National Labor Relations Board v. Deena Artware

Decision Date30 July 1952
Docket NumberNo. 11156.,11156.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit


Samuel M. Singer, Washington, D. C. (George J. Bott, David P. Findling, A. Norman Somers, Marcel Mallet-Prevost, Samuel M. Singer, Washington, D. C., on the brief), for petitioner.

James G. Wheeler, Paducah, Ky. (James G. Wheeler, Thomas J. Marshall, Jr., Wheeler & Marshall, Paducah, Ky., on the brief), for respondent.

Before SIMONS, Chief Judge, and MARTIN and MILLER, Circuit Judges.

MILLER, Circuit judge.

The National Labor Relations Board has petitioned for the enforcement of its order of October 25, 1949 against the Respondent, Deena Artware, Inc., pursuant to § 10(e) of the National Labor Relations Act as amended, 29 U.S.C.A. § 160(e). Respondent is a Kentucky corporation engaged in the manufacture and distribution of pottery lamp bases at Paducah, Kentucky, and is engaged in interstate commerce.

The following facts, as found by the Board, are supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole, and are accordingly accepted on this appeal.

Following organization activities on behalf of the United Brick and Clay Workers of America, a Union affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, an election was held on March 17, 1948, at which a majority of the employees in the appropriate unit voted for the Union, which was thereafter certified by the Board as the exclusive bargaining agent of the employees.

On March, 16, 1948, the day preceding the election, George H. Weiner, Respondent's President, addressed the assembled employees, referred to the privileges enjoyed by the employees in the past, and warned them that if the election was won by the Union they would lose their "privileges and freedoms." A few days after the election, Weiner addressed the employees in the Casting Department, stating that he was going to show them what he could do for having stabbed him in the back. He also addressed the employees of the Mold Department, discussed the privileges the employees had previously had, stated that they had chosen their "side" and had stabbed him in the back, and that thereafter "everything would be carried out in a business proposition." In April, following one or two meetings between the Respondent and the Union's Negotiating Committee, Weiner, in an angry mood, told members of the Committee in his office that they had chosen their side and "if you people are out of work and starving, it won't be my fault." During the latter part of March, the Respondent reduced working hours from 48 hours to 40 hours per week, which eliminated overtime earnings. It posted signs prohibiting smoking outside the rest room, which had been previously permitted. It abolished the practice of permitting employees who had completed their day's work to walk outside the plant and revoked the existing privilege of interchanging work shifts by the kiln employees. On July 22, 1948, a Paducah newspaper published remarks made by Weiner to its reporter to the effect that, because of the Respondent's dissatisfaction with the Paducah labor situation, work on an addition to the plant at Paducah would cease and that the unit would be constructed at Arlington, Kentucky; that the original plans to move Respondent's entire operation over a period of time into Paducah were being abandoned, but that he would keep operating what he had in Paducah unless hazards and difficulties were thrown in his way.

Following the election the Union requested Respondent to negotiate a collective bargaining contract. The Union was represented by Earl Bellew, an international representative of the Union, by Edmund Grimes, "general organizer" of the A. F. of L. who had headed the organizational campaign, and by ten employee members, one from each department of the plant. The Respondent designated as its negotiating committee plant manager Meriwether, Mrs. Hendren, who was in charge of the office at the plant and acted as personnel manager, and Mrs. Hensen, its office clerk. Meetings were held at the Company's office on April 8, 9, 16, 21, 29, 30 and May 6 and 7.

At the first meeting on April 8th, the Union submitted a proposed contract and requested counter-proposals. At the second meeting on April 9th, Meriwether stated that the Respondent declined to bargain with Grimes because he was not a member or officer of the Union, and directed him to leave the premises. Bellew and the Union's negotiating committee left with Grimes. The succeeding meetings were held without Grimes being present. At the meeting on April 16th, the parties discussed the union proposals and a new wage proposal calling for a 25% general wage increase. At the succeeding meetings the parties discussed the questions of wages, union seniority, overtime, sick leave, holiday and vacation proposals. Although they were able to agree upon certain minor matters, no agreement was reached on the major issues. The Union made concessions in accepting the Respondent's proposal for the payment of time and a half, rather than double time, for work on holidays and in agreeing that seniority be applied by departments instead of on a plant-wide basis. The Union's vacation proposal was substantially in accord with the existing practice. The Respondent's counter-proposal reduced the existing vacation privileges and was rejected by the Union. At the meeting on April 30th, the Respondent orally presented a counter-proposal on wages which Meriwether read from a document. Although it was of a detailed character and difficult to analyze without study, he did not make a copy of it available to the Union. There was considerable difference of opinion about its effect, the Union contending that in reality it did not provide any wage increase. It was rejected by the Union. At the meeting of April 30th, Bellew suggested that the parties seek the aid of the Conciliation Service. Meriwether proposed another meeting without the Conciliation Service. At the meetings on May 6th and 7th, the negotiators discussed all of the issues outstanding, but did not reach an agreement. It was then agreed that the next meeting would be arranged by the Conciliation Service. Following the meeting on May 7th, the Union held a meeting in the late evening, at which most of the members of the negotiating committee were present in addition to a few Union employees not on the committee. It was the view of those present that "We have gone as far as we can get in negotiations," and the participants voted to call a strike. It was moved, seconded and carried unanimously "that we go on strike at the plant of Deena Artware, Inc., 632 S. Third Street, due to the breaking off of negotiations by the Company, and that we give Earl Bellew, International Representative, full power and authority to name the day and hour of the strike." There was no specific date set for the strike, as it was decided to give the Conciliation Service a chance to help if it was possible to do so. This action did not comply with the procedure prescribed by the Union's constitution for approving a strike of a local.

