National Labor Relations Board v. Mattison Machine Works

PETITIONER: National Labor Relations Board
RESPONDENT: Mattison Machine Works
LOCATION: Trailways Bus Terminal

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 365 US 123 (1961)
ARGUED: Jan 09, 1961
DECIDED: Jan 23, 1961

Facts of the case


Media for National Labor Relations Board v. Mattison Machine Works

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 09, 1961 in National Labor Relations Board v. Mattison Machine Works

Earl Warren:

Number 74, National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner, versus Mattison Machine Works.

Mr. Come.

Norton J. Come:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This case is on -- here on certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit which denied enforcement of a National Labor Relations Board order requiring the respondent, Mattison Machine Works to bargain with the United Auto Workers on the ground that the underlying representation election was effective.

The issue here is whether the Court of Appeals exceeded its reviewing power under Section 10 of the National Labor Relations Act in concluding that some of the employees may have been dissuaded from voting in the election because the election notices and the ballots described the employer as Mattison Machine Manufacturing Company instead of Mattison Machine Works or the Board had found that there was no evidence in the record or indeed a contention that this error in nomenclature confused either the employer or the employees.

John M. Harlan II:

Manufacturing the -- at the use of the manufacturing --

Norton J. Come:

The company --

John M. Harlan II:

-- and the title is the only difference?

Norton J. Come:

That is correct, Your Honor, Manufacturing Company instead of Works.

Mattison Machine was the same in both (Inaudible).

The effects are briefly these.

Respondent is a machine tool manufacturing company in Rockwood, Illinois.

In 1957, the auto workers filed a petition under Section 9 (c) of the National Labor Relations Act with the Board's Regional Director in Chicago requesting an election to determine whether respondent's production and maintenance employees desire the union as their representative.

The petition, although giving the correct address of the employer, described it as Mattison Machine Manufacturing Company.

The petition went to hearing before a hearing officer but the only issue was raised by the respondent or whether the union was in compliance with the Acts' filing requirements, Sections 9 (f), (k) and (h) whether the petition was in fact back by its 30% of the employees.

Respondent made no contention that there was any error in the name of the company and made no motion to correct the name set forth on the petition.

Based on this hearing, the Board thereafter directed that an election be conducted on the union's petition.

The election was held in respondent's plant pursuant to customary Board procedure and there is no contention that that was not followed here, notices of the election were posted for at least three working days before the election that each location of the plant where notices to employees were customarily posted, describing the voting unit, the date of the election and where in the plant and the hours at where -- at which the election would be held.

However, the notices and the ballots that were subsequently used, continued to describe the employer as Manufacturing Company instead of Works.

But in each case, Mattison Machine was spelled out both in the notices and on the ballots.

In the election, 317 out of 342 eligible voters or about 92% of the potential electorate voters, 157 votes were cast for the union, 141 votes against, 1 ballot was void and 18 were challenged.

Challenged ballots being defirmitive of the election results original director undertook to investigate the challenges.

The respondent filed with the Regional Director, objections to the conduct of the election and objections to the regions' investigation of the challenges.

In essence, the contention was that one field examiner had not adequately investigated the 18 challenges and that another one had improperly denied two employees the right to vote in the ground that they were supervisors.

Two weeks later, respondent sent the Regional Director a letter stating, and this is quoted at page 19 of the record, another error in this case that you should know about is the fact that your specimen ballot and notice of election and the tally ballot, they were furnished, all speak of the company as the Mattison Machine Manufacturing Company instead of the Mattison Machine Works.

The Regional Director investigated the objections and issued a report on objections and challenges.

He found no merit to the objections respecting the misnomer in name.

He found that it was a -- such a limited extent that it could not have tended to confuse the employees.

Respecting the challenges, he recommended that 8 would be sustained and the remaining 10 be overruled.

And since the remaining challenges were not enough to now affect the outcome of the election.