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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Dynasteel Corp. is a steel manufacturer with several plants. The National Labor Relations Board found that unfair labor practices occurred at facilities in Iuka, Miss., and Millington, Tenn.. The Iuka activity involved illegal threats and discipline of Dynasteel employees, while the Millington activity involved discrimination against job applicants. In July 2001, Dynasteel altered employee benefits and required workers to purchase some of their own equipment. Employees found this to be an unwelcome development and discussed forming a union. Eddy Goss and Dee Vaughn, the only two permanent employees in the maintenance department, spearheaded the effort. When local supervisors learned that employees were possibly forming a union, they responded with hostility. Management essentially threatened to fire everyone before allowing a union on company grounds. In mid- to late-September, Goss and Vaughn contacted unions representing steelworkers and boilermakers. Following the unions’ advice, the pair contacted 80 to 90 percent of the Iuka plant employees and collected names of those interested in forming a union. On the morning of Oct. 3, shop foreman Glen Adcock asked Goss whether the workers were starting a union, and he replied “probably so.” Adcock then indicated that he would have to get Goss involved in management so he could not be involved with the union. He then pointed to a number of tools left out overnight and a work truck with its windows down, and instructed Goss to fill out disciplinary forms for Vaughn and Tim Barnes, a temporary maintenance employee. Goss objected to filling out the disciplinary forms but eventually did as instructed. Goss told Vaughn and Barnes that he was forced to write them up and not to worry about it. Adcock then called Vaughn and Barnes to his office and issued their disciplinary forms. By all accounts, this was the first time Goss administered any type of punishment. Later that same day, Goss was called into Iuka plant manager Mark Jones’ office and terminated. Jones said it was not his decision and that the company’s general counsel Jack Melvin told him to fire Goss. Goss called Jones again the next day and tape recorded the conversation, in which Jones once again claimed he fired Goss at the direction of Melvin. While admitting to these statements, Jones claimed at the administrative hearing that Goss was fired for poor job performance and for leaving work equipment out unsecured overnight. The following week Vaughn organized approximately 25 employees including Goss for a lunchtime union meeting at a nearby diner. Vaughn drove a company truck along with two other employees to the meeting. During the meeting, supervisor Bill Sanders walked into the diner and looked around without purchasing anything while Jones waited for him in a truck outside. When Vaughn returned from the meeting, Adcock called him into an office and terminated him, supposedly for taking a company truck off the premises. While Dynasteel’s handbook does provide that employees are forbidden from taking company trucks off the premises without permission, several employees testified that the rule regularly was disregarded without consequence. In mid-October, after their terminations, Goss and Vaughn returned to the plant wearing union buttons and were greeted in a reception area by secretary Glenda Basham. Basham indicated that they would not be rehired while wearing union buttons and reiterated that the company did not want a union. Melvin then emerged and asked them to leave the property. The NLRB did not fault Dynasteel for Basham’s statements, as she was not a supervisor. In Millington in early November 2001, union organizer Barry Edwards saw a Dynasteel advertisement seeking welders and fitters in a Memphis newspaper. On Nov. 5, Edwards called Dynasteel and discussed the openings with receptionist Rhonda Duffin. He asked if he needed to turn in an application, and she told him a r�sum� would suffice. Edwards then contacted two unemployed union members, Ron Fuqua and Jeff Pearson, to apply for the openings with him. Each of them had significant welding experience, ranging from five to 34 years. Edwards dropped off the three r�sum�s each identifying the worker as a union organizer to Dynasteel’s president Harold Trusty on Nov. 5. Trusty indicated that it was unnecessary for them to fill out applications. Between Nov. 5 and 16, Dynasteel hired six welders, but none of the three union applicants were contacted. None of the six hired welders had more than five years of experience. On Dec. 5, union member Tony Churchill attempted to apply for a position at the Memphis plant. He arrived wearing a union shirt. Melvin did not give Churchill the opportunity to fill out an application or take a welding test. The company hired three laborers later that month. An administrative law judge (ALJ) found that Dynasteel engaged in a number of unfair labor practices in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB adopted a substantial majority of the ALJ’s findings, issued a cease-and- desist order, and instructed Dynasteel to undertake several affirmative remedies. The NLRB sought to enforce its order, but Dynasteel challenged the NLRB’s factual findings. HOLDING:The court denied Dynasteel’s petition for review and granted the NLRB’s request to enforce its order. Codified in 29 U.S.C. �158(a)(1), the NLRA makes it unlawful to “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of rights” to collective organization. Section �158(a)(3) makes it unlawful for employers to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization via hiring and firing. Based on the foregoing facts, the NLRB found numerous violations of the NLRA at Dynasteel. The NLRB found violations stemming from its findings that 1. Goss was not a supervisor and therefore was an employee covered by the NLRA; 2. Goss and Vaughn were terminated due to their union activities; 3. Edwards, Pearson, Fuqua and Churchill were not hired or considered for hire due to their union activities; and 4. Dynasteel threatened, interrogated and spied on employees to deter the formation of a union. Generally, the court stated, Dynasteel argued that its witnesses were more believable and should have been credited over union witnesses. But the court stated that the ALJ in the case was capable of such credibility determinations. Substantial evidence supported each of the disputed findings, the court held. OPINION:Benavides, J.; Smith, Benavides and Prado, J.J.

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