Veterans Administration Hospital, Shreveport, Louisiana (Respondent) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2000, AFL-CIO (Complainant) 

 



[ v01 p384 ]
01:0384(48)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 1 FLRA No. 48
 
 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL,
 SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 LOCAL 2000, AFL-CIO
 Complainant
 
                                            Assistant Secretary
                                            Case No. 64-4038(CA)
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    ON FEBRUARY 22, 1979, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE WILLIAM B. DEVANEY
 ISSUED HIS RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED
 PROCEEDING, FINDING THAT THE RESPONDENT HAD ENGAGED IN THE UNFAIR LABOR
 PRACTICES ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT AND RECOMMENDING THAT IT CEASE AND
 DESIST THEREFROM AND TAKE CERTAIN AFFIRMATIVE ACTIONS AS SET FORTH IN
 THE ATTACHED ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER.
 NO EXCEPTIONS WERE FILED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED
 DECISION AND ORDER.
 
    THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, WERE
 TRANSFERRED TO THE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 304 OF REORGANIZATION PLAN
 NO. 2 OF 1978 (43 F.R. 36040), WHICH TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS IS
 IMPLEMENTED BY SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION RULES AND
 REGULATIONS (44 F.R. 7).  THE AUTHORITY CONTINUES TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR
 THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE FUNCTIONS AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 7135(B) OF THE
 FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (92 STAT. 1215).
 
    THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION
 RULES AND REGULATIONS AND SECTION 7135(B) OF THE STATUTE, THE AUTHORITY
 HAS REVIEWED THE RULINGS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE MADE AT THE
 HEARING AND FINDS THAT NO PREJUDICIAL ERROR WAS COMMITTED.  THE RULINGS
 ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.  UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
 JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER AND THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS
 CASE, AND NOTING PARTICULARLY THAT NO EXCEPTIONS WERE FILED, THE
 AUTHORITY HEREBY ADOPTS THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S FINDINGS,
 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION.  /1/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF THE TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS OF
 THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND SECTION 7135 OF THE FEDERAL
 SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE, THE AUTHORITY HEREBY ORDERS
 THAT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA SHALL:
 
    1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR COERCING EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE
 OF THEIR RIGHTS,
 
    FREELY AND WITHOUT FEAR OF PENALTY OR REPRISAL, TO FORM, JOIN, AND
 ASSIST A LABOR
 
    ORGANIZATION.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION:
 
    (A) POST AT ITS FACILITIES LOCATED IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, COPIES
 OF THE ATTACHED NOTICE
 
    MARKED "APPENDIX" ON FORMS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE AUTHORITY.  UPON
 RECEIPT OF SUCH FORMS THEY
 
    SHALL BE SIGNED BY THE HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR AND SHALL BE POSTED AND
 MAINTAINED BY HIM FOR 60
 
    CONSECUTIVE DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING ALL
 BULLETIN BOARDS AND OTHER
 
    PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE CUSTOMARILY POSTED.  THE
 HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR SHALL
 
    TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO INSURE THAT SUCH NOTICES ARE NOT ALTERED,
 DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY
 
    OTHER MATERIAL.
 
    (B) NOTIFY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, IN WRITING, WITHIN
 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE
 
    OF THIS ORDER AS TO WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO COMPLY HEREWITH.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 6, 1979
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER, III, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
           PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 
            RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 
          POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE UNITED STATES
 
              CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH, RESTRAIN, OR COERCE OUR EMPLOYEES IN THE
 EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS, FREELY AND WITHOUT FEAR OF PENALTY OR
 REPRISAL, TO FORM, JOIN, AND ASSIST A LABOR ORGANIZATION.
 
                           (AGENCY OR ACTIVITY)
 
    DATED:  BY:  (SIGNATURE)
 
    THIS NOTICE MUST REMAIN POSTED FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FROM THE DATE
 OF POSTING, AND MUST NOT BE ALTERED, DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER
 MATERIALS.
 
    IF ANY EMPLOYEES HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS NOTICE OR
 COMPLIANCE WITH ANY OF ITS PROVISIONS, THEY MAY COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY
 WITH THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, DALLAS REGIONAL OFFICE, FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS AUTHORITY, WHOSE ADDRESS IS ROOM 707, 555 GRIFFIN AND YOUNG
 STREETS, DALLAS, TEXAS 75202.
 
    CARL W. HOLT
 
    NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
 
    AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 
    EMPLOYEES
 
    3108 AVON DRIVE
 
    ARLINGTON, TEXAS 76015
 
                            FOR THE COMPLAINANT
 
    MICHAEL E. BORNHOUSER, ESQUIRE
 
    ATTORNEY, DISTRICT COUNSEL'S OFFICE
 
    VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
 
    1400 NORTH VALLEY MILLS DRIVE
 
    WACO, TEXAS 76710
 
                            FOR THE RESPONDENT
 
    BEFORE:  WILLIAM B. DEVANEY
 
                         ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
 
                           CASE NO. 64-4038(CA)
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    THIS IS A PROCEEDING UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED
 (HEREINAFTER ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE "ORDER").  ALTHOUGH THE NOTICE OF
 HEARING WAS ISSUED BY A REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR OF THE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ALL
 PROCEEDINGS WERE CONDUCTED BEFORE THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, THIS DECISION IS ISSUED IN THE NAME OF THE
 AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS, FEDERAL
 REGISTER, VOL. 44, NO. 1, JANUARY 2, 1979 (5 C.F.R. SECTION 2400.2).
 
