Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., No. 84-1580

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
Writing for the CourtBefore WINTER, Chief Judge, and PHILLIPS and MURNAGHAN; JAMES DICKSON PHILLIPS
Citation754 F.2d 531
Parties118 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2706, 102 Lab.Cas. P 11,359 WALTER N. YODER & SONS, INC., Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent. Sheet Metal Workers' International Assoc., Local 100, Intervenor.
Docket NumberNo. 84-1580
Decision Date15 February 1985

Page 531

754 F.2d 531
118 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2706, 102 Lab.Cas. P 11,359
WALTER N. YODER & SONS, INC., Petitioner,
v.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Respondent.
Sheet Metal Workers' International Assoc., Local 100, Intervenor.
No. 84-1580.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued Jan. 10, 1985.
Decided Feb. 15, 1985.

Page 532

Lawrence E. Dube, Jr., Baltimore, Md. (John G. Kruchko, Towson, Md., on brief), for petitioner.

Andrew F. Tranovich, Washington, D.C. (Wilford W. Johansen, Acting Gen. Counsel, John E. Higgins, Jr., Deputy Gen. Counsel, Robert E. Allen, Associate Gen. Counsel, Elliott Moore, Deputy Associate Gen. Counsel, Washington, D.C., on brief), for respondent.

Richard M. Resnick, Washington, D.C. (Sherman, Dunn, Cohen, Leifer & Counts, P.C., Washington, D.C., on brief), for intervenor.

Before WINTER, Chief Judge, and PHILLIPS and MURNAGHAN, Circuit Judges.

Page 533

JAMES DICKSON PHILLIPS, Circuit Judge:

Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. (Yoder) petitions for review of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) order commanding it to cease and desist an unfair labor practice--withholding from Local 100 of the Sheet Metal Workers' International requested information necessary for the union to negotiate or enforce a collective bargaining agreement. Reviewing the Board's order under section 10(f) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act), 29 U.S.C. Sec. 160(f), we conclude that there was substantial evidence to support the Board's finding that Yoder committed an unfair labor practice. Accordingly, we affirm the Board's findings and enforce the order against the petitioner.

I

Yoder is a Cumberland, Maryland construction firm that engages in part in plumbing and heating contracting. As a member of the Western Maryland Mechanical Contractors Association, it was a signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association. In March 1982, Richard Drake, president of Local 100, opened negotiations with the Contractors' Association in order to reach an agreement to replace the contract due to expire on April 30, 1982. Drake announced at that time that he believed Yoder and another company were operating non-union alter ego firms, but that he would not raise those allegations as an issue in the negotiations nor would the allegations prevent ratification of any agreement reached.

Shortly thereafter, on March 25, 1982, Drake wrote the Yoder Company and repeated his allegation that Yoder was operating Potomac Metal & Supply, Inc., a non-union sheet metal firm. Attached to his letter were fourteen interrogatories concerning the ownership, corporate structure, business, and personnel of the two firms. Drake asserted in the letter that the information was "sought solely to enable us to apply and enforce the terms of our collective bargaining agreement with you."

Yoder responded by answering two of the interrogatories dealing with subcontracts and assignment of subcontracts. Yoder declined to answer any of the remaining questions on the grounds that the union failed to identify a need for the information and failed to establish its relevance to the bargaining agreement. Yoder denied any violation of the contract.

On April 19, 1982, Drake met with John Yoder to discuss the problem. Yoder told Drake that the two companies were not in the same business because Yoder was a construction firm whereas Potomac was a manufacturer of sheet metal products. Mr. Yoder admitted that Potomac did some repair work on Yoder's trucks, but that it did not fabricate sheet metal for Yoder. Mr. Yoder also told Drake that Yoder employees sometimes used equipment in Potomac's shop, but only because the equipment was specialized and Yoder did not trust Potomac employees to do the job. At a later meeting that day, Yoder employees confirmed Yoder's latter assertion.

