Seattle First National Bank v. NLRB, No. 24613.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtHAMLIN, ELY and TRASK, Circuit
Citation444 F.2d 30
PartiesSEATTLE FIRST NATIONAL BANK, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 24613.
Decision Date11 June 1971

444 F.2d 30 (1971)

SEATTLE FIRST NATIONAL BANK, Petitioner,
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent.

No. 24613.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

June 11, 1971.


444 F.2d 31

Bradley T. Jones, Stanley A. Carlson, of Davis, Wright, Todd, Riese & Jones, Seattle, Wash., for appellant.

Arnold Ordman, Gen. Counsel, Dominick L. Manoli, Associate Gen. Counsel, Marcel Mallet-Prevost, Asst. Gen. Counsel, Eugene B. Granof, Jonathan M. Marks, Attys., NLRB, Washington, D. C., Charles M. Henderson, Regional Director, NLRB, Seattle, Wash., Thomas K. Cassidy, Seattle, Wash., for appellee.

Before HAMLIN, ELY and TRASK, Circuit Judges.

TRASK, Circuit Judge:

This matter is before us on the petition of Seattle First National Bank to review and set aside an order of the National Labor Relations Board finding that the bank had engaged in an unfair labor practice, and upon the cross-petition of the Board to enforce the order.1 The jurisdiction of this court to review the order is conferred by 29 U.S.C. § 160(f).

The sole question on review is whether there is substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole to support the Board's conclusion that the bank's unilateral discontinuance of free investment services to its bargaining unit employees materially affected the terms and conditions of their employment within the meaning of Section 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 158(d), such that the bank was under a mandatory duty to bargain collectively with the union under Sections 8(a) (1) and (5) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. § 158(a) (1) and (5).2

For approximately 28 years prior to August 1, 1968, the bank's employees were not charged by the investment service department of the bank for services provided in effecting the purchase or sale of securities on their behalf. However, as the number of employee transactions increased to approximately 25 percent of all investment transactions handled by the department, the bank felt that it was economically necessary to impose a new rate schedule which increased services rates to non-employee customers and imposed, for the first time, a service charge on employees (union and non-union) equal to one-half of the regular fee charged to non-employees.3 Transactions in the bank's own stock were exempted from the new rate schedule.

The decision to impose the investment service charges on employee transactions was unilaterally made by the bank. The union objected and offered to discuss the matter at the next round of contract negotiations. The bank refused to bargain

444 F.2d 32
because it was of the opinion that it was not mandatorily required to do so. Because of the bank's refusal, an unfair labor practices charge was filed with the Board. The charge was denied by the bank, and a hearing was held

The record before the Trial Examiner showed that during any one calendar year from the period of January 1, 1966, through August 1968, approximately 3 percent of the 3,000 bargaining unit employees effected transactions which would have incurred service charges under the new rate schedules. This small group of employees accounted for less than 11 percent of the total transactions that would have been subject to service charges after August 1, 1968. The transactions entered into by bargaining unit employees were outnumbered to a considerable extent by the transactions effected by the non-bargaining unit employees. And notwithstanding the recent dramatic increase in total employee investment activity as a percentage of all investment department business, the number of bargaining unit employees using the free services had remained almost constant during the period. The aggregate dollar value of the services to the bargaining unit employees was minimal. During the eight-month period from January 1, 1968, through August 1968, the investment service charges, if they had been imposed upon bargaining unit employee transactions, would have totaled $655.21 for the entire group.

The record also showed that the free investment services had never been reflected in a collective bargaining agreement with the union, nor had they ever been the subject of negotiations. There was no evidence that the free services had been held out as a fringe benefit to induce prospective employees to accept a job, or that the services had been the subject of any communication to the union or existing employees. In fact, there was no testimony that any of the employees, let alone the employer, had considered the free services as a term or condition of employment.

The Trial Examiner found that the existence of free investment services for the bank's employees was a condition of employment for the bargaining unit employees within the meaning of Section 8(d) of the Act. Thus, it was determined that the bank, by unilaterally imposing fees for these investment services, had violated its mandatory duty under Sections 8(a) (1) and (5) of the Act to bargain collectively with the employees' representative.

The Trial Examiner recommended that the bank cease and desist from refusing to bargain concerning the investment charges and from unilaterally altering the same. Affirmatively, it was recommended that the bank bargain upon request from the union; make whole any employee losses resulting from its unlawful conduct; and post the usual notices.

The Board adopted in full the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Trial Examiner, without elaboration or critical comment.

Only as to those matters enumerated in Section 8(d) of the Act is there a mandatory obligation to bargain under Section 8(a) (5). Fibreboard Paper Products Corp. v. NLRB, 379 U.S. 203, 210, 85 S.Ct. 398, 13 L.Ed.2d 233 (1964); NLRB v. Wooster Div. of Borg-Warner Corp., 356 U.S. 342, 349, 78 S.Ct. 718, 2 L.Ed.2d 823 (1958). And, as to those matters specified in Section 8(d), the phrase "terms and conditions of employment" is to be interpreted in a limited sense which does not include every issue that might be of interest to unions or employers.4 Fibreboard

444 F.2d 33
Paper Products Corp. v. NLRB, supra, 379 U.S. at 220, 85 S.Ct. 398 (Stewart, J., concurring); Westinghouse Electric Corp. v. NLRB, 387 F.2d 542, 545 (4th Cir. 1967) (en banc). A mere remote, indirect or incidental impact is not sufficient. In order for a matter to be subject to mandatory collective bargaining it must materially or significantly affect the terms or conditions of employment. American Smelting & Refining Co. v. NLRB, 406 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 395 U. S. 935, 89 S.Ct. 1998, 23 L.Ed.2d 450 (1969); Westinghouse Electric Corp. v. NLRB, supra, 387 F.2d at 547; NLRB v. Lehigh Portland Cement Co., 205 F.2d 821 (4th Cir. 1953)

