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GRUPP EX REL. NLRB v. IBEW

October 16, 1970

Edward A. Grupp, Acting Regional Director, Region Six, for and on Behalf of National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner
v.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union No. 10, AFL-CIO, Respondents


Gourley, Senior District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

Petitioner, on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board, has instituted this action against respondents pursuant to Section 10(l) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, 61 Stat. 149, 73 Stat. 544, 29 U.S.C. § 160(l), alleging there is reasonable cause to believe that respondents have engaged in an unfair labor practice in violation of Section 8(b)(4)(i, ii), subparagraph (B), of the Act, 29 U.S.C. § 158(b)(4)(i, ii)(B). A temporary injunction is sought pending a final determination by the Board of charges filed by the Associated Trades & Crafts International Construction Union and NTC Construction Company (hereinafter called NTC) against respondents.

 An extensive evidentiary hearing has been conducted. The Court has reviewed the pleadings, the evidence elicited at the hearing and the applicable law and is of the opinion that a temporary injunction should issue.

 The controversy arises out of the construction of a townhouse apartment building in Butler, Pennsylvania (hereinafter called the Project). NTC, a Pennsylvania corporation, is the general contractor for the Project. Dick Miller Electric Company (hereinafter called Miller), also a Pennsylvania corporation, is an electrical contractor to which NTC has subcontracted performance of the electrical work. The subcontract is valued in excess of $66,000.

 During the past twelve months, Miller has purchased goods and materials valued in excess of $50,000 directly and/or indirectly from outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for use at its Pennsylvania construction sites, and it is engaged in interstate commerce within the meaning of the Act.

 Miller's employees are represented not by respondents but rather by the Associated Trades & Crafts International Construction Union (hereinafter called Associated Trades). Miller is a member of a multi-employer bargaining group, the United Contractors Association, which entered into a collective bargaining agreement with Associated Trades effective January 1, 1970 and terminating on December 31, 1971.

 NTC commenced construction at the Project on July 14, 1970. On August 6, 1970, a conference was attended by Carl White, Assistant Manager of NTC, George Kusevich, Project Manager of NTC, Clyde Yohe, President of the Butler County Building Trades Council, William Bogan, Business Manager of Bricklayers Local xxxx, Sonny Kaiser, representing the Plumbers, and Carl Staley, Business Manager of respondent Local 10. At whose instance the meeting was called has not been indicated. At the meeting, the representatives of NTC were asked by Staley to sign an agreement binding NTC to use only AFL-CIO employees. Staley observed that Miller's employees were not represented by an AFL-CIO affiliated Union. If Miller were used by NTC as a subcontractor, Staley indicated respondent Local 10 would picket the site. In response to Staley's statement, Kaiser said that he would honor the picket lines. The other Unions' representatives nodded in agreement. A possible solution, Staley suggested to the representatives of NTC, would be to induce Miller to agree to use only men who were members of an AFL-CIO affiliate. Apparently, NTC neither signed the agreement requested by Staley nor followed his suggested alternative solution to the problem.

 On August 10, 1970, Staley met with White, Assistant Manager of NTC, and advised that respondent Local would engage in "informational picketing" at the Project. On August 12, 1970, Staley wrote White a letter confirming that respondent was going to place an informational picket at the Project gate. Staley also advised that respondent-Local's dispute was only with Miller. He further stated, "We want you to know that we are in no way suggesting or requesting that you cease doing business with this firm."

 Also on August 12, 1970, Staley wrote Miller and Yohe, President of the Butler County Building Trades Council. Staley advised Miller that respondent Local 10 "intends to picket you on all projects that you may be working on now, or anytime in the future, in our jurisdiction." Staley counseled Yohe "that we do not request any help from you or any of your affiliates " but "suggest you tell your affiliates that we are not asking anybody to cross or not to cross our picket line."

 Miller commenced work at the Project on September 10, 1970 with employees who were members of Associated, which is not affiliated with the AFL-CIO. On September 11, 1970, Carl Staley and two other members of respondent Local 10 appeared at the Project site and began picketing with signs stating "Dick Miller Elect. Co. and their employees are in no way affiliated or in signed agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers AFL-CIO." The picketing was conducted on a sidewalk adjacent to where the Miller truck was parked. On this first day of the picketing, the masons and plumbers stopped work.

 Miller worked at the Project site through the fifteenth or sixteenth of September, completing about five per cent of the contemplated electrical work. Miller then was required to perform on another job and its return is not expected until November. Respondent Local 10 continued its picketing during Miller's presence at the site through the fifteenth or sixteenth and has continued almost every working day thereafter until the present, although the Miller truck has been absent from the Project site. Each day, respondent has utilized two pickets, each carrying signs, and a third person present to relieve one of the two pickets.

 On September 18, 1970, White asked one of the men picketing how long they intended to continue. He answered that they would leave when Miller left. Staley, who was present at the time, affirmed the response.

 At some time subsequent to the commencement of the picketing, members of the Operating Engineers, who are responsible for running heavy equipment, honored the picket line and refused to work. By virtue of their absence, work upon the Project has totally ceased. Within the recent past, a portion of the excavation at the Project has collapsed jeopardizing adjacent structures, but NTC has been unable to secure the labor of the Operating Engineers to rectify the situation.

 In this proceeding pursuant to Section 10(l) of the Act, the court must find that the National Labor Relations Board had reasonable cause to believe that the charge of unfair labor practices by respondents was true, so as to authorize a preliminary injunction against such practices. The Court is not called upon to determine whether, in fact, a violation of the Act has been committed. Penello v. United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers Union, AFL-CIO, 174 F. Supp. 887, 889-90 (D. Md. 1959). It is sufficient for the Board to establish a ...


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