Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. Labor Board
313 U.S. 146 (1941)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. Labor Board, 313 U.S. 146 (1941)

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. National Labor Relations Board

No. 521

Argued March 7, 10, 1941

Decided April 28, 1941*

313 U.S. 146

Syllabus

1. A ruling of the National Labor Relations Board determining an appropriate unit for collective bargaining is not directly reviewable, but is subject to challenge when a complaint of unfair practices is based upon it. P. 313 U. S. 154.

2. An order of the National Labor Relations Board requiring an employer to cease and desist from recognizing or dealing with a union as a labor organization, entered on stipulation of the employer, without hearing, in a proceeding charging violations of §§ 8(1) and (2) of the National Labor Relations Act to which the union was not a party, is binding upon the employer, but leaves the union's private rights untouched. P. 313 U. S. 155.

3. In proceedings before the Board under § 9(b) of the Act to determine the appropriate bargaining unit or units for the employees in a plurality of plants operated by the same employer and manufacturing similar products, the desire of the employees at one of the plants to be represented by their own union, rather than by a single organization representing the employees in all the plants, is a fact to be weighed, together with the similarity of working duties and conditions, the character of the various plants, and the anticipated effectiveness of the unit to be chosen in maintaining industrial peace through collective bargaining. P. 313 U. S. 156.

4. The availability of a workers' organization for purposes of representation at a particular plant is not, in itself, decisive against joining the employees in that plant with those of other plants of the same employer as an appropriate bargaining unit. P. 313 U. S. 156.

5. In determining whether the employees of a plant having its separate union should be included with those in other plants operated by the same employer as an appropriate bargaining unit, the fact of employer.domination in that plant is to be considered, but it

Page 313 U. S. 147

pertains, rather, to the subsequent certification of bargaining representative. P. 313 U. S. 166.

6. In proceedings under § 9(b) of the National Labor Relations Act in which all the employees in a plurality of separate plants were found to constitute an appropriate bargaining unit and a single labor federation was certified as their bargaining representative, the Board had received the petition of a union including a large majority of the workers at one of the plants showing their desire to be classed as a separate unit with separate representation. In a subsequent proceeding under §§ 8(1) and (5), charging the employer with unfair labor practice in refusing to bargain with the federation so certified, further evidence of this desire of the workers in the single plant was offered in the endeavor to show that their inclusion in the unit was unlawful.

Held:

(1) That refusal by the Board to admit the additional evidence was not arbitrary, since the two proceedings were virtually one, and the knowledge of the workers' desires obtained in the first could properly be considered in the second. P. 313 U. S. 157.

(2) A refusal to admit evidence that the union at the single plant was free from employer domination was within the discretion of the Board in view of an order forbidding such domination which it had made, on stipulation of the employer, in a distinct proceeding in which the union failed to appear, and in view of the full investigation made by the Board in the unit hearing at which the union and all other interested parties were present. P. 313 U. S. 158.

(3) Refusal to admit evidence cumulative to that received at the unit hearing, to show that the employees at the local plant had interests distinct from those of the employees at the other plants, was justifiable in view of the testimony on the subject adduced by the union at the unit hearing. P. 313 U. S. 161.

(4) Evidence that the union had bargained for its members with the employer until the employer refused to do so because of charges of domination filed against it, and evidence that the membership of the union had increased, might properly be rejected by the Board as of slight probative value in determining an appropriate bargaining unit. P. 313 U. S. 162.

(5) Considering together all the contentions about exclusion of evidence, the Court does not find that in the aggregate the evidence excluded could have materially affected the outcome of the "appropriate unit" issue, in the light of the criteria by which the Board determined that issue. P. 313 U. S. 163.

Page 313 U. S. 148

7. Evidence held adequate to support a conclusion of the Labor Board that all of the employee in a plurality of plans should be included in one bargaining unit notwithstanding that one of them was a separate industrial unit, which was not mechanically integrated with the other, which did not exchange employees with them, and which had it own superintendent to deal with labor grievances, and its own purchasing agent. P. 313 U. S. 163.

Labor policies and wage for all the plants were determined at a central office. Work, wages, hours, working condition, and manufacturing processes were similar. The Board was justified in finding that an independent unit at the plant in question would frustrate general efforts at labor adjustments, and would enable the employer to use the plant for continuous operation in case of stoppage of labor at the other plant P. 313 U. S. 164.

8. Section 9(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, which provides that the Board

"shall decide in each case whether, in order to insure the employee the full benefit of their right to self-organization and to collective bargaining, and otherwise to effectuate the policies of this Act, the unit appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining shall be the employer unit, craft unit, plant unit, or subdivision thereof,"

supplies adequate standards for administrative action, and does not unconstitutionally delegate legislative power. P. 313 U. S. 164.

113 F.2d 698 affirmed.

Certiorari, 311 U.S. 642, to review a judgment affirming an order of the National Labor Relations Board. 15 N.L.R.B. 515. See also 102 F.2d 1004, enforcing 8 N.L.R.B.1210, and 10 N.L.R.B. 1111.

Page 313 U. S. 149

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