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NLRB v. FREDERICK COWAN & CO.

July 17, 1974

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Applicant,
v.
FREDERICK COWAN & COMPANY, INC., Respondent


Platt, J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PLATT

PLATT, J.

This proceeding had its origins on February 6, 1973 when Local Lodge #5, International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO (hereinafter called the "Union") filed a petition with the Applicant (hereinafter sometimes the "Board") herein (Case No. 29-RC-2175) requesting an election among employees of Respondent.

 As a result of the filing of such petition, the Respondent, the Union and a Board Agent, met on February 21, 1973 for the purpose of negotiating a stipulation for certification upon consent election. Those present for the Respondent included Mr. and Mrs. Cowan and their attorney, Bruno Baratta; Mr. William Koenig for the Union and Mr. Ronald Travis for the Board, its Agent.

 A number of matters were in dispute, negotiations ensued and a settlement on various issues was made. Among the issues in dispute was the Board's stated requirement that the Cowans would have to supply the names and addresses of employees in the unit in accordance with the requirements of the Board in its Excelsior Underwear, Inc. 156 NLRB 1236 case.

 According to the decision of the Administrative Law Judge of the Board, the stalemate on this issue was broken when the Cowans volunteered that their objection did not apply to the addresses of employees who were willing to have their addresses handed over and the Cowans proposed that they ask the employees for their consent. Both the Union and the Board agreed to this proposal and a settlement of all the issues was achieved.

 In the past, courts have consistently upheld settlements and stipulations freely arrived at between the parties in labor disputes as contracts between such parties and, unless otherwise contrary to law, binding upon the parties thereto according to its terms. NLRB v. United Dairies, Inc., 337 F.2d 283, 286 (10th Cir. 1964), stipulation and agreement to waive representation hearing and composition of appropriate bargaining unit; NLRB v. Carlton Wood Products, 201 F.2d 863, 36 ALR 2d 1070 (9th Cir. 1953), agreement to waive representation hearing; NLRB v. Standard Transformer Co., 202 F.2d 846 (6th Cir. 1953), agreement to waive representation hearing.

 Thus, on February 21, 1973, the Union and Respondent executed a stipulation for certification upon consent election which was approved on February 23 by the Regional Director for the Board's Region 29.

 On February 22, 1973, each employee was handed a form by Mrs. Cowan containing the following language and request for permission:

 
"In keeping with our Company policy not to divulge employees personal information to anyone, we ask you to sign this document allowing us permission to give your home address to the National Labor Relations Board, which they will pass on to the Boiler Makers Union #5.
 
Mildred C. Cowan, Secretary
 
Frederic C. Cowan, President
 
Permission granted: [*] Dated
 
Permission not granted: ...

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