– Re: BLUE CARD BOY LIVES
In Reply To
ALL THOSE WHO SLAMMED BROTHER BRENNAN OVER THE YEARS - YOU OWE THE MAN AN APOLOGY!
FURRIERS JT. COUNCIL OF NEW YORK 280 NLRB 107 (1986)
We agree with the judge that the Respondent violated Section 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) of the Act by making its members' receipt of their vacation paychecks conditional on their payment of a special assessment.
The General Counsel and the Charging Parties except to the judge's failure to find that theRespondent also violated the Act by requiring its members to pay their back dues before receiving their vacation paychecks. We find merit in these exceptions.
It appears to be commonplace in the fur industry for a worker to fall behind in paying union dues during the busy season from August to December and during the slow season from February to May. Many fur workers choose to pay their back dues. On 14 August 1984 the Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the complaint contending that the parties had executed a settlement agreement providing, in pertinent part that the parties would discontinue or cause the discontinuance of all litigation and administrative proceedings pending between them. On 18 January 1985 the Board issued a Notice to Show Cause why the Respondent's motion should not be granted The General Counsel and the Charging Parties filed responses to the Notice to Show Cause We agree with the General Counsel that the Respondent has not established that a final settlement agreement had been reached, because the Respondent never submitted a final copy of the alleged agreement to the Board, but merely attached several selected pages of a draft of the alleged agreement to its motion to dismiss the complaint
Accordingly, we deny the Respondent's motion to dismiss the complaint 2 The Respondent has excepted to some of the judge 's credibility findings The Board's established policy is not to overrule an administrative law judge's credibility resolutions unless the clear preponderance of all the relevant evidence convinces us that they are incorrect Standard Dry Wall Products, 91 NLRB 544 (1950), enfd. 188 F 2d 362 (3d Cir. 1951) We have carefully examined the record and find no basis for reversing the findings when they receive their vacation paychecks from the Respondent in January and July.
The Respondent distributes the paychecks to employees after their preparation elsewhere. When a union member requests his vacation check from a cashier at the Respondent's office, the cashier checks the member's union book to determine if dues have been paid. If the member owes dues, he proceeds to a second cashier who deducts back dues from the vacation check and gives the balance of the paycheck to the employee. Should a member prefer not to have dues deducted from his vacation check, he would consult with his business agent who would determine if the back dues had to be paid from the employee's vacation check.
Charles Sanders, a shop chairman, testified it has been the Respondent's practice that a fur worker "not in good standing," i.e., in arrears in dues payments, cannot receive his vacation check; the employee receives his check only when he is paid up in dues and assessments. Although the judge found there was a "custom and practice" of conditioning delivery of its members' vacation checks upon their payment of back dues, the judge also found the Respondent did not violate the Act by engaging in this "custom and practice." We disagree.
We rely on Musicians Local 47 (American Broadcasting Co.), 255 NLRB 386 (1981), in which the respondent union, like the Respondent herein, assumed the responsibility of transmitting paychecks to its members. The union refused to transmit an employee's paycheck to him until he had paid all his back dues. We found such conduct violated Section 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) of the Act.
We found that receiving payment for one's labor is a term and condition of employment-an employment right-and that an underlying purpose of Section 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) is to keep employment rights separate from membership obligations owed to an employee's labor organization, such as the payment of dues.
In order to enforce its members' financial obligations, a union may only seek the discharge of employees who do not pay their periodic dues; a union may not resort to other methods, such as withholding part or all of a paycheck, to force compliance with membership obligations.
In Musicians Union Local 47, we concluded that the union had accepted responsibility for transmitting paychecks to employees who were its members and, having agreed to become involved in that facet of the employment relationship, was obliged "to maintain the statutorily mandated separation between employment rights and membership obligations. "255 NLRB at 390.