NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Manufacturing Co., No. 121

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtKAUFMAN and HAYS, Circuit , and TIMBERS
Citation359 F.2d 684
PartiesNATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner, v. GOTHAM SHOE MANUFACTURING CO., Inc., Respondent.
Decision Date14 January 1966
Docket NumberDocket 29793.,No. 121

359 F.2d 684 (1966)

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner,
v.
GOTHAM SHOE MANUFACTURING CO., Inc., Respondent.

No. 121, Docket 29793.

United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit.

Argued November 3, 1965.

Decided January 14, 1966.


Harold B. Shore, Atty., National Labor Relations Board (Arnold Ordman, Gen.

359 F.2d 685
Counsel, National Labor Relations Board, Dominick L. Manoli, Assoc. Gen. Counsel, Marcel Mallet-Prevost, Asst. Gen. Counsel and Nancy M. Sherman, Atty., Washington, D. C., on the brief), for petitioner

Samuel K. Levene, Binghamton, N. Y. (David Levene, Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, Binghamton, N. Y., of counsel), for respondent.

Before KAUFMAN and HAYS, Circuit Judges, and TIMBERS, District Judge.*

HAYS, Circuit Judge:

The National Labor Relations Board seeks enforcement of its order against respondent. The Board's decision and order are reported at 149 NLRB No. 80.

The Board found that respondent had violated Sections 8(a) (1) and 8(a) (5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 158(a) (1) and (a) (5).1 The Board ordered respondent to cease and desist from the violations and to take certain affirmative action. We hold that the Board's findings are based upon substantial evidence in the record as a whole, see Universal Camera Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 340 U.S. 474, 71 S.Ct. 456, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951), and enforce the order.

Respondent is engaged in the manufacture of shoes and related products. The unfair labor practices took place at its plant in Binghamton, New York.

During the summer of 1963, the United Shoe Workers of America, AFL-CIO, sought to organize respondent's employees. In a letter to respondent dated August 22, 1963, the union claimed that it represented a majority of respondent's employees and requested a meeting for the purpose of collective bargaining. On August 28, respondent wrote to the union stating that it did not believe that the union represented a majority of the employees, and refusing to recognize it as the employees' bargaining agent. The Board found that by August 28 the union had secured designation cards from a majority of employees in an appropriate unit.

On August 29, the union petitioned the Board for a representation election. The election was set for October 15.

The Board found that during the period preceding the date set for the election, respondent, in an attempt to discourage and defeat the union, engaged in a series of violations of Section 8(a) (1) which were designed to undermine the union majority. These activities included:

Threatening employees with reprisals for union activities;

Promising to grant the employees certain benefits if they did not join the union;

Threatening to close or move the plant if the employees joined the union;

Proposing to the employees that they deal directly with the employer;

Leading the employees to believe that the union meetings were held under employer surveillance;

Requesting employees to report what happened at union meetings and who attended them;

Enforcing an illegal no-solicitation rule.

It is unnecessary to go into the evidence that supports the Board's findings of these violations of Section 8(a) (1). It is sufficient to say that that evidence is clearly substantial. While much of the evidence is contradicted by sharply conflicting evidence, the question of credibility is to be answered by the

359 F.2d 686
Trial Examiner and the Board. We see no reason in the present case for quarreling with their answer. See National Labor Relations Board v. Warrensburg Board & Paper Corporation, 340 F.2d 920, 922 (2d Cir. 1965)

On October 14, 1963, the Board, because unfair labor practice charges were about to be filed, postponed the election of representatives which had been scheduled for October 15.

In addition to the finding of violations of Section 8(a) (1), the Board has found that respondent violated Section 8(a) (5) (and consequently Section 8(a) (1) also) by refusing to bargain with the union when requested. With respect to this aspect of the Board's decision, respondent contends (1) that there is insufficient proof of the union's majority status, (2) that the employer had a good faith doubt that the union represented a majority of the employees, and (3) that in any event the order of the Board should not have directed the respondent to bargain with the union.2

