices found. The Board ordered the Local Unions to merge; to admit to membership and process the grievance of any unit employee, upon request, without regard to sex; and to post appropriate notices. The majority opinion of the Board expressed the following conclusions:

We cannot accept [The Administrative Law Judge's] reasoning. Separate but equal treatment on the basis of sex is as self-contradictory as separate but equal on the basis of race. 4

In both areas separation in and of itself connotes and creates inequalities. Not only can separating females from males solely because of sex generate a feeling of...

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