Page images

anyone having an interest in the outcome of the election is not properly supervised by an agent of the Board, may be used to the advantage of the party giving the instructions. The investigation indicates that in an undetermined number of instances such instructions in a foreign language were given to voters by representatives of interested parties. Thus it appears that at different times during the course of the election explanations were given to voters in the Japanese, Spanish, and Italian languages. It is asserted that in some instances such instructions were given by individuals representing the Companies to groups of voters whom they had brought to the polling place.

The number of Japanese alone receiving such explanations, according to one estimate, was in excess of twenty-five. The total number of explanations given in foreign languages by other than Board agents, according to a conflicting estimate, was two. An analysis of the evidence leads to the conclusion that the truth lies somewhere between these two extreines. Although it thus appears that the number of instances in which such instructions were given to voters in foreign languages may be in doubt, it is nevertheless apparent that in at least several instances this actually did occur.

4. Use of threats and insults by agents of the Board against C. I. 0.

The investigation indicates that remarks were made which could have been construed by a casual auditor as threatening or insulting. There is evidence that the Board agents used words of actual profanity as well as expressions conveying a suigma, both in direct conversations with and in discussions of C. I. 0. Union representatives. There is other evidence denying the use of such language in some cases and explaining it as having been used in jest in others.

It is well known that a given phrase may actually contain a threat or an insult, or may, on the other hand, he entirely free from threat or insult, depending entirely upon the context and manner in which those words are spoken. It is a matter of the utmost difficulty to reconstruct this context through the recollection of individuals whose memory is conditioned by their relationship to the words which were spoken. One must conclude, however, that the use of some of the expressions which are generally agreed to have been used during the election was unfortunate, and may, in all possibility, have influenced voters. It cannot be overemphasized that agents of the Board, when engaged in the performance of their duties, are expected to live up to a higher standard of conduct than that normally imposed; regardless of provocation they must at all times refrain from the use of language which miglit be considered in any way improper.

5. Miscellaneous improper remarks by Board agents The evidence revealed by the investigation on this point is in irreconcilable conflict. No motive for tho making of such miscellaneous improper remarks is established, nor is it at all clear that any voters actually heard such remarks. The instances in which such remarks are alleged to have been made were so infrequent that it cannot be assumed that voters heard them. No conclusion is reached as to whether or not the remarks, if made, had any effect on the election.

The evidence gathered in the investigation as set forth and as analyzed above indicates the existence of substantial and material issues with respect to the conduct of the ballot. The undersigned therefore recommends that the Board direct the undersigned to issue and cause to be served upon the parties a Notice of Ilearing on said Objections before a Trial Examiner designated by the Board or the Chief Trial Examiner and that a hearing be held thereon pursuant to Article III, Section 9, of the Rules and Regulations, Series 2, effective July 11, 1939,

(Signed) ALICE M. ROSSETER, Regional Director, National Labor Relations Board, Turentieth Region. Date: October 6, 1939.

Compilation of errors on eligible lists used in conduct of election re F. E.

Booth & Co., IXR-316 through 326

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

(1) The Board in its decision and direction of election of January 31, 1939, directed the following standard of eligibility:

"All workers in the appropriate units who were employed by one or more of tte (mpanies on six days during the period from August 1, 1938, to January 1, 1939, shall be eligible to participate in the elections."

12) The employees tabulated in this column are ineligibles who occupy such catris because they did not work the required six days for one or more of the Companies during the season August 1, 1938, to January 31, 1939. Supervisory en-ployees also ineligible are tabulated separately in Column 5.

(3) On February 4, 1939, the Regional Directory was directed by the Board to segregate all ballots of voters who were not employed by any of the ComTeniss any of the time in the period between August 1 and Novembr 20, 1938.

(1) All employees in the appropriate units who had been employed by any of the Companies at any time between the period from August 1 to November 20, 193 and whose names erroneously appeared on the Board's eligibility lists as During to vote segregated ballots.

1) Board in its decision and direction of election excluded all watchmen, tamsters, nurses, office and clerical employees, executives, foremen, foreladies, 1stant foremen, and assistant foreladies. Employees here tabulated are those aling in such classifications but nevertheless included as eligible.

Sote: The number of errors here computed do not include those errors which were discovered by Board's agents subsequent to the beginning of the election.

Because of the confusion created by erroneous listings and as a result of the Plnous objections of both representatives of Monterey Bay Area Fish Works Union, No. 23, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations and (allery Workers Union, Local No. 20986, affiliated with the American Federan of Labor, Board agents, after the election had begun, checked the original Mr-roll records of the various Companies in an effort to correct errors appearmis on the eligible lists prepared by the Board's agents.

There were some thirty names added to the eligible lists, prepared by the Berd's agents, and in addition a large number of corrections made as to segrezation, etc.

On 2 lists


Social Security



2. Jeunete Cardinalli, Mrs. Jo Cardinale

5 hitr3 irim Chow

Ip?rl Davis

4. Ke Dorin
*. Ved salmori.


Gross, Sea Pride.
San Carlos, Customhouse.
Cal. Pack, Monterey.
Cal. Pack, Del Mar.
Sea Pride, F. E. Booth.
Customhouse, Sea Pride.
Del Mar, Carmel.

NOTE---None of the employees whose names appear on this list voted twice.

Now, Doctor, will you look at the one dated February 27, 1939? I show you a photostatic reproduction of what purports to be a copy of the report from the regional director in San Francisco showing document to the witness.

Dr. LEISERSON. Correct.
Mr. TOLAND. I offer this in evidence, Mr. Chairman.

(Report, February 27, 1939, from Rosseter to National Labor Relations Board on F. E. Booth & Co. was received in evidence, marked "Exhibit No. 51," and is printed below.)


(Interoffice communication, National Labor Relations Board)

FEBRUARY 27. 1939. To National Labor Relations Board. From Alice M. Rosseter-20th Region. Subject, F. E. Booth & Company et al., XX-R-316 thru XX-R-326.

As we advised in our wire of February 21, the petitioning union has chargeci that the pay rolls furnished by the companies were incorrect, and contained the names of many ineligible to vote under the Board's decision and direction of election. The petitioning union has objected to and soeks to invalidate the entire election on the basis of these and other charges hereinafter set out. We bave postponed the counting of the ballots until Thursday, March 2, in order to recheck the eligibility lists. We believe that this matter is of such importance that the Board should have a complete knowledge of the entire situation. We ore, therefore, outlining in this letter a brief history of these cases.

We believe this situation has arisen partially because of a belated discovery of the petitioning union that its efforts to organize the Monterey cannery workers was unsuccessful; partially because of the fact that the Board, in its decision, did not rule “strike-breakers" ineligible (although these votes were spgregated) ; and partially because of a dispute between various representatives of the puitioning iion as to the wisdom of going through with the election.

On November 9, 1938. Attorney Andersen, representing the petitioning union, advised that he was going to file a petition and stated that, while the employers had a contract with and preferred to the A. F. of L., many workers had signed C. I, O. designations, and they felt that they could win a majority in an election conducted among all of the employees, treating the election canneries in the industry as a single, appropriate bargaining unit. Andersen claimed company domination of and assistance to the A. F. L. union, but felt that an election was the best way of working out the problem. The petitioning union offered no proof of this claim.

The petition was not filed until November 15th, and on November 21st the petitioning union caller a strike of the cannery workers and fishermen at the Monterey. Ouly a small proportion of the employees answered the strike calls.

The companies refused to furnish pay rolls for comparison with petitioning union pledge cards--a comparison necessary in our investigation to determine whether or not a question as to representation existed. Consequently, it was necessary to proceed on the assumption that one existed. An attempt was made to arrange for a consent election on an industry-wide basis and at one time toward the end of November all parties were almost ready to agree; then the A. F. of L. withdrew its consent and the C. I. 0. contended for a conery by cannery unit instead of its previous claim of a single industry-wide unit, having found it could not win in an industry-wide election.