No further correspondence passed between the union and the company, and on April 30, 1982, the union filed a grievance with the NLRB, alleging a violation of sections 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. Secs. 158(a)(1) & (5). The Regional Director issued a complaint and notice of hearing and the case duly came before an ALJ for hearing.

At the hearing Drake was the only witness to testify in support of the grievance. He asserted that his request to Yoder for information was based on his belief that Yoder was engaged in a "double-breasted" operation. John Wilkinson, a business manager for one of the preconsolidation locals, had informed him that Yoder employees had reported an integration of operations between Yoder and Potomac; specifically, Wilkinson had reported that Yoder employees were working in Potomac's shop and that Potomac had fabricated sheet metal for Yoder. Based on these reports from Wilkinson, Drake had initiated an investigation

Page 534

and discovered that Yoder and Potomac had the same set of officers and directors. Furthermore state records described Potomac as a plumbing and sheet metal firm and Yoder as a plumbing and heating firm, indicating a similarity in their businesses. Drake also testified that after making the request, he saw Potomac mentioned in the Dodge Report, a trade publication that reported bids on various projects, thereby...

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24 practice notes
  • Holland v. High-Tech Collieries, Inc., Civ. A. No. 1:93-CV-158.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • January 12, 1996
    ...ownership, interrelation of operation, common management and centralized control of labor relations. Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531 (4th Cir.1985), quoting Carpenters Local Union No. 1846 v. Pratt-Farnsworth, Inc., 690 F.2d 489, 507 (5th Cir.1982).11 An examination of th......
  • C.E.K. Indus. Mechanical Contractors, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., No. 267
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • October 1, 1990
    ...provided that the Union had a reasonable belief that Bradley was operating alter ego companies. See Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531, 536 (4th Cir.1985); NLRB v. Associated General Contractors, 633 F.2d 766, 771-72 (9th Cir.1980), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 915, 101 S.Ct. 3049......
  • West Penn Power Co. v. N.L.R.B., No. 03-1984.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • January 12, 2005
    ...information is relevant if it "is germane and has any bearing on the subject matter of the case," Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531, 535 (4th Cir.1985) (internal quotation marks and citation Some information, such as that concerning bargaining unit employees, is presumptive......
  • Vance v. N.L.R.B., Nos. 95-1261
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • August 25, 1995
    ...Serv. of Mobile, Inc., 380 U.S. 255, 256, 85 S.Ct. 876, 877, 13 L.Ed.2d 789 (1965) (per curiam); Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531, 535-36 (4th Cir.1985). No one factor is determinative, and the Board need not find extensive evidence that all four criteria are satisfied in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Holland v. High-Tech Collieries, Inc., Civ. A. No. 1:93-CV-158.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • January 12, 1996
    ...ownership, interrelation of operation, common management and centralized control of labor relations. Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531 (4th Cir.1985), quoting Carpenters Local Union No. 1846 v. Pratt-Farnsworth, Inc., 690 F.2d 489, 507 (5th Cir.1982).11 An examination of th......
  • C.E.K. Indus. Mechanical Contractors, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., No. 267
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • October 1, 1990
    ...provided that the Union had a reasonable belief that Bradley was operating alter ego companies. See Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531, 536 (4th Cir.1985); NLRB v. Associated General Contractors, 633 F.2d 766, 771-72 (9th Cir.1980), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 915, 101 S.Ct. 3049......
  • West Penn Power Co. v. N.L.R.B., No. 03-1984.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • January 12, 2005
    ...information is relevant if it "is germane and has any bearing on the subject matter of the case," Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531, 535 (4th Cir.1985) (internal quotation marks and citation Some information, such as that concerning bargaining unit employees, is presumptive......
  • Vance v. N.L.R.B., Nos. 95-1261
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • August 25, 1995
    ...Serv. of Mobile, Inc., 380 U.S. 255, 256, 85 S.Ct. 876, 877, 13 L.Ed.2d 789 (1965) (per curiam); Walter N. Yoder & Sons, Inc. v. NLRB, 754 F.2d 531, 535-36 (4th Cir.1985). No one factor is determinative, and the Board need not find extensive evidence that all four criteria are satisfied in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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