Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Gus Xilas and Angelo G. Kazalas d/b/a Dudt's Bakery v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, No. SA 164-1980.
Timothy P. O'Reilly, McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for appellant.
Anthony C. Busillo, II, with him James L. Crawford and Cheryl G. Young, for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.
The appellant (employer) seeks review of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which sustained a finding by the Pennsylvania Labor
Relations Board (Board) that the employer had committed unfair labor practices when it discharged and laid off a number of its employees.
The Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America, Local 12-A (Union), sought to unionize employees of a bakery owned by the employer, and the Union gave notice of its organizational activities by a letter to the employer on September 9, 1977.*fn1 The employer discharged 2 of its approximately 15 employees in October of 1977, allegedly for disciplinary reasons, and laid off a number of other employees in January of 1978, purportedly because of economic factors. The Union filed unfair labor practice charges with the Board against the employer, alleging that both the discharges and the layoffs were motivated by the employer's anti-union animus, and hearings were held on those charges in January and February of 1978. The Union later requested and received a representation election in April of 1978. In October of 1978, the Board filed its opinion and nisi order finding that the employer's actions against its employees were prompted by its anti-union attitude and that such activities were unfair labor practices under sections 6(1)(a) and (c) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA), Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, as amended, 43 P.S. §§ 211.6(1)(a) and (c).*fn2 In November of 1978, the Board also certified
the Union as the exclusive bargaining agent of the employees after tallying the votes from the representation election and finding that eight employees were in favor of the Union and that three were opposed to it. The Board did not decide the validity of four other votes which had been challenged because it concluded that those votes would not change the outcome of the election. The employer appealed the Board's rulings, which were affirmed by the court below, and this appeal was then taken.
The employer contends that the Board's findings are tainted because it substituted one hearing examiner for another during the course of the hearings with no legitimate reason therefor, and because the Board and not the two hearing examiners who ...