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ferred to that committee. These hearings continued through February and were concluded on March 15. The Board submitted to the House committee a statement on those House bills which directly affected the work of the Board. The Chairman and Regional Director Hugh Sperry appeared as witnesses. The statement to the House committee and the testimony of the Chairman analyzed the various amendments proposed.

On June 23, 1947, the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, was enacted into law. This act in title I substantially amended the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. Title I, together with other provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act, conferred upon the Board considerably expanded functions. Title I did not become effective until after the end of the fiscal year.

On August 1, 1947, Abe Murdock and J. Copeland Gray took office as the new Members of the Board, and Robert N. Denham as General Counsel, by appointment of President Truman, pursuant to section 3 of the new statute. Chairman Herzog and Board Members Houston and Reynolds, appointed under the old law, continued in office under the terms of the new.

5 Statement of the National Labor Relations Board, presented by the Chairman before the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, on March 11, 1947, incorporated in the record of the proceedings before the committee. Hearings before the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives, 80th Cong., 1st sess., on bills to amend and repeal the National Labor Relations Act and for other purposes (hereinafter referred to as bearings), vol. 5, pp. 3158-3196, inclusive.

• Statement of the Chairman, National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D. C., hearings, vol. 5, March 11, 12, pp. 3086–3151, inclusive. Statement of Hugh Sperry, regional director, National Labor Relations Board, Seventeenth Region, Kansas City, Mo. Hearings, vol. 5, pp. 3281-3478, inclusive.

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THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT IN PRACTICE:

REPRESENTATION PROCEEDINGS

THE

HE fiscal year ending June 30, 1947, marking the last full year of the Board's operations prior to the effective date of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947,- saw no significant departures from established policies earlier enunciated by the Board for the disposition of representation proceedings. The following discussion attempts no evaluation of the impact of the amendments upon the administration of section 9 of the National Labor Relations Act; it covers decisions issued within the fiscal year, under the old law, which illustrate the Board's application and development of principles previously established.

THE QUESTION CONCERNING REPRESENTATION

Representation proceedings serve to lay the foundation for stable collective bargaining relationships between the employer and the bona fide representative of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit. During the past fiscal year, the Board continued to determine initially whether or not a statutory question concerning representation had arisen. Such a question generally was found to exist where a demand had been made by the union for recognition as the exclusive bargaining representative in a given unit and the employer refused to accede to the union's demand. In the usual case, the Board thereupon defined the appropriate unit and provided for an election wherein the employees might choose their bargaining agent by secret ballot. But, where an immediate resolution of the question concerning representation would not serve any useful purpose or promote the basic statutory objective of collective bargaining, the Board would not direct an election even though a petition had been duly filed.

1 This report covers cases decided between July 1, 1946, and August 21, 1947, the last effective day of the original National Labor Relations Act before its amendment by the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Public Law 101, 80th Cong., enacted June 23, 1947, effective August 22, 1947). It therefore covers more than the fiscal year 1947. Cases decided under the old law run through vol. 74, N. L. R. B. Nothing in this report is to be taken to indicate the Board's interpretation of the impact of the amended act.

* See Eleventh Annual Report, p. 9 ff; Tenth Annual Report, p. 15 ff ; Ninth Annual Report, p. 23 ff ; Eighth Annual Report, p. 43 ff; and Seventh Annual Report, p. 53 ff.

* Sec. 9 of the N. L. R. A. provided that bargaining representatives selected by a majority of the employees in an appropriate þargaining unit shall be the exclusive representative of all; it required the Board to determine the appropriate composition of the bargaining unit, and it authorized the Board to investigate questions concerning representation and to certify the name or names of the representatives.

* Representation proceedings were initiated by the filing of a petition, usually by a union. Sec. 203.47 (b) of the Board's Rules and Regulations, Series 4, in effect until August 22, 1947, additionally provided for petitions by employers to whom two or more labor organizations had presented conflicting claims to represent employees. In this connection, see Matter of Packard Motor Car Company, Toledo Division, 73 N. L. R. B. 976, and Matter of C. H. Sprague o son Co., Seaconnet Division, 72 N. L. R. B. 1401, in which the Board dismissed the petitions where these conditions were not met.

• A failure to demand recognition was, however, not fatal to the petitioning union, since the maintenance of the proceeding in the face of a refusal to recognize per se raises a question concerning representation. Matter of East Texas Electric Steel Company, Inc., 72 N. L. R. B. 1144 ; Matter of California Metal Trades A88ociation, et al., 72 N. L. R. B. 624. & What constituted prima facie proof of a substantial showing of representation among the employees in the appropriate unit was determined in accordance with established principles described in prior annual reports. See especially, Tenth Annual Report, p. 16, and Eleventh Annual Report, p. 10. During this fiscal year, the Board continued the practice, initiated during the preceding year, of omitting from the formal record in a ropresentation proceeding, the Board agent's report on the prima facie showing of membership submitted by the petitioning union.

