915 F.2d 631 (11th Cir. 1990), 89-8917, Williamhouse-Regency of Delaware, Inc. v. N.L.R.B.

Docket Nº:89-8917.
Citation:915 F.2d 631
Party Name:WILLIAMHOUSE-REGENCY OF DELAWARE, INC., Petitioner, Cross-Respondent, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent, Cross-Petitioner.
Case Date:October 19, 1990
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 631

915 F.2d 631 (11th Cir. 1990)

WILLIAMHOUSE-REGENCY OF DELAWARE, INC., Petitioner, Cross-Respondent,

v.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent, Cross-Petitioner.

No. 89-8917.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

October 19, 1990

Page 632

James F. Smith, Steven S. Greene, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, Atlanta, Ga., for petitioner-cross-respondent.

Aileen A. Armstrong, N.L.R.B., R. Michael LaBelle, Powers & Lewis, Paul J. Spielberg, N.L.R.B., Washington, D.C., for respondent, cross-petitioner.

Petition for Review of an Order of the National Labor Relations Board (Georgia Case).

Before CLARK and COX, Circuit Judges, and TUTTLE, Senior Circuit Judge.

TUTTLE, Senior Circuit Judge:

This is a petition for review of an order of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determining that Williamhouse-Regency of Delaware, Inc. violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to execute a contract embodying the terms of the company's final offer.

I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

The Aluminum Brick and Glass Workers International Union, Local 198 (the Union) filed charges in June and September, 1988 against Williamhouse Regency (the Company), a manufacturer and distributor of paper products, alleging violation of the NLRA. 1 The matter was heard by an administrative law judge who found that the Company failed to execute a written contract after reaching an agreement with the Union and failed to remit employees' dues to the Union which it had withheld from employees' pay. The NLRB affirmed the ALJ's ruling on the ground that the Company presented a final offer to the Union on April 29 which remained open and available for acceptance until June 8, 1988; that on that date the Union's chief bargainer, Kenneth Logsdon, accepted the final offer and agreement was reached. The Company then filed this petition for review.

Page 633

II. FACTS

The Company manufactures paper products at Scottdale, Pennsylvania. The Union has represented the plaintiffs' production and maintenance employees, now numbering approximately 260, since the early 1960's. The current collective bargaining agreement ran from January 1, 1985 to April 30, 1988. The parties held several bargaining sessions between April 18 and 29, 1988. The chief bargainer for the Union was Kenneth Logsdon. He was assisted by a "wage committee" comprised of Local 198 President John Haney, Vice President Perry Whitaker, and Company employees, Mark Stasco, Bill Hunder, and Ed Bernstein. Under the Local Constitution, the wage committee was authorized to make a binding agreement with the Company. The Company's chief bargainer was Attorney Donald Ladov. He was assisted by Plant Manager McSwiney and Production Superintendent Coppula. At the outset of negotiations, the Union notified the Company that any tentative agreement would have to be ratified by the membership before it became a binding contract.

The Union's proposal sought an end of the two-tier wage structure and for substantial improvement in wages and fringe benefits (the economic terms). The Company responded by offering a proposal that had no wage provision. It reduced a number of existing fringe benefits and substantially modified the old contract's "purpose of agreement" and "grievance/arbitration procedure" sections.

At the parties' final meeting on April 29, the Company, represented by Board Chairman Martin Lewis, Company President Tim Mahan, and Company Vice President Ed Norton, in addition to its regular bargaining team, received from the Union a settlement proposal that called for a wage increase of 60 cents an hour in each of the following three years but dropped most of its demands for improved fringe benefits. In response, the Company submitted its own "final proposal." That offer included the "purpose of agreement" and "grievance/arbitration procedure" articles that had been in the current contract. It contained an offer of a wage increase of 20 cents an hour for each of the three years of the contract. The Union's...

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