Because of its expertise in the field, the Board's findings are, of course, entitled to considerable respect. However, when called upon to review an order of the Board, this court cannot accept the Board's determination as a matter of law, but instead must evaluate "the relevant facts of the particular case." American Smelting & Refining Co. v. NLRB, supra, 406 F.2d at 554. Moreover, "Congress has * * * made it clear that a reviewing court is not barred from setting aside a Board decision when it cannot conscientiously find that the evidence supporting that decision is substantial, when viewed in the light that the record in its entirety furnishes, including the body of evidence opposed to the Board's view." Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488, 71 S.Ct. 456, 465, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951). We have evaluated the entire record and find that the evidence supporting the Board's decision is insufficient to establish that the bank's action in discontinuing the free investment services had a material impact on the terms or conditions of employment.

We find it difficult to understand how the use of the bank's investment service department by the employees at half-price or free of charge can be within the phrase "terms and conditions of employment." The purchase and sale of securities by employees has little or nothing to do with their employment. The source of funds may or may not originate from employment. In the words of Fibreboard Paper Products Corp., supra, the pricing of such services is one of the management decisions "which impinge only indirectly upon employment security and should be excluded" from Section 8(d) matters.

The Trial Examiner concluded that the free services were an "emolument of value" accruing out of the employment relationship, and that the effect of their elimination on the terms and conditions of employment was not de minimis. The evidentiary support for this conclusion was stated as follows:

"I am not persuaded that what is here involved can properly be regarded as de minimis. Even if the above-mentioned percentages were to remain constant in the future, as Respondent appears to assume, the value of the investment service to unit employees using it would, over a period of years, be substantial. Moreover, I cannot accept Respondent\'s assumption. In view of the substantial increase in utilization of the investment service by Respondent\'s employees, including unit employees, it is at least possible that there may be further increases in utilization by unit employees. In addition, contrary to Respondent\'s implication, the decisions which it cites do not establish the minimum limits of substantiality, and are not dispositive of the issue here presented. * * * For in addition to the question of Respondent\'s power to continue in effect the increases in investment service charges already imposed on unit employees, this case also involves Respondent\'s power to increase the service charges for such employees even further without negotiating with their bargaining representatives. And if Respondent can ignore the bargaining representative with respect to its investment service, it might take the position that it can act unilaterally with respect to a number of other
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27 practice notes
  • Vernon Fire Fighters v. City of Vernon
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 30, 1980
    ...and is therefore not subject to the meet and confer requirement. (Seattle First National Bank v. N. L. R. B. (9th Cir. 1971) 444 F.2d 30, 32-33. Italics in The Social Services Union court found that "a charge for employee parking supplied by the agency (was not a material change in a t......
  • Solano County Employees' Assn. v. County of Solano
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 31, 1982
    ...Keystone Steel & Wire v. N. L. R. B. (7th Cir. 1979) 606 F.2d 171, 179; Seattle First National Bank v. N. L. R. B. (9th Cir. 1971) 444 F.2d 30, 32-34; Westinghouse Electric Corp. v. N. L. R. B. (4th Cir. 1967) 387 F.2d 542, 3 See, e.g., N. L. R. B. v. Carilli (9th Cir. 1981) 648 F.2d 12......
  • N. L. R. B. v. Local 264, Laborers' Intern. Union of North America, No. 75--1259
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • January 22, 1976
    ...and incidental impact upon a condition of employment is not a mandatory subject of bargaining. Seattle First National Bank v. N.L.R.B., 444 F.2d 30, 32--33 (9th Cir. 1971). The contributions into the Laborers Administrative Expense Account related only to the internal procedures of the empl......
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 286, AFL-CIO (Local 286) v. Sand Point Country Club (Sand Point), AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 7, 1974
    ...356 U.S. 342, 78 S.Ct. 718, 2 L.Ed.2d 823 (1958). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has so held in Seattle First Nat'l Bank v. NLRB, 444 F.2d 30 (9th Cir....
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • Vernon Fire Fighters v. City of Vernon
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 30, 1980
    ...and is therefore not subject to the meet and confer requirement. (Seattle First National Bank v. N. L. R. B. (9th Cir. 1971) 444 F.2d 30, 32-33. Italics in The Social Services Union court found that "a charge for employee parking supplied by the agency (was not a material change in a t......
  • Solano County Employees' Assn. v. County of Solano
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 31, 1982
    ...Keystone Steel & Wire v. N. L. R. B. (7th Cir. 1979) 606 F.2d 171, 179; Seattle First National Bank v. N. L. R. B. (9th Cir. 1971) 444 F.2d 30, 32-34; Westinghouse Electric Corp. v. N. L. R. B. (4th Cir. 1967) 387 F.2d 542, 3 See, e.g., N. L. R. B. v. Carilli (9th Cir. 1981) 648 F.2d 12......
  • N. L. R. B. v. Local 264, Laborers' Intern. Union of North America, No. 75--1259
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • January 22, 1976
    ...and incidental impact upon a condition of employment is not a mandatory subject of bargaining. Seattle First National Bank v. N.L.R.B., 444 F.2d 30, 32--33 (9th Cir. 1971). The contributions into the Laborers Administrative Expense Account related only to the internal procedures of the empl......
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 286, AFL-CIO (Local 286) v. Sand Point Country Club (Sand Point), AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 7, 1974
    ...356 U.S. 342, 78 S.Ct. 718, 2 L.Ed.2d 823 (1958). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has so held in Seattle First Nat'l Bank v. NLRB, 444 F.2d 30 (9th Cir....
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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