Mr. Menard had questioned Kolbe regarding his involvement with the Union one day in mid-July when Kolbe went to pick up his paycheck. Kolbe admitted to Mr. Menard at that time that he was involved in the Union. (R. 769).
49. Kolbe was laid off by Penn Lumber on November 6, 1987. McMasters, Kolbe's supervisor, told Kolbe that he was told to lay him off by Joe Opaliski. (R. 782-83). McMasters also told Kolbe that the layoff was unnecessary, that McMasters needed him, and that he would give Kolbe a good recommendation. (R. 782-84). McMasters also told Kolbe that Coulter had been laid off because he was an agitator. (R. 804; 807). During the last two weeks of Kolbe's employment by Penn Lumber, two new employees were hired by Penn Lumber. (R. 780).
50. On November 6, 1987, Menard Fiberglass laid off most of its remaining employees including Anna Blake, David Bloom, James Caldwell, Brian Collins, Ruth Grattan, Denver Hampton, Karen Heichel, Julie Hepfer, Patricia Jozefik, Timothy Knepp, Michael Lyon, Eric Mahlon, Andrew Maines, Billie Mattie, Paul Pedmo, Catherine Schoening, Joseph Verbitsky, William White, and Virginia Yost. (RX 18, R. 630). Production on boats continued with supervisory personnel and several employees.
51. On December 16, 1987, Roger Menard, Sr., testified at the N.L.R.B. hearing before the Administrative Law Judge that all three respondent companies were up for sale; and that the sale itself was close to being consummated. (R. 548-61). Mr. Menard also indicated that creditors were threatening to force respondents into bankruptcy. (R. 565-66). Mr. Menard further testified that the prospective purchaser did not wish to retain any of the current employees or Mr. Menard, and was considering shutting down all operations at the East Clearfield facility and transferring the assets elsewhere. (R. 557-62).
52. On December 17, Ray Blankenship stated on the record at the administrative hearing that the respondent companies were "emphatically" opposed to posting a bond in the amount of $ 35,000, or setting aside a like amount from the proceeds of the sale of the respondent companies to cover the approximate amount of backpay which was then estimated to be due the alleged discriminatees up to that date in the event the allegations in the complaint were sustained by the Administrative Law Judge and reviewing bodies. (R. 702).
At the outset, it is important to understand that a district court has a very limited role in this area of the law. A district court is not to act "as if it had general jurisdiction over the nation's labor laws." Kobell v. Suburban Lines, Inc., 731 F.2d 1076, 1083 (3d Cir. 1984). The court "may not decide whether or not to issue relief based on its own belief as to whether an unfair labor practice has been committed." Id. Rather, by fashioning section 10(j), "Congress sought to ensure that the board would be able to exercise effectively its ultimate remedial power. Therefore, section 10(j) was included to provide interim relief in a situation in which the Board and courts believe that it is necessary to preserve the effective exercise of such remedial power." Eisenberg v. Lenape Products, Inc., 781 F.2d 999, 1003 (3d Cir. 1986) (citations omitted). With this in mind, the court will now address the three issues in this case: (1) whether the respondent companies constitute a single employer within the meaning of the Act; (2) whether the Regional Director has "reasonable cause" to believe that the respondents are violating the Act; and if so, (3) whether the relief sought by the Regional Director in the present case is "just and proper." The court will address each issue in turn.
I. Single Employer
Before determining whether the above findings of fact provide the Regional Director with "reasonable cause" to believe that the Act has been violated, and whether the type of relief sought is "just and proper," the court must determine whether the respondent companies are a single employer within the meaning of the Act.
There are four recognized criteria for determining the existence of an integrated enterprise or joint employer for purposes of the Act:
(1) interrelation of operations,
(2) common management,