It is conceded that at the time when the respondent refused to bargain the union had authorization cards from a majority of the employees. This would ordinarily be enough to establish the union's majority status and the employer, absent a good faith doubt, would violate Section 8(a) (5) upon refusal to bargain. National Labor Relations Board v. Philamon Laboratories, Inc., 298 F.2d 176, 179 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 370 U.S. 919, 82 S.Ct. 1555, 8 L. Ed.2d 498 (1962); National Labor Relations Board v. Sunrise Lumber & Trim Corp., 241 F.2d 620 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 355 U.S. 818, 78 S.Ct. 22, 2 L.Ed.2d 34 (1957). However, the respondent contends that the union obtained many cards by representing that they would be used to secure an election. See National Labor Relations Board v. Koehler, 328 F.2d 770 (7th Cir. 1964); cf. Happach v. National Labor Relations Board, 353 F.2d 629 (7th Cir. 1965) (explaining Koehler). It appears that in the case of a few of the cards the union told the employees that the cards would be used only for the purpose of securing an election. These cards were not counted by the Board. In soliciting a number of other cards the union stated, not that the cards were sought solely for the purpose of securing an election, but that "The cards are for a vote"; or, "Sign the cards so we can have a vote"; or, "You have to have a certain percentage of signed cards in order to have an election." The cards themselves, on the other hand, read:

"I hereby authorize the United Shoe Workers of America, AFL-CIO, to represent me in collective bargaining with my employer."

Moreover, the union representatives explained to the employees that when a majority of cards had been signed, the union would request collective bargaining, but that there might have to be an election anyway.3 The Board counted the cards in this second group.

It seems to us and we hold that the Board had the right under these circumstances to count the cards of the latter employees towards the establishment of a union majority. Happach v. National Labor Relations Board, supra; National Labor Relations Board v. Cumberland Shoe Corporation, 351 F.2d 917 (6th Cir. 1965); see National Labor Relations Board v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 341 F.2d 750, 754-755 (6th Cir. 1965); cf. Joy Silk Mills, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 87 U.S.App.D.C.

359 F.2d 687
360, 185 F.2d 732, 743 (1950), cert. denied, 341 U.S. 914, 71 S.Ct. 734, 95 L.Ed. 1350 (1951)

In view of respondent's conduct in seeking, during the whole period from the time of the demand for recognition until the time set for the election, to undermine the union, the Board could properly find that the employer's refusal to bargain was for the purpose of gaining time to destroy the union's majority and that it had no good faith doubt of that majority. See National Labor Relations Board v. Overnite Transportation Company, 308 F.2d 279, 283 (4th Cir. 1962); National Labor Relations Board v. Epstein, 203 F.2d 482 (3d Cir. 1953); Joy Silk Mills, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, supra 185 F.2d at 741-742.

The propriety of the Board's order directing respondent to bargain collectively with the union remains to be considered. In National Labor Relations Board v. Flomatic Corporation, 347 F.2d 74 (2d Cir. 1965) this Court held that the proper remedy for a situation bearing some similarities to the situation with which we are faced in the present case, was an election. However, as we later pointed out in Irving Air Chute Co., Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 350 F.2d 176, 182 (2d Cir. 1965):

"In Flomatic, however, there was only a minimal § 8(a) (1) violation and no demand and refusal to bargain. The appropriate remedy must be fashioned to meet the situation presented in each particular case and often depends on factual differences seemingly slight but sufficient to tip the scales in favor of the Board\'s conclusion. Here an election at this time would be manifestly unfair to the Union since it would allow the Company to reap the benefits of its anti-union acts and undoubtedly would result in additional costs to the Union of a new organizational drive. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for this Court to reverse the Board\'s decision and order a new election."

Since, then, respondent has by its own conduct made the holding of a free election impossible and since the Union's loss of majority support is the result of respondent's "aggressive or planned campaign aimed at dissipating union strength," National Labor Relations Board v. Flomatic Corporation, supra 347 F.2d at 78, the Board must be upheld in its choice of remedy.4 It is a remedy which has been applied in many cases with the approval of the courts. See, e. g., Franks Bros. Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 321 U.S. 702, 64 S.Ct. 817, 88 L.Ed. 1020 (1944); National Labor Relations Board v. P. Lorillard Co., 314 U.S. 512, 62 S.Ct. 397, 86 L.Ed. 380 (1942); National Labor Relations Board v. Philamon Laboratories, Inc., 298 F.2d 176, 182-183 (2d Cir. 1962); National Labor Relations Board v. Stow Manufacturing Co., 217 F.2d 900, 905 (2d Cir. 1954). And we approve its use once again.