Thus, for example, the Board refused to proceed to a determination of representatives unless it was administratively satisfied that the union seeking recognition represented a substantial number of employees. This requirement was imposed to avoid the useless expenditure of time and effort in those instances where there was little likelihood that the union would be selected by the employees. Nor would it direct an election where the union seeking certification lacked the attributes of a bona fide labor organization. However, the fact that a union was informally organized did not prevent its recognition as a bona fide labor organization where either the stated purposes of its organization or its practice had been to bargain collectively with employers regarding the wages and working conditions of their employees. Similarly, while the Board indicated that a labor organization which discriminated in its representation of employees would not be permitted to secure or retain its certification by the Board as the statutory representative, the Board assumed an intention on the part of the petitioning union to represent all employees concerned without discrimination where the record does not disclose that the petitioner would not accord them adequate representation. The Board was reluctant to entertain proceedings involving a jurisdictional dispute concerning representation between two or more unions affiliated with the same parent organization, where the controversy could be resolved by submission to the authority of the parent body. In such cases the Board's practice was to inquire of the parent body concerning the efforts made by the unions involved and by the parent to settle the dispute. When there was little or no prospect that the controversy could be resolved without resort to the administrative processes of the act, the Board proceeded." However, petitions were processed as a matter of course, if a union not affiliated with the parent body was also a party to the proceeding. 12

The Board was also confronted during this fiscal year with the question of whether it should proceed to a determination of representatives during the period of reconversion by an employer from war to peacetime functions, or during a period of transition in industrial operations. As heretofore, it continued to invoke the rule that an election would not be delayed merely because of a reduction or an expansion in force, then contemplated or already in progress, unless it appeared that the change-over would involve material changes in the character of the bargaining unit or that new or materially different operations or processes requiring personnel with different job classifications and skills were to be adopted.13 However, in directing elections in cases in which the number of employees in a bargaining unit appeared likely to double within a year, the Board provided that it would entertain a new petition in less than 1 year but not before the expiration of 6 months from the date of any certification which might issue in the proceeding, upon proof that the number of employees in the appropriate unit had more than doubled and that the newly petitioning labor organization then represented a substantial number of employees in the expanded unit. 16

Since the showing was for administrative purposes only and was not subject to collateral attack, it was not affected by the fact that the employees concerned might have subsequently given powers of attorney for purposes of collective bargaining to a rival labor organization. Matter of Potosi Tie and Lumber Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 590.

More recently the Board held that under some circumstances a current showing of interest was not required. Thus, in one instance, the petitioner's long-enduring relations with employers were held a sufficient prima facie showing of interest to warrant the holding of an election. Matter of Acme Brewing Company, et al., 72 N. L. R. B. 1005. In another instance, the Board held, in a case involving a seasonal industry, that a showing of interest acquired during the season of the preceding year afforded a sufficient basis for the direction of an election a year later. Matter of The Imperial Tobacco Company (of Great Britain and Ireland), Ltd., 74 N. L. R. B. 1038.

? See Eleventh Annual Report, p. 11.
& See Matter of Ripley Manufacturing Company, 72 N. L. R. B. 559.
See Eleventh Annual Report, p. 11.
10 See Matter of Hughes Tool Company, 69 N. L. R. B. 294.
1 Matter of u. 8. Industrial Chemicals, Inc.,

71 N. L. R. B. 940. See Eleventh Annual Report, p. 12; Ninth Annual Report, p. 24; and Eighth Annual Report, p. 44.

13 Matter of National Foundry of New York, Inc., 73 N. L, R. B. 16.

The impact of contracts and prior determinations upon a representation proceeding The Board was often called upon to determine whether an election could appropriately be held where there was an outstanding contract between the employer involved and a union other than the petitioner covering the employees in issue; or where there was an outstanding recent Board certification of another union as the bargaining representative of the employees concerned. In deciding whether a dismissal of the petition or the direction of an election would best effectuate the policies of the act, the Board weighed the interest of the employees and the public in preserving the industrial stability implicit in the established bargaining relationship or the certified representative status of the union against the statutory right of employees freely to select and change their bargaining representatives.

The Board held that, in general, a valid written collective bargaining agreement, signed by the parties, extending for a definite and reasonable period, and prescribing substantive terms and conditions of employment, constituted a bar to a current determination of representatives among the employees covered by such contract until shortly before its terminal date. And, as noted in previous annual reports, this rule applied equally to newly executed agreements and to those renewed pursuant to the operation of automatic renewal clauses.15

13 See Eleventh Annual Report, pp. 12 and 13, and Tenth Annual Report, p. 17. In Matter of West Texas Cottonoil Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 645, the Board set aside a prehearing election held at a time when an employer had ceased its main operations pending a change in equipment and manufacturing methods. However, see Matter of Blue star Airlines, Inc., 73 N. L. R. B. 663, in which the Board directed an election although there had been a recent cut-back of major proportions and the employer's plan to continue operations was indeterminate. And, for cases in which the Board found reconversion no deterrent to a current election, see Matter of Sinclair Refining Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 724, and Matter of Deeco Company, 71 N. L. R. B. 692. In this connection, the Board distinguished between changes in the nature and character of the unit itself and changes in the constituency of the unit. In the latter type cases, the Board found no obstacle to a current determination of representatives. Matter of Philip Lewis & Sons, 71 N. L. R. B. 976, and Matter of Natchez Hardwood Company, 71 N. L. R. B. 24.

