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SAMOFF EX REL. NLRB v. HOTEL

October 21, 1963

Bernard SAMOFF, Regional Director of the Fourth Region of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on Behalf of the NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner,
v.
HOTEL, MOTEL AND CLUB EMPLOYEES' UNION LOCAL 568, AFL-CIO, Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREEDMAN

Petitioner, the Regional Director of the Fourth Region of the National Labor Relations Board seeks a temporary injunction pursuant to § 10(l) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended (29 U.S.C .A. § 160 (l)), *fn1" on a charge filed by Restaurant Management, Inc. (RMI), the operator of a restaurant known as 'Singing Waters', situated in the Penn Center Motor Inn, 20th & Market Streets, Philadelphia. The petition alleges that respondent, an unincorporated labor organization, is engaging in an unfair labor practice within the meaning of § 8(b)(7)(C) of the Act (29 U.S.C.A. § 158 (b)(7)(C)). *fn2" A full hearing has been held and much testimony has been presented on both sides.

It is conceded by the Union that the restaurant meets the NLRB's jurisdictional standard of $ 500,000 in annual gross receipts. There is no question that a sufficient quantity of goods and materials flows to the restaurant from outside the State to establish the requisite effect on interstate commerce.

 I am not called upon for a definitive decision on the merits of the case. My function is the more narrow one of deciding whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the unfair labor practice charged has been committed. The standard to be applied has been authoritatively defined in Schauffler v. Local 1291, 292 F.2d 182, 187 (3d Cir. 1961): 'The Board need not show that an unfair labor practice has been committed, but need only demonstrate that there is reasonable cause to believe that the elements of an unfair labor practice are present. Nor need the Board conclusively show the validity of the propositions of law underlying its charge; it is required to demonstrate merely that the propositions of law which it has applied to the charge are substantial and not frivolous. * * *'

 On July 6, 1963, shortly before the formal opening of the restaurant, the Union commenced picketing at the front entrance on Market Street. From the time the picketing began until July 31st the pickets' signs read as follows:

 'To the Public SINGING WATERS does NOT have a LABOR AGREEMENT with Hotel, Motel & Club Employees Union Local 568 -- AFL-CIO'

 After July 31st picketing was extended to Commerce Street, at the rear of the restaurant, and the signs were changed to read as follows:

 'Singing Waters Employees on STRIKE We request your cooperation Hotel, Motel & Club Employees Union LOCAL 568 AFL-CIO'

 I have no doubt from the evidence that the conduct of the Union from the very beginning, even when it used the 'informational' signs, was intended, among other things, to achieve the unionization of 'Singing Waters" employees. Two Union organizers visited the restaurant in June, before it opened, seeking a labor agreement and Union representation. The Union leaders attended two meetings with management and brought along copies of an existing labor contract. They were willing to halt picketing during negotiations. Organizational activity took place throughout the period in question in the form of solicitation of union cards among the employees.

 There is strong evidence that both before and after July 31st the Union was engaged in an attempt to organize and to obtain a collective bargaining agreement from the management of 'Singing Waters', notwithstanding its formal disclaimer of any such intention because it did not represent a majority. There is therefore reasonable cause to believe that at least an object of the picketing was recognitional both before and after July 31st. The picketing prior to July 31st, however, is protected by the second proviso of § 8(b)(7)(C) as lawful 'informational' picketing because the signs then used were, in the language of § 8(b)(7)(C), 'for the purpose of truthfully advising the public (including consumers) that an employer does not * * * have a contract with, a labor organization * * *.' Moreover, the picketing during this period, aside from a few isolated instances, did not have the effect of inducing delivery stoppages. The proviso, therefore, fully applies to the picketing prior to July 31st. It is true that even informational picketing ordinarily carries with it some coercive effect. But it is clear that the Congressional purpose was to permit such activity unless it reaches the more direct consequence of stoppage of deliveries or services. *fn3"

 The Board has submitted a series of suggested Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. I shall consider them Requests for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. I affirm Requests for Findings of Fact Nos. 1 (as amended to describe the petitioner as Regional Director), 2, 3, 4(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) (except that during the pendency of these proceedings all picketing has by agreement between the parties been suspended), (i), (j) (except that I limit this to the period after July 31st), (k), (l), and 5.

 I affirm petitioner's Requests for Conclusions of Law Nos. 1, 2(a), (b), and (c). I decline petitioner's Request for Conclusion of Law No. 3.

 In the circumstances of this case the Union should be enjoined from picketing other than informational picketing of the kind which was carried out prior to July 31st. I will permit such informational picketing on Market Street, where it will not induce stoppage of deliveries, and on Commerce Street on ...


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