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First Central Bank Of River City

2727 words - 11 pages

Relevant FactsPrior to 1929, business executives were seen as leaders and union members were considered dangerous radicals. However, this changed when Americans saw that these businesses could not provide for them in economically turbulent times, such as the depression, and they started to favor unions. In River City, the International Metalworkers Union (IMU) began dealing with many of the firms and institutions in the area since 1930. Because of this heavy influence in the city of 210,000 people, the city was beginning to be considered a "union town". IMU had represented workers at one of the town's smaller banks, organizing the maintenance workers. IMU had initiated significant pay hikes and increased benefits.First Central Bank of River City, founded in 1892, was the largest and oldest financial institution in the River City area. The relevant facts in this case centers on communications concerning union activity by the First Central Bank's employees, the bank's management, and the International Metalworkers Union (IMU). A guard at the main office discovered that membership cards had been distributed to the various teller stations, the bookkeeping department, the switchboard and in the ladies lounge. On one occasion, membership cards had been distributed to various locations within the bank. On two separate occasions, bank employees had been directly involved in initiating union activity. Meetings were setup with small groups of employees as a question and answer session. The first written communication to employees from management was sent soon thereafter. Employees reported to their supervisors that they had received a letter from the IMU addressed to their homes.Harold Newell, Vice President of Branch Operations reported to Steve Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources that a number of the branch office employees had informed him that three assistant auditors were engaging in union organizing activities in the branch offices while ostensibly instructing employees on the use of a new computer. According to Newell's informants, the auditors spent only about 15 minutes explaining the new computer procedures and the remainder of the two-hour session talking about the advantages of having a union. At the end of the meetings they had passed out union membership cards. At the meeting with management, the assistants admitted that they favored a union and had been trying to get other employees to join. The bank's labor attorney, Philip Smith opinioned that the assistant auditors were part of management and, therefore, that union activity by them was not protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).Benefits under First Central's pension were not as good as those provided to the auto plant workers (an IMU shop) in River City, but they were equal to or better than the smaller bank's plans. Because the bank's largest stockholder was opposed to paid health programs, it had been repeatedly denied. The lack of a company paid insurance...

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