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National Labor Relations Board v. L. E. Farrell Co.

decided: May 2, 1966.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PETITIONER,
v.
L. E. FARRELL COMPANY, INC., RESPONDENT



Friendly and Hays, Circuit Judges, and Clarie, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Hays

HAYS, C. J.

The Board found that respondent violated Sections 8(a)(1), 8(a)(3) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. ยง 158(a)(1), (3) and (5).*fn1

The Board ordered the respondent to cease and desist from the violations and to take certain affirmative action, including the reinstatement with backpay of ten employees.

We hold that the Board's findings are based upon substantial evidence in the record as a whole, and therefore enforce the order. See Universal Camera Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 340 U.S. 474, 95 L. Ed. 456, 71 S. Ct. 456 (1951).

Respondent is engaged in the bottling of soft drinks at its plant in Burlington, Vermont. In June 1964 it had approximately thirteen non-supervisory employees at the Burlington Plant. At that time Patch, one of the employees, got in touch with Business Agent Raymond of Local 597 of the Chauffeurs, Teamsters, Warehousemen & Helpers Union for the purpose of discussing the unionization of respondent's plant. Raymond met with Patch and two other employees at Patch's home. Patch thereupon arranged an organizational meeting at which ten of respondent's thirteen employees signed authorization cards on behalf of the union; subsequently, two other employees signed the authorization cards.

On July 6, 1964, Raymond sent the following letter to respondent:

"In accordance with the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, this is official notification that a majority of your plant employees have of their own volition designated Local 597, Chauffeurs, Teamsters, Warehousemen & Helpers to act for them in all matters pertaining to hours, wages and other conditions of employment.

We have on this date submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board requesting a certification election.

A representative of the Local will be available to meet with you at any mutually agreeable time and place."

Respondent's president, Farrell, received the letter on July 7, but never replied to it.

Violations of Section 8(a)(1).

A few days after receiving the union's request for recognition respondent began a concerted campaign to thwart unionization of its plant. Foreman Sartwell*fn2 threatened employees King and Wells that they would lose benefits if the plant were unionized, and indicated to employees King and Bassi that they were under surveillance. Sartwell questioned employee Martin about "who started," and "who belonged to the union"; he told employee LaPlant that "a lot of guys will lose their jobs" if the plant is unionized; he threatened, on a number of occasions, that layoffs and loss of overtime would result from unionization. During the strike which followed the discharge of Patch (see infra), President Farrell asked employee Brice "Are you with them outside (i. e. the picketing strikers) . . . Did you sign the card?" These activities were calculated to frustrate the union's organization campaign by instilling fear of reprisals in the employees.

It is unnecessary to go further into the evidence that supports the finding of the Board that the employer violated Section 8(a)(1). It is sufficient to say that the evidence is clearly substantial, and that, while some of the evidence is challenged by respondent, questions of credibility are for the Trial Examiner and the Board. See National ...


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