Thereafter, a Conciliation Commissioner notified the Union and the Respondent that a meeting would be held on May 14th at the office of the Respondent's attorney in Paducah. At Respondent's request, the meeting was postponed to May 26th. On May 24th, the Conciliator telephoned to Meriwether that he could not keep the appointment for May 26th and that he wished to change it to May 28th. Meriwether agreed, but asked if the Conciliator had notified Bellew of the change. The Conciliator stated that he had not been able to get in touch with Bellew but that he had left a notice for him at the hotel in Paducah where Bellew usually stayed. Bellew lived in Olive Hill, Kentucky, which was some distance from Paducah. Bellew did not receive the message until May 27th, and, accordingly, he, together with several members of the Union's committee, went to the attorney's office at the appointed hour on May 26th, where they were told by an office clerk that the meeting had been postponed until May 28th. Bellew reported the development to the other committee members, and the committee thereupon decided to call a strike at the plant for 2 o'clock that afternoon. Bellew delegated Bill Girten to inform the management of the plant of the strike. Girten told Meriwether and Mrs. Hendren about the Union's plans. Meriwether asked him the reason for the strike and he stated that the Union was not notified of the change of date of the meeting and that Bellew had driven from Olive Hill only to find that the meeting had been postponed. Mrs. Hendren told Girten that the Company was not responsible for the postponement, that the Conciliator had requested it and had advised Meriwether that he had undertaken to notify Bellew at the Ritz Hotel. Girten stated that "the Union was getting the run-around, and didn't like it and wanted to find out who was to blame." Although Mrs. Hendren explained that the postponement of the meeting was something that the Company had nothing to do with and that the employees should not leave their jobs because of an occurrence over which the Company had no control, Girten stated "We are leaving at 2 o'clock."

Fifty-seven employees left the plant at 2 o'clock. Within the next day or two, they were joined by nine other employees. These 66 employees constituted substantially the entire membership of the Local. Picketing activities commenced shortly after the walkout.

The next morning, the Conciliator advised Bellew that he had arranged a meeting for the next day at the Cobb Hotel at Paducah. On the evening of the same day, an attorney for the Union telephoned the attorney for the Respondent and suggested a conference to discuss the possibility of reopening negotiations. The two attorneys met the next morning at which time the Union's attorney proposed that negotiations be...

To continue reading

Request your trial
43 cases
  • Bechtel Corp. v. LOCAL 215, LABORERS'INT. U. OF NA, 75-245 Civil.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • November 13, 1975
    ...v. Deena Artware, Inc., 6 Cir.1952, 198 F.2d 637, cert. denied 1952, 344 U.S. 897, 73 S.Ct. 277, 97 L.Ed. 694 with NLRB v. Deena Artware, Inc., 6 Cir.1952, 198 F.2d 645, cert. denied 1953, 345 U.S. 906, 73 S.Ct. 644, 97 L.Ed. 1342. These factual conclusions, reasoned the court, were not fat......
  • Montgomery Ward & Co. v. Northern Pacific Term. Co., Civ. A. No. 1686.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Oregon)
    • June 30, 1953
    ...Inc., 6 Cir., 1952, 198 F.2d 637, certiorari denied 1952, 344 U.S. 897, 73 S.Ct. 277, 97 L.Ed. 694; National Labor Relations Board v. Deena Artware, Inc., 6 Cir., 1952, 198 F.2d 645. It is only when a statute requires that a court must accept findings of fact of an administrative body. 59 T......
  • Philip Carey Mfg. Co., Miami Cabinet Div. v. NLRB, 15289
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 31, 1964
    ...offers to return to work. Mastro Plastics Corp. v. N. L. R. B., 350 U.S. 270, 278, 76 S.Ct. 349, 100 L.Ed. 309; N. L. R. B. v. Deena Artware, Inc., 198 F.2d 645, 651-652 (C.A.6), cert. denied, 345 U.S. 906, 73 S.Ct. 644, 97 L.Ed. 1342; Webb Fuel Co. v. N. L. R. B., 308 F.2d 936, 937 We gran......
  • LONE STAR STEEL COMPANY v. United Mine Workers of America, 75-92-C
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Eastern District of Oklahoma
    • February 21, 1986
    ...remedies which, with the imprimatur of the highest Court, may lead to inconsistent results. Compare, e.g., N.L. R.B. v. Deena Artware, 198 F.2d 645 (6th Cir. 1952) with United Brick & Clay Workers v. Deena Artware, 198 F.2d 637 (6th Cir.1952) (Sixth Circuit, on same day, reached inconsisten......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT