Staley, Aldisert and Hunter, Circuit Judges.
The controlling question here is whether substantial evidence in the record supports the National Labor Relations Board's ("Board") findings that Erie Marine, Inc., ("Erie Marine") violated Sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(2) of the National Labor Relations Act ("Act"), 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1) and (2). The Board seeks enforcement of its order.
Erie Marine is a division of Litton Industries, engaged in the construction of marine vessels in Erie, Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1969, after having apparently received numerous complaints from its employees concerning the company's prevailing wage policies, Erie Marine formed what it characterized as a Communications Sessions Committee ("Committee") -- composed of representatives of employees and management.
In February of 1970, Erie Marine learned that the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers ("Union") would attempt to organize the plant's employees. The company sought to counteract the Union's efforts, and various subsequent incidents form the basis of the Section 8(a)(1) charges. After a review of the Hearing Examiner's report, the Board concluded that Erie Marine had, in fact, violated Sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(2) of the Act.*fn1
Section 8(a)(1) prohibits an employer from interfering with, restraining or coercing his employees in their exercise of rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the Act.*fn2 The Board determined that three incidents were violative of Section 8(a)(1).
(A) On February 1970, Erie Marine received written notice from the Union informing the Company of its pending organizational drive and stating that thirteen employees had agreed to become voluntary organizers. Included in this group was Richard Kaizer, who, on that day, had occasion to confront Richard Lindstrom, a company supervisor, on the union issue. According to Kaizer's testimony, Lindstrom:
"said that I was out of my head for getting involved in something like this. That I was jeopardizing my job and future at Erie Marine, having anything to do with the union. . . . He stated that if a union did get in that the employees wouldn't benefit from it. That all the employees, the wages and the benefits would be taken away and renegotiated and everybody would be starting from scratch. He stated that something like $3.00 an hour or less that everybody would be making."
On the same occasion Kaizer was also told by a second company supervisor that Erie Marine would refuse to negotiate with the Union and that it "wouldn't allow any Union in the company."
(B) On February 19, 1970, Erie Marine called a meeting of all employees on its second shift. According to the testimony of Bobby Watts, an employee attending that meeting, company official John Kotyuk stated:
"if we got a union in, a union couldn't do us any good. The only thing the union could do was do us harm, because we would lose our seniority, insurance and everything we had and we would have to bargain all over again."
(C) At this same meeting, supervisor Robert Shasteen addressed the assembled employees. His comments were to the effect that Erie Marine did not need a union, that there would be layoffs instead of job rotations, and that:
"the wages and benefits that they had then would be scratched off and they would sit down at the bargaining table and draw up a whole new line of contracts and it would be possible for them to ...