Enforcement granted.

TIMBERS, District Judge (concurring in part and dissenting in part):

I concur in the eminently sound opinion of the majority to the extent that it grants enforcement of the Board's order that respondent cease and desist from certain specified violations of Section 8 (a) (1) and that respondent take certain affirmative action with respect thereto, except that I respectfully dissent from the majority's...

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  • National Labor Relations Board v. Gissel Packing Co Food Store Employees Union, Local No 347, Amalgamated NLRB v. Gissel Packing Co., 585
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 16, 1969
    ...U.S.App.D.C. 360, 185 F.2d 732 (1950), cert. denied, 341 U.S. 914, 71 S.Ct. 734, 95 L.Ed. 1350 (1951); NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., Inc., 359 F.2d 684 (C.A.2d Cir. 1966); NLRB v. Quality Markets, Inc., 387 F.2d 20 (C.A.3d Cir. 1967); NLRB v. Phil-Modes, Inc., 396 F.2d 131 (C.A.5th Cir. 196......
  • National Maritime Union of America v. NLRB, No. 66 Civil 2289.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 30, 1967
    ...jurisdiction and as to which election proceedings were commenced without ever having won an election. See NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., 359 F.2d 684, 686 (2d Cir. 1966), which cites all the relevant cases. The "mandatory" language of § 9(c) (1) does not grant the employer an absolute right ......
  • NLRB v. Patent Trader, Inc., No. 432
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 29, 1969
    ...(1) of the Act. N. L. R. B. v. Exchange Parts Co., 375 U.S. 405, 84 S.Ct. 457, 11 L.Ed.2d 435 (1964); N. L. R. B. v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., 359 F.2d 684, 685 (2d Cir. 1966); Edward Fields, Inc. v. N. L. R. B., 325 F.2d 754 (2d Cir. 1963); N. L. R. B. v. Flomatic Corp., 347 F.2d 74, 76-77 (2d......
  • Bryant Chucking Grinder Company v. NLRB, No. 25
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 12, 1967
    ...the union had a majority of the employees is supported by substantial evidence in the record. See NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., 359 F.2d 684 (2d Cir. 389 F.2d 568 The authorization cards signed by the employees were free from ambiguity.2 The evidence credited by the Board, and therefore acc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • National Labor Relations Board v. Gissel Packing Co Food Store Employees Union, Local No 347, Amalgamated NLRB v. Gissel Packing Co., 585
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 16, 1969
    ...U.S.App.D.C. 360, 185 F.2d 732 (1950), cert. denied, 341 U.S. 914, 71 S.Ct. 734, 95 L.Ed. 1350 (1951); NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., Inc., 359 F.2d 684 (C.A.2d Cir. 1966); NLRB v. Quality Markets, Inc., 387 F.2d 20 (C.A.3d Cir. 1967); NLRB v. Phil-Modes, Inc., 396 F.2d 131 (C.A.5th Cir. 196......
  • National Maritime Union of America v. NLRB, No. 66 Civil 2289.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 30, 1967
    ...jurisdiction and as to which election proceedings were commenced without ever having won an election. See NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., 359 F.2d 684, 686 (2d Cir. 1966), which cites all the relevant cases. The "mandatory" language of § 9(c) (1) does not grant the employer an absolute right ......
  • NLRB v. Patent Trader, Inc., No. 432
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 29, 1969
    ...(1) of the Act. N. L. R. B. v. Exchange Parts Co., 375 U.S. 405, 84 S.Ct. 457, 11 L.Ed.2d 435 (1964); N. L. R. B. v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., 359 F.2d 684, 685 (2d Cir. 1966); Edward Fields, Inc. v. N. L. R. B., 325 F.2d 754 (2d Cir. 1963); N. L. R. B. v. Flomatic Corp., 347 F.2d 74, 76-77 (2d......
  • Bryant Chucking Grinder Company v. NLRB, No. 25
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 12, 1967
    ...the union had a majority of the employees is supported by substantial evidence in the record. See NLRB v. Gotham Shoe Mfg. Co., 359 F.2d 684 (2d Cir. 389 F.2d 568 The authorization cards signed by the employees were free from ambiguity.2 The evidence credited by the Board, and therefore acc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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