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TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION 77 v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/22/85)

decided: May 22, 1985.

TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION 77, TURNPIKE COMMISSION & PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEES, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of Teamsters Local Union 77, Turnpike Employees & Public Service Employees v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, Nos. 81-20353 and 81-20354.

COUNSEL

Kenneth S. Hall, for appellant.

Ellis H. Katz, with him, James L. Crawford and John B. Neurohr, for appellee.

Joseph P. Cronin, Jr., of counsel: Cronin, Emuryan and Breen, for intervenor, Delaware County Prison Employees Independent Union.

Judges Williams, Jr. and Barry and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Williams, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Blatt

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 434]

The Teamster's Local Union 77, Turnpike Commission and Public Service Employees (Teamsters) appeal here an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which affirmed final orders of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) dismissing unfair practice charges against the Delaware County Prison Employees Independent Union (Independent) which the Teamsters had filed with the Board and dismissing the Teamsters' exceptions to the Board's Nisi Order of Certification of the Independent as the exclusive bargaining representative for prison guards at the Delaware County Prison.

Since 1972, prison guards at the Delaware County Prison constituted a collective bargaining unit represented by the Teamsters. Dissatisfied with the Teamsters' representation, however, employees at the prison formed the Independent, which, seeking to represent the prison guards, filed a representation petition in anticipation of the August 31, 1980 expiration of the then-current collective bargaining agreement.*fn1 On August 13, 1980 the County and the Teamsters declared

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 435]

    an impasse in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, and invoked the compulsory interest arbitration procedures of Pennsylvania's Public Employees Relations Act.*fn2 Accordingly, arbitration hearings were held, as a result of which a collective bargaining agreement was executed on September 18, 1980 between the County and the Teamsters based upon the terms of the arbitration award. The Board had, in the meanwhile, scheduled hearings on the Independent's representation petition, and, on February 24, 1981, an order was issued scheduling a representation election for March 26, 1981, which proceeded as scheduled and was won by the Independent.

The Teamsters thereafter filed objections to the election with the Board, charging the Independent with unfair practices in the conduct of the election, alleging that the Independent had improperly engaged in electioneering at the polling place. These objections, however, were dismissed by the Board on July 14, 1981. The Teamsters also filed objections to the certification of the Independent as the exclusive representative of the prison guards, but these objections were likewise dismissed by the Board, which ordered the certification of the Independent on August 7, 1981. The Teamsters filed exceptions to both Board orders and, on December 3, 1981, the Board issued final orders dismissing the exceptions, leading the Teamsters to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, which affirmed the Board, resulting in the instant appeal.

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 436]

The Board's findings establish that, for purposes of the election, Board agents designated the polling area to be the area within the prison's work release center; that representatives of the Independent were present outside the work release center greeting and speaking with employees who were going in to vote; that, during the afternoon voting, these representatives told employees to go to the parking lot after voting and to return when called to hear the ...


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