The canneries meanwhile refused detailed commerce information and a report was therefore prepared on the basis of information given orally. In sending this report on to the Board on December 22nd, we called the attention of the Board to the necessity for an early hearing, as canneries close for the season on February 15th. On December 301h we received telegraphie advice from the Board that the hearing was being authorized and, on that same day, notices were mailed setting the hearing for January 9th. The hearing was held Jan. uary gih, 101h, and 11th, and on January 13th we again wrote advising of the necessity for an early decision.

Representatives of the petitioning union called this office repeatedly and on January 27th, at their request, we wired asking the possibility of an early

dec:sion, and on January 28th were informed a decision was expected within the week. On February 1st we received telegraphic notice of the decision and directions of elections and, on the same day, we delivered to the companies' attorneys and mailed to the companies letters requesting pay rolls, in accordance with the Board's decision. Mr. Knowlton of this office left immediately for Monterey

We believe that it is evident from the above that at the request of the petitioning union this ollice expedited this case in every way possible. This was done in the face of continued opposition from the companies and the A. F. of L. This of prition continued, but in addition we thereafter encountered increasing opposition from the petitioning union--more accurately, from one Joe Ring, a C. I. 0. reprezentative, who appeared to be in charge of the Monterey situation.

On February 2nd Ring advised Examiner Knowlton in Monterey and the Director in San Francisco that his union objected to any ne voting who went to work after the strike on November 21st, and he said that his union would Dot so into such an election and would get out an injunction against the Board if the Board insisted on conducting such an election. However, he said that Ariurney Anderson still represented the union, and we therefore immediately confaciesi Ander:on, who advised that while his union was protesting, it would parti ipate in the election and was not withdrawing. He said that they were virs liappy to have the election, while Ring's attitude seemed to imply that they

te being forced to go into it. On February 3rd we wired the Board sugEstins the segregation of the ballots of all going to work after November 31* -o as not tr. delay the election, and on February 5th the Board advised by sire that we should segregate them. No formal order was issued.

en l'ebruary 6th we received copies of the Board's decision and direction of plotions and on February 7th proot's of the notice of election and ballots were in the hands of the printers. The notices were printed February 8th and posted Feruary 9t. setting the election for February 14th, 15th, and 16th. Previously, attarijers for both unions had consented to those dates, although the A. F. of L. attorres subsequently refused to put his consent in writing and the C. I. O. attorney f:ill to do so although requested to several times.

In the meantime, the companies had been preparing pay rolls, although they refused to turn over any information until their attorneys had studied the Pard's derision. Finally, on Friday, February 10th, we received the pay rolls. Examiner Knowlton and five Civil Service clerks worked night and day on February 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, and until late the night before the election eterking the pay rolls and preparing eligibility lists. This was a terrific job and ermlications were introduced by refusal of many of the companies to prepare mr poll showing those who went to work after November 20th on the ground the Board's decision made no such distinction. However, by checking, recheckng, and marking as "Segregated” all doubtful voters, the eligibility lists were finally prepared. These eligible voter lists contained close to 2,900 names as ezinst more than 5,400 on the pay rolls furnished by the companies.

Or previous difficulties had seemed great, but the election itself provided problems which dwarfed those which had gone before. As subsequent evidence al statements proved, Ring, of the petitioning union, had made up his mind that his union would not cooperate in the election, but would place every etkile in the way of the Board's agents and would do everything possible lo pravidle a basis for invalidating the elections.

As stated above, the problem of preparing proper voting lists was very difficult The method used was to take each pay roll and cross-check against the rar rolls of the other ten companies in order to establish eligibility and also to prelo where each voter shonld cast his hallot It would have been utterly impossible to take the original employment record of each man and ptiek pligibility from the original records if the election were to be helt hefire the workers left Monterey, on or about February 1.5th--the close of the sape n. as requested by both unions. Although recognizing this fact and offering

- legestions. Ring protesied the manner in rhich te plisibility lists were phares and insisted by wire to the Director that the employment record of pach workor must be checked individually. It is our firm beliet that the eligiWrity li-ts were as accurate as possible and that whatever errors might have be made. could not have affected the results of the election. Ring, howTop Sinted on the first day of the election that he had been advised by his attorners, Gladstein, Grossman and Margolis (as distinguished from And-p-on, who represented the petitioning union), that if the records were montré et in any item the election could be invalidated and that this would be true regardless of whether or not the inaccuracy actually affected the results.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

On this day, and each ensuing day, Ring repeatedly remarked that the names of foremen and other ineligible workers were on the eligibility lists; that foremen had yoted and that the election would therefore have to be thrown out. When informed that it was their duty to challenge anyone whom they knew to be ineligible, he replied that they would not do so, that they knew what they were doing, that the eligibility lists were "phone" and that the votes would never be counted. He was advised that if they permitted these voters to vote without challenge, although knowing they were ineligible, they coud not later protest. He said that they could and would. Subsequently, he asked whether the whole election would be thrown out if ineligibles voted. He was informed that unless a sufficient number of ineligible votes were cast, as to afiert the result of the election, very probably the mere fact that a few ineligible employees voted would not be material. He stated that their attorney bad ativista him to the contrary and that they would continue to let the ineligibles vote without challenge. The statements referred to above were made many times publiciy and were heard by many of those in the polling place.

Due to the difficulty encountered in preparing a completely accurate eligibility list of these seasonal workers. Board's agents decided if there were any dispute due to a possible mistake in the pay rolls, voters claiming to be eligible but not appearing ils such on the payrolls, could obtain a letter from the company stating their employment; and if all parties agreed, they would be allowed to voie. There was a number of such voters. Some were challenged, but many voted without challenge. Early in the election Ring objected to this, and thereafter Board representatives personally checked such cases. Ring then refused to accept the findings of the Board's agents. He stated publicly for everyone in the polling place to hear, that he didn't trust the Board's representatives, made many public accusations against them individually, and often refused to obey requests to (ease activities which were interfering with the orderly conduct of the election. He was informed that he must either (ease such conduct or he would have to leave, and, although he quieted down to a considerable extent, he continued to make derogatory remarks against the Board's representatives conducting the election.

During the course of the election, Ring made the following statements indicating his attitude toward the election :

1. That two of their people had voted who should not have done so, by obtaining letters from the employers falsely stating that their employment record showed they had worked six days. He stated this was done to prove that ineligibles could vote and was designed to upset the election.

2. He stated that three ('. I. 0. employees had voted four times.

3. That they had allowed foreladies to voie mder assumeci nimes and were going to protest the election on this basis.

4. That the C. I. O. never should have asked for an election in the first place and that they could win only four of the eleven cameries. At times other representatives of the petitioning union placed the figures even lower.

5. That the C. I, 0, were going to challenge the whole election and that the votes would never be counted.

6. That Attorney Gladstein was going to handle the case for them and that he knew how to do it since he had handled the Pacific Gus and Electric Company (08.

7. That he was not going to make any complaints and was going to let foremen and foreladies and other ineligibles vote and then challenge the election.

8. That the companies were interfering in the election and that he was not going to make any complaint itil after the election.

Further difficulties arose when the ('. I. 0. started to pass ont pumphlets and to electioneer at the foot of the stairs leading to the polling place. As soon as this was discovered it was protested by the A. F. of L., and a Board agent ordered the pamphlet distributors to leave, which they did very wwillingly.

The CI. O, observers, as well as other observers, signed certificates concerning the conduct of the election without hesitation and without qualitication. It is the opinion of the Board's agents who conducted the election that the election was conducted as fairly as possible as far as the petitioning union is concerned, and if any advantage was given to anyone, the petitioning union was given it, and if any of the parties to the election were guilty of unseemly conduct, Ring of the petitioning union was most guilty.

The Board's agents were criticizer by A F. of L, observers for permitting Ring to "get away" with so much, but they felt that it would be unwise to request Ring, who was making the trouble, io leave the polling place or to call peace

« PreviousContinue »