United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
GAREY E. LINDSAY, Regional Director of the Ninth Region of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner,
LEGGETT & PLATT, INC., Respondent.
OPINION & ORDER
K. CALDWELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the amended petition of Garey
E. Lindsay, regional director of the Ninth Region of the
National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the
Board, for injunctive relief against Leggett & Piatt,
Inc. (DE 19).
Court held a hearing on the matter, at which both parties
presented arguments. (DE 24). For the reasons stated on the
record during the hearing and for those that follow,
petitioner's amended complaint for injunctive relief is
main players are involved in this litigation. First is
Lindsay, on behalf of the Board. Second is Leggett &
Piatt, a corporation with offices and places of business in
Winchester, Kentucky, that engages in the manufacture and
nonretail sale of commercial and residential furnishings.
Third is a union, the International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, which has been the
collective-bargaining representative of a specific unit of
employees at Leggett & Piatt.
following timeline is uncontroverted. In December 2016,
Leggett & Piatt received a petition signed by a majority
of its Winchester, Kentucky plant's bargaining-unit
employees that stated: "The undersigned employees of
Leggett and Piatt # 002 do not want to be represented by IAM
619 hereafter referred to as 'union'."(DE 1-9).
This petition has been referred to by the parties as the
January 2017, Leggett & Piatt sent a letter to the union,
informing the union of the disaffection petition that it
received in December 2016. Leggett & Piatt's counsel
also contacted the NLRB to ascertain whether the union had
achieved majority status.
February 21, 2017, the union sent a letter to Leggett &
Piatt stating that the union did "not believe" the
claim that a majority of represented employees no longer
wished to be represented by the union. (DE 19-16). The next
day, Leggett & Piatt wrote the union to inform it that
the company had "not received any evidence indicating
that any employees have changed their minds in this
regard" and that, accordingly, the company intended to
withdraw recognition of the union upon the expiration of the
collective bargaining agreement. (DE 10-11).
is no evidence before the Court that the union presented a
pro-union petition to Leggett & Piatt before the
expiration of the collective bargaining agreement on February
28, 2017. Nor is there any evidence that the Board
communicated any evidence or a pro-union petition to Leggett
& Piatt before the agreement's expiration.
on the date that it withdrew recognition of the union,
Leggett & Piatt had no evidence to the contrary of the
disaffection petition it received in December 2016. That is,
Leggett & Piatt only had evidence that a majority of
represented employees did not want to continue to be
represented by the union.
union filed charges against Leggett & Piatt that are
currently pending before the Board. (DE 19-1; 19-2). A
hearing before an administrative law judge on the union's
underlying charges against the company is scheduled for July
24, 2017. (DE 19-5). Through his amended petition, Lindsay
asks that Leggett & Piatt be enjoined from continuing to
commit unfair labor practices. (DE 19, Amended Petition
amended petition alleges that Leggett & Piatt has engaged
in three unfair labor practices:
(1) Unlawfully withdrawing recognition of the union as the
exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the unit
(in the absence of a Board election) after the parties'
collective bargaining agreement expired on February 28, 2017;
(2) Since March 1, 2017, failing to remit to the union dues
deducted pursuant to valid, unexpired, and unrevoked employee