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CLEMENTS v. ALAN RITCHEY

September 6, 2001

VERONICA I. CLEMENTS, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, THIRTY-SECOND REGION OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PETITIONER,
v.
ALAN RITCHEY, INC., RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hamilton, District Judge.

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION

Now before the court is a petition for interim injunctive relief filed pursuant to section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act ("the Act"), 29 U.S.C. § 160 (j). Petitioner Veronica I. Clements, Regional Director of the Thirty-Second Region of the National Labor Relations Board ("the Board"), alleges that respondent Alan Ritchey, Inc. ("Ritchey"), violated the Act by engaging in a widespread campaign of unfair labor practices. Petitioner seeks a temporary injunction pending the Board's final disposition of the claims against respondent, asserting that such relief is necessary to prevent frustration of the Act's purposes by a continuation of the alleged unfair labor practices, or by a delay in the remedying of the alleged unfair labor practices.

BACKGROUND

Respondent operates the California Mail Transportation Service Center in Richmond, California, and is under contract with the United States Postal Service to inspect, repair, and warehouse mail transportation equipment. On February 29, 2000, Warehouse Union Local 6, International Longshore & Warehouse Union, AFL — CIO ("the Union"), filed a petition for an election, seeking to represent Ritchie's warehouse, processing, container repair, quality, and data department employees. Teamsters Union Local 315 intervened in the election. On April 13, 2000, an election was conducted. of the 268 eligible voters, 160 cast ballots for the Union, 4 cast ballots for the Teamsters, and 82 cast ballots for neither (a total of 246 ballots cast). The Board certified the Union on April 21, 2000.

Petitioner alleges that shortly after the election, respondent began a widespread campaign of unfair labor practices, including making unilateral changes to employees' wages, hours, and working conditions without bargaining through the Union; by-passing the Union and dealing directly with bargaining unit employees; disciplining employees for their failure to comply with the unilaterally imposed changes in the efficiency standards by which their performance is measured, without first notifying and giving the Union an opportunity to bargain over those disciplinary actions; failing to bargain collectively in good faith with the Union concerning wages, hours, and other conditions of employment; discharging or otherwise disciplining employees because of their union activities or for having selected the Union as their bargaining representative.

Specifically, petitioner alleges that respondent took the following actions during the period from April 13, 2000, through December 2000:

— told an unidentified employee that she could not engage in protected concerted activities;

— promulgated and discriminatorily enforced a no-talking rule;

— began enforcing the efficiency standard for inspectors more harshly than before the election;

— verbally warned employees in the processing department that they must wear safety glasses

— implemented a "safety ticket" program whereby supervisors and employee members of the safety committee progressively disciplined employees for violating safety rules;

— reduced the number of nonworking holidays from six to four by the elimination of Labor Day and Memorial Day.

— implemented a rule requiring that first shift inspectors finish work that had not been completed by the second shift from the day before;

— for one week in May 2000, required employees in the first shift mailbag section of the processing department to start work at 4:00 a.m., rather than at the usual time of 6:00 a.m., resulting in mandatory overtime;

— offered to pay processing department employees triple time for working on Memorial Day if they volunteered to work on Saturday, May 27, 2000, and did not miss any days through June 2, 2000; and allowed the volunteers to change their shift times on May 27, 2000, and work from 4:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., rather than the normal hours of 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.;

— set forth more onerous plant objectives;

— informed employee Kevin Lynch that he would have to perform mechanic work when he had down time from his regular welding duties;

— promulgated more stringent discipline standards and procedures, including progressive discipline;

— promulgated more onerous objectives for the completion of work;

— informed employees that excessive absenteeism, excessive talking, and leaving the work station would not be tolerated and that management would curtail such conduct with progressive discipline;

— informed employees that all time off must be scheduled a week in advance, and that any absence with less than a week's notice would be considered an unexcused absence;

— required employees to work on Friday, July 7, 2000, and Saturday, July 8, 2000, which were regularly scheduled days off;

— changed the job duties of mechanics in the container repair department, and requested employees to sign a memorandum agreeing to the changes;

— changed the shift and number of hours worked by the inventory clerk, and made other changes to the position by transferring employees to other ...


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