The effect of reconversion factors upon the Board's contract bar and year certification rules are discussed infra.

14. This policy was applied by the Board throughout the recent war period in cases of rapidly expanding employment resulting from the conversion from a peacetime to a wartime operation. See Matter of Aluminum Company of America, 52 N. L. R. B. 1040.

18 See Eleventh Annual Report, p. 13 ff. ; Tenth Annual Report, p. 18 ff.; Ninth Annual Report, p. 25 ff.; and Eighth Annual Report, p. 45 ff.

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Conversely, an oral,16 or unsigned written,7 agreement, or one resulting from unfair labor practices,18 or failing to establish substantive terms and conditions of employment, or extending only to members of the contracting union,20 or excluding the employees in the unit sought, 21 would not operate as a bar to a representation proceeding. Nor would a contract preclude an immediate election where the contracting union was defunct,22 or an unresolved doubt existed as to its identity.23

With respect to the duration of the agreement, the Board, until recently, had recognized a contract term of 1 year as reasonable, and had ruled that a contract for an initial period in excess of 1 year would be deemed reasonable only if consistent with custom in the industry involved.24 However, in Matter of Reed Roller Bit Company, 72 N. L. R. B. 927, where the customary term of contracts in the industry was 1 year, the Board decided that contracts of 2 years' duration should nevertheless be accorded the same effect, for contract bar purposes, as 1-year agreements, and explained the reasons for such change as follows:

In the light of our experience in administering the Act, we believe that a contract for a term of two years cannot be said to be of unreasonable duration

For large masses of employees collective bargaining has but recently emerged from a stage of trial and error, during which its techniques and full potentialities were being slowly developed under the encouragement and protection of the Act. To have insisted in the past upon prolonged adherence to a bargaining agent, once chosen, would have been wholly incompatible with this experimental and transitional period. It was especially necessary, therefore, to lay emphasis upon the right of workers to select and change their representatives. Now, however, the emphasis can better be placed elsewhere. We think that the time has come when stability of industrial relations can be better served, without unreasonably restricting employees in their right to change representatives, by refusing to interfere with bargaining relations secured by collective agreements of two years' duration. As a logical corollary, the Board held thereafter, in Matter of Puritan Ice Company, 74 N. L. R. B. 1311, that a contract for a term of 4 years, which was of unreasonable duration within the meaning of Board precedents in representation proceedings, was nevertheless a bar during its first 2 years; it similarly found, in Matter of Fitrol Corporation, 74 N. L. R. B. 1307, that a contract of indefinite duration constituted a bar to an election during its first 2 years.?

25

18 Matter of Hollywood Brands, Inc., 70 N. L. R. B. 706.

17 Matter of Newman-Crosby Steel Corporation, 73 N. L. R. B. 513; and Matter of French Manufacturing Company, 72 N. L. Ř. B. 1467.

19 Matter of Kropp Forge Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 1148.

19 Matter of Peoria Wholesale Liquor Distributors A88ociation, 74 N. L. R. B. 208 (recognition agreement providing for closed shop and check off, but containing no terms as to wages, hours, or other conditions of employment) ; Matter of Bell Cabinet Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 332, and Matter of Mac'8 Equipment Co., 72 N. L. R. B. 583 (recognition agreements.)

24 Matter of J. F. Johnson Lumber Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 320, and Matter of The Wheland Company, 72 N. L. R. B. 351.

21 Matter of Lion Oil Company, Chemical Division, 73 N. L. R. B. 982; Matter of ScanlonMorris Division of The Ohio Chemical & Mf9. Co., 71 N. L. R. B. 903; and Matter of WellsGardner & Co., 71 N. L, R. B. 176.

22 Matter of Perfection Spring and Equipment Company, 72 N. L. R. B. 590 ; Matter of Koppers Company, Inc., 72 N. L. R. B. 31; Matter of Landis Machine Company, Inc., 71 N. L. R. B. 282; and Matter of Air Utilities, Inc., 70 N. L. R. B. 887. Cf. Matter of Connecticut Cabinet Corp., 72 N. L. R. B. 1016, and Matter of Memphis Butchers Association, Inc., 72 N. L. R. B. 934.

23 Matter of Foley Lumber & Export Corporation, 70 N. L. R. B. 73. 24 See Tenth Annual Report, p. 20; and Eleventh Annual Report, p. 14. 25 Unlike contracts of unreasonable or indefinite duration, contracts terminable at the will of either party have not been accorded any period of immunity against rival petitions. Matter of Potosi t'ie & Lumber Company, 73 N. L. R. B. 590; Matter of General Motors Corporation, 72 N. L. R. B. 1199 ; and Matter of The Beach Company, 72 N. L. R. B. 510. And the immunity granted to valid 2-year contracts is inapplicable to a 1-year contract

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