The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOTLEY
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
This is an action brought by Petitioner, the Regional Director, Region 2, National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) in which she seeks a temporary injunction pursuant to Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended (the Act), pending the final disposition of matters presently pending before the Board.
Respondents in this action are the North American Soccer League and its 21 constituent member clubs in the United States. The action is now before the court upon the issuance of an order to show cause why the temporary injunctive relief prayed for by Petitioner should not be granted. Petitioner filed her order to show cause for a temporary injunction, verified complaint, affidavits and brief in support of her application on July 30, 1980. Respondents' answer was served on August 5, 1980. A hearing was held on August 6 and 7, 1978. The North American Soccer League Players Association (the Union) was permitted to intervene in the action and to participate in the hearing. All parties were given an opportunity on the hearing to present evidence and to argue the legal issues. Thereafter, Petitioner and Respondents were given an opportunity to submit proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and briefs. The court has now considered the verified petition of Winifred D. Morio, Regional Director of Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board, the answer of Respondents, the evidence adduced at the hearing, the arguments of the parties and intervenor and the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and briefs. Upon the entire record, the court finds and concludes that Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe and there is reasonable cause to believe that Respondents have engaged in unfair labor practices and that Petitioner is entitled to the temporary injunctive relief sought in this action.
On August 16, 1977, the Union filed a petition for an election under Section 9(c) of the Act alleging that the League and each of its affiliated members constituted a single employer for purposes of collective bargaining.
Hearings were held from September 8 to September 30, 1977, and briefs were submitted on the unique and complex issues of the appropriate unit in the professional soccer industry. On June 30, 1978, exactly nine months later, the Board issued a decision and direction of election among the soccer player employees of those teams listed in the petition as well as other employers who had been granted franchises by the League and commenced operations of teams during the intervening period.
On or about July 27, 1978, through August 4, 1978, the employees of Respondent Clubs participated in a secret ballot election conducted under the supervision of the Board, wherein a majority of the valid votes counted were cast for the Union. On September 1, 1978, the Union was certified as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the employees of Respondent Clubs.
Subsequent to the certification, Respondents refused to bargain with the Union and contested the Board's determination of a single "League-wide unit" as being appropriate for collective bargaining. The Union filed an unfair labor practice charge on October 30, 1978 in Case No. 2-CA-15966. The General Counsel issued a complaint on November 24, 1978, against Respondents which alleged, inter alia, that Respondents had failed and refused to recognize and bargain with the Union in violation of Section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the Act.
Following a summary judgment proceeding, the Board, on April 30, 1979, issued an order directing Respondents to bargain with the Union (241 NLRB No. 199). The Respondents appealed the Board's order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
On March 21, 1980, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its decision enforcing the Board's Order (103 L.R.R.M. 2976 ) and on May 14, 1980, issued its mandate. The mandate contained language directing the Respondents to recognize and bargain with the Union as exclusive collective bargaining representative of Respondent's professional soccer players.
Respondents have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Their petition for rehearing has been denied by the Fifth Circuit and no stay of the Fifth Circuit's mandate has been secured.
On March 28, 1979, the Union, pursuant to provisions of the Act, filed with the Board a charge alleging that Respondents have engaged in and are engaging in unfair labor practices within the meaning of Section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the Act.
Other such unfair labor practice charges were filed by the Union on June 25, 1979, alleging violations of 8(a)(1), (3) and (5) of the Act.
These charges were referred to Petitioner for adjudication. Thereafter, on October 20, 1979, a complaint and notice of hearing pursuant to Section 10(b) of the Act, alleging that Respondents have engaged and are engaging in unfair labor practices within the meaning of the Act, was issued by the Regional Director.
On November 30, 1979, the Union filed more charges of unfair labor practices by Respondents which were again referred to the Regional Director and again on January 18, 1980, a complaint and notice of hearing with respect to these latest charges were issued by Petitioner. All charges by the Union were ordered consolidated for hearing by Petitioner on February 14, 1980. On February 19, 1980, Petitioner amended the consolidated complaint. Subsequently, hearings were held before Administrative Law Judge Benjamin Schlesinger. These hearings were held between March 4 and May 1, 1980, in four cities around the country. On May 28, 1980, the general counsel of the Board moved to amend the consolidated complaint. The hearing before the Administrative Law Judge has not been concluded. Petitioner seeks a temporary injunction pending the final disposition of the charges presently before the Administrative Law Judge and the final action of the Board with respect thereto.
Respondent, the North American Soccer League, is a non-profit association. It currently comprises about 24 professional soccer teams, 21 of which are located in the United States and three of which are located in Canada. The League's principal office is at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, County, City and State of New York, where it has been engaged in its operation as a non-profit association. Each of the constituent members is engaged primarily in the business of promoting and exhibiting professional soccer contests for viewing by the general public. Collectively, these clubs annually gross revenue in excess of half a million dollars and purchase and cause to be imported in interstate commerce goods and materials valued in excess of $ 50,000. The Respondent League and its constituent member clubs constitute and have constituted at all times material herein joint employers for the purpose of collective bargaining.
The Union is an unincorporated association and is an organization of employees which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employees concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment or conditions of employment. The Union maintains its principal offices at 1300 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Philip Woosman is the Commissioner of the North American Soccer League. Ted Howard is Director of Operations of the League. Derek Carroll is Chairman of the Labor Relations Committee of the constituent member clubs and president of the New England Tea Men.
All professional soccer players, whether on loan or otherwise, employed by Respondent League and Respondent Clubs constitute a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining within the meaning of Section 9(b) of the Act.
This unit includes players on the following eligibility lists: active, temporarily inactive, disabled, suspended, ineligible, and military. The unit does not include officials of Respondent League or managerial or executive personnel of Respondent League and Respondent Clubs or players employed by the Edmonton Drillers, Toronto Metros and Vancouver Whitecaps. All other employees and supervisors as defined in the Act are also included. Since September 1, 1978, the Union, by virtue of Section 9(a) of the Act has been and is now the exclusive representative of all the employees in the unit for the purpose of collective bargaining with respect to the rates of pay, wages, hours of employment and other terms and conditions of employment.
In this case Petitioner alleges that she has reasonable cause to believe that Respondent interfered with, restrained and coerced employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed them by Section 7 of the Act by engaging in the following acts and conduct:
1. On or about October 19, 1978, and continuing thereafter, Respondents unilaterally changed the employment conditions of the employees in the Unit by requiring them to obtain permission from their respective clubs whenever a particular brand of footwear, other ...