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MCLEOD EX REL. NLRB v. NEW YORK MAILERS UNION

April 6, 1962

Ivan C. McLEOD, Regional Director of the Second Region of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on Behalf of the NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner,
v.
NEW YORK MAILERS UNION NO. 6, INTERNATIONAL TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION, AFL-CIO, Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUGARMAN

The petitioner, Regional Director of the Second Region of the NLRB (herein the Director), moves that, pending final disposition of the matters involved pending before the NLRB, respondent (herein Mailers Union) be enjoined from striking or engaging in any form of work stoppage against News Syndicate Co., Inc. (herein the News), the charging party before the NLRB.

The charge, which was filed by the News on February 15, 1962, alleges that on or about February 9, 1962 and since then the Mailers Union has induced persons employed by the News to refuse to handle its newspapers in order to force the News to assign certain work in connection with the production of its newspapers to members of the Mailers Union rather than to members of another union, to wit, Newspaper & Mail Deliverers Union of New York and Vicinity (herein Deliverers Union).

 In order to properly understand the problem presented, one must have a clear picture of the operation involved.

 After the News's papers are printed they are carried by conveyors from the presses down to the mail room on the street level of the plant. Heretofore (and at the present time, except for the automatic complex hereinafter described, which services only one press) the papers are manually handled in the process of stacking given numbers of an edition and wiring the stacks into bundles. Members of the Mailers Union (herein mailers) have traditionally handled the process from the end of the conveyor to the point where the bundles are wire-bound. At this point the bundles are taken over by the members of the Deliverers Union (herein drivers) who operate the trucks which carry the bundles away from the News plant for distribution.

 The precise place where the mailers relinquish the bundles to the drivers has always been a 'fuzzy' area which has produced friction between the mailers and the drivers. In the manual operation the resolution of jurisdiction in the 'fuzzy' area depended upon the nature of the particular 'run' of a given edition of the papers being handled.

 There are two runs of each edition of the News's papers. One is the 'mail run'; the other is the 'city run' or 'direct run'.

 The mail run represents those bundles of newspapers which are to be delivered usually by carriers to wholesalers generally outside of the metropolitan area. The jurisdiction of the mailers just past the wire-tying machine, during a mail run, has apparently always been accepted by all parties. In a mail run under the manual handling of the newspapers just before they are wired into bundles, the mailer places on top of the bundle a sheet containing the mail address, etc. of the wholesaler for whom the bundle is destined and actually operates the wire tying machine which ties the particular stack of papers into a wire-bound, addressed bundle. Thus, it is not until the bound bundle with the address cover is a complete unit that the mailer turns it over to the driver who moves it out to be loaded on a truck for delivery by the driver to the carrier who forwards it to the out-of-town wholesaler for further distribution. bution.

 The manual process in a city or direct run differs from the handling of a mail run in that, although a portion of the newspapers of each edition is similarly stacked and wired, no address cover is put on the bundle because its destination is via the News's truck to a newsstand in the metropolitan area, for retail sale. The distinguishing feature, therefore, in the manual operation of a mail run from a city run is that in the 'fuzzy' area, acceptable to all parties, a driver supplants the mailer in operating the wire-tying machine during the city run. Thus, the point of jurisdictional division in the city run has traditionally been before the wire-tying machine whereas, during a mail run it has been beyond the wire-tying machine.

 Automation in the stacking and bundling of newspapers is being introduced in the industry. The News installed at its plant a mechanical complex to automatically handle the progress of the newspapers from the time they leave the conveyor which brings them down from one of the presses. Only one such device, as a pilot experiment, has been installed at the News's plant. That device gave rise to a dispute wherein a preliminary injunction also sought by the Director was granted by Judge Dawson on February 9. Immediately thereafter the instant dispute arose.

 The automatic complex may be described thus: When the newspapers reach the end of the conveyor which brings them down from the press, they fall into a box-like structure which is known as the 'stacker'. Within this box the papers are piled into stacks of a predetermined quantity of newspapers. The stacks then emerge from the side of the stacker onto a moving mesh-like horizontal plane about table height and about three feet wide. This moving plane describes a 90-degree arc, thereby turning the stacks (yet unwired) onto a table-high horizontal conveyor of about the same width and about forty feet long, known as the 'Jampol belt'.

 Between the stacker and the Jampol belt two mailers stand, one inside the arc, who controls and operates the stacker, the other opposite him and outside the arc, who is known as the 'bottom wrap man'. The latter places an outdated issue of the newspaper on the arc-shaped moving mesh to serve as a bottom wrapper for the pile of papers about to emerge from the stacker.

 After the stack of newspapers with the bottom wrapper underneath has proceeded the full 90 degrees of the arc between the stacker and the Jampol belt, it slides onto the Jampol belt for continuation of its progress toward its ultimate goal, the loading platform.

 The Jampol is not simply a revolving fabric belt. While it basically is a constantly moving belt, it has above the fabric portion a series of freewheeling rollers so that if at any time the progress of the stacked newspapers is stopped at the end of the run, the rollers will revolve underneath the stacks of newspapers while they are stationary, even though the belt continues to revolve under the rollers. After a stack of newspapers has progressed the length of the Jampol, it comes to a sluice-like device known as a 'jogger'. This consists of two vertical walls which jog the papers in the stack into a uniformly vertical pile.

 As the stack leaves the jogger, it is pushed by an arm, known as the 'tray pusher', upon a device known as the 'tray'. This is a table-high structure which has a different method of moving the stack of newspapers forward in that a series of small parallel belts set in its top surface engage the stack and move it along. On the vertical side of the tray is a battery of buttons controlling the Jampol belt, the tray pusher, belts # 1 and # 2 (hereinafter discussed), the tray belts and the ...


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