    COMPLAINANT FILED A CHARGE ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 19, 1977, AND A
 COMPLAINT ON APRIL 10, 1978, ALLEGING VIOLATIONS OF SECTION 19(A)(1),
 (3) AND (4) OF THE ORDER (ASS'T. SEC. EXH. 1).  BY LETTER DATED AUGUST
 4, 1978 (ASS'T. SEC. EXH. 4), THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR DISMISSED ALL
 ASPECTS OF THE COMPLAINT WHICH ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF SECTION 19(A)(1),
 (3) AND (4) OF THE ORDER EXCEPT AS TO ITEM 1 OF THE COMPLAINT, I.E., THE
 FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THE COMPLAINT, AND AS TO ITEM 1 ONLY INSOFAR AS ITEM
 1 ALLEGED A VIOLATION OF SECTION 19(A)(1).  THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
 STATED THAT, ABSENT THE TIMELY FILING OF A REQUEST FOR REVIEW, IT WAS
 HIS "INTENTION TO ISSUE A NOTICE OF HEARING REGARDING THAT ASPECT OF THE
 COMPLAINT ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF SECTION 19(A)(1) OF THE ORDER AS IT
 PERTAINS TO ITEM 1 DISCUSSED ABOVE." NO REQUEST FOR REVIEW WAS FILED AND
 THE AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING ISSUED ONLY AS TO THE ALLEGED VIOLATION OF
 SECTION 19(A)(1) OF THE ORDER (ASS'T. SEC. EXH. 3).
 
    NOTICE OF HEARING ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1978 (ASST. SEC. EXH. 2)
 AND AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING ISSUED ON OCTOBER 24, 1978 (ASS'T. SEC.
 EXH. 3) PURSUANT TO WHICH A HEARING WAS DULY HELD BEFORE THE UNDERSIGNED
 IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, ON NOVEMBER 21, 1978.  ALL PARTIES WERE
 REPRESENTED AT THE HEARING, WERE AFFORDED FULL OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD,
 TO EXAMINE AND CROSS-EXAMINE WITNESSES, AND TO INTRODUCE EVIDENCE
 BEARING ON THE ISSUES INVOLVED HEREIN.  AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE
 TESTIMONY, EACH PARTY EXPRESSED THE DESIRE TO PRESENT ORAL ARGUMENT AND
 EACH PARTY WAIVED THE FILING OF A POST-HEARING BRIEF.  ACCORDINGLY, FULL
 ORAL ARGUMENT WAS HAD AND NO POST-HEARING BRIEFS WERE FILED.  UPON THE
 BASIS OF THE ENTIRE RECORD, INCLUDING MY OBSERVATION OF THE WITNESSES
 AND THEIR DEMEANOR, I MAKE THE FOLLOWING FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND
 ORDER.
 
                             FINDINGS OF FACT
 
    1.  MS. GEORGIE PARKER LUCAS IS EMPLOYED BY RESPONDENT AS A
 PURCHASING AGENT.  HER IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR IS MR. EDWARD NOACK, CHIEF
 OF PURCHASE AND CONTRACT.
 
    2.  MS. LUCAS IS A MEMBER OF LOCAL 2000, WHICH IS THE CERTIFIED
 EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE HOSPITAL UNIT;  AT THE TIME OF THE
 HEARING SHE WAS CHIEF STEWARD FOR THE VA HOSPITAL UNIT, HAVING ASSUMED
 THIS POSITION ON JANUARY 9, 1978, AND IN NOVEMBER, 1977, SHE WAS
 RECORDING SECRETARY OF LOCAL 2000.
 
    3.  ON NOVEMBER 18, 1977, MS. LUCAS ARRIVED AT WORK AT APPROXIMATELY
 7:55 A.M. AND FOUND THAT MR. GERALD SOILEAU, ALSO A PURCHASING AGENT,
 WAS ON THE TELEPHONE CONCLUDING THE PLACING OF AN ORDER FOR FREON.
 
    4.  BECAUSE MR. SOILEAU WAS WORKING BEFORE THE NORMAL STARTING TIME,
 MS. LUCAS IMMEDIATELY WENT TO MR. NOACK'S OFFICE AND ASKED IF MR.
 SOILEAU WAS WORKING OVERTIME, BECAUSE HE "IS WORKING AND IT'S NOT 8:00
 O'CLOCK AND I JUST WANTED TO KNOW IF IT WAS OVERTIME." MR.  NOACK TOLD
 HER THAT MR. SOILEAU WAS NOT ON OVERTIME AND MS. LUCAS TESTIFIED THAT
 SHE THEN TOLD MR.  NOACK "THAT THIS WAS A VIOLATION OF FAIR LABOR
 STANDARDS ACT, VA REGULATIONS";  THAT MR. NOACK "DIDN'T REALLY SAY TOO
 MUCH.  HE WAS JUST NON-COMMITAL, . . . HE SAID THAT HE WOULD LOOK INTO
 IT.  OTHER THAN THAT HE REALLY DIDN'T HAVE TOO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT IT."
 
    5.  MS. LUCAS TESTIFIED THAT MR. NOACK, AT A REGULAR WEEKLY MEETING
 OF ALL EMPLOYEES IN PURCHASE AND CONTRACT HELD ON THE AFTERNOON OF
 NOVEMBER 18, 1977, REMINDED EMPLOYEES THAT THEY ARE NOT TO WORK BEFORE
 8:00 A.M. AND THAT THEY WERE NOT TO WORK AFTER 4:30 P.M.  MS. LUCAS
 STATED THAT MR. NOACK SAID THERE HAD BEEN A COMPLAINT ABOUT IT.  MS.
 LUCAS FURTHER TESTIFIED THAT MR. NOACK SAID AT THE MEETING:
 
    " . . . THAT HE DIDN'T AGREE WITH THIS, THAT, HE FELT THAT IF
 EMPLOYEES WANTED TO WORK OFF
 
    THE CLOCK THAT THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DO SO." (TR. 24) (SEE, ALSO
 TR. 55).
 
    MS. LUCAS TESTIFIED THAT MR. NOACK FURTHER STATED:
 
    " . . . THAT UNIONS WERE NO LONGER NEEDED, THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN
 THEY WERE NEEDED
 
    BECAUSE THE WORKING CONDITIONS WERE SO TERRIBLY POOR, BUT THAT THAT
 WAS NO LONGER THE
 
    CASE." (TR. 24).
 
    LATER, MS. LUCAS TESTIFIED AS FOLLOWS:
 
    " . . . HE (MR. NOACK) JUST SAID THAT HE DID NOT AGREE WITH IT (NO
 WORK BEFORE OR AFTER
 
    REGULARLY SCHEDULED HOURS) AND THAT UNIONS WERE, THEY HAD GROWN TOO
 BIG AND THEY WERE JUST NO
 
    LONGER NEEDED." (TR. 28) (SEE, ALSO TR. 49, 50)
 
    6.  MS. FRANCES THOMPSON, MANAGER OF INVOICES AND RECEIVING REPORTS,
 WHO WORKS IN THE SAME OFFICE AS MR. LUCAS, TESTIFIED THAT, AT THE
 NOVEMBER 18, 1977, MEETING, MR.  NOACK STATED:
 
    " . . . THAT NO ONE WAS TO START WORK BEFORE THE NORMAL DUTY HOURS,
 BEFORE 8:00 IN THE
 
    MORNING OR AFTER 4:30 IN THE AFTERNOON."
 
   *          *          *          *
 
 
    "THAT THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHY THIS PARTICULAR THING WOULD HAVE BEEN
 NECESSARY AND THAT IN
 
    YEARS PAST, WHEN UNIONS WEREN'T AROUND TO INTERCEDE FOR PEOPLE THAT
 THINGS SEEMED TO WORK
 
    FINE.  THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THESE THINGS WERE BEING MADE NECESSARY."
 (TR. 75)
 
    7.  MS. MARGARET DALE CARTER, NOW A SECRETARY IN SUPPLY AND SERVICE,
 PURCHASE AND CONTRACT SECTION, AND IN NOVEMBER, 1977, A CLERK TYPIST IN
 THE SAME SECTION, ONLY VAGUELY RECALLED A MEETING ON NOVEMBER 18, 1977,
 AND RECALLED NO DISPARAGING COMMENTS BY MR.  NOACK.
 
    8.  MR. GERALD R. SOILEAU REMEMBERED THAT THERE WAS A MEETING ON
 NOVEMBER 18, 1977;  DID NOT RECALL ANY ANTI-UNION STATEMENTS MADE BY MR.
 NOACK THAT "THE ONLY THING I REMEMBERED IS THAT HE TOLD US TO QUIT
 WORKING BEFORE 8:00 O'CLOCK.  THAT'S ALL I REMEMBER ABOUT IT." (TR.
 119);  HE DID NOT REMEMBER HIM MAKING ANY STATEMENT AT ALL CONCERNING
 THE UNION.
 
    9.  THE STATEMENT OF MR. ROBERT L. POLANDER, WHO WAS ON LEAVE AND NOT
 PRESENT AT THE HEARING, WAS OFFERED BY COMPLAINANT;  RESPONDENT DID NOT
 OBJECT TO THE RECEIPT OF MR. POLANDER'S STATEMENT;  AND THE STATEMENT
 WAS RECEIVED AS COM. EXH. 2.  IN HIS STATEMENT, MR.  POLANDER STATES, IN
 PART, AