Labor Law – Appropriate Bargaining Unit Under Section 9(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act- Determination Requires NLRB to Exercise Discretion

Petitioner union sought to represent maintenance and construction electricians employed by plate glass manufacturer at a new plant. How ever, employer and intervenor union entered into an agreement extending to the new plant an existing contract covering employees at certain of employer’s other plants. At hearings upon petitioner’s application to determine the “appropriate” bargaining unit under criteria established by section 9 (b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, employer and intervenor urged that the highly integrated nature of the plant and the history of plantwide bargaining at employer’s other plants made a single bargaining unit covering all plant’s employees the only appropriate one. Relying upon a previously developed rules which denied consideration of these elements in all but four industries, the Board granted petitioner’s request for severance. Nevertheless, employer refused to bargain with petitioner. Finding this refusal to be an unfair labor practice, the Board ordered employer to bargain. a On petition for enforcement of the NLRB’s order, held, enforcement denied. Section 9 (b) (2) requires the Board to use discretion in every case, and it is arbitrary to attempt to exercise this discretion by the application of a discriminatory rule. NLRB v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., (4th Cir. 1959) 270 F. (2d) 167, cert. den. 28 U.S. LAW WEEK 3217 (1960).