charged and convicted of a misdemeanor in connection with alleged acts of picket line misconduct. The testimony presented at this hearing also indicated that the officers of the Local were closely monitoring the picket line throughout the course of this strike. Given the continuing nature of the picket line misconduct we conclude that reasonable cause exists to believe that these Local officers were aware of the current problems along the picket line. Yet these officers took no effective steps to control or disavow this conduct. Accordingly we hold that there is reasonable cause to believe that Local 9051 bears responsibility for these acts of picket line misconduct.
As for the International we believe, that as the certified bargaining representative for these employees, it too bears some responsibility for their alleged acts of picket line misconduct. The International authorized the strike. The International has continued to provide strike benefits to the members of Local 9051 throughout this dispute. The International has also provided funds for legal representation for members of Local 9051 who have been criminally charged on matters arising out of alleged acts of strike related misconduct. Such payments certainly should have alerted the International to the fact that problems were occurring on this picket line.
Moreover the staff representative of the International, Mr. John Dever, was personally present on several occasions when picketers engaged in violent and intimidating acts. Again, given the continuing nature of this misconduct, we conclude that reasonable cause exists to believe that Dever, as the staff representative of the International, knew or should have known of current problems on the picket line. Therefore, we hold that there is reasonable cause to believe that the International also bears responsibility for current picket line misconduct.
In reaching this conclusion we recognize that Dever and the officers of the Local denied knowledge of recent misconduct and testified at length regarding the efforts they had taken to curtail picket line violence. While this testimony may go to the ultimate merit of the unfair labor practice charges pending against the Unions, it does not justify denying injunctive relief under § 10(j) of the Act. The scope of our inquiry at this point is quite limited. We are not free to determine the ultimate issue of whether the Unions' actions violate the National Labor Relations Act. That determination is entrusted exclusively to the NLRB. Rather we must merely determine whether reasonable cause exists to believe that violations have occurred.
In this case petitioner has shown that a continuing pattern of violence exists at the picketed RUR Industries plant. Petitioner has demonstrated that both the Local and the International knew or should have known of this violence. Petitioner has also established that, on several occasions, International staff representatives and Local officers were present when these acts occurred. The evidence further indicates that some Local Union officers actually engaged in acts of violence and intimidation. Finally it is apparent that neither the Local nor the International has effectively disavowed or controlled this conduct. Therefore, we feel that this record supports the conclusion that there is reasonable cause to believe that violations of the Act have occurred and that both respondents are responsible for these violations.
We also hold that injunctive relief is just and proper in these circumstances. The acts complained of in this case are continuing to this date. They are acts which present a grave danger of personal injury and property damage to strikers, non-striking employees, and third parties.
Any injunction we issue in this case would be narrowly limited. It would preserve the rights of striking employees to conduct lawful picketing activities at the RUR Industries plant. All that would be prohibited are those acts of violence and intimidation which are proscribed under the National Labor Relations Act. Moreover, the injunction itself would only extend until such time as the NLRB ultimately decided the issues raised in the unfair labor practice charges now before it. We have been informed that a hearing was conducted on these charges on February 2, 1982. Accordingly we anticipate that the term of this injunction would be relatively brief.
Having found both that there is reasonable cause to believe that the United Steelworkers and its Local 9051 have violated the Act; and that injunctive relief is just and proper in the circumstances; we conclude that such an injunction should issue. The findings of fact and conclusions of law of the court are embodied in this Opinion.
An appropriate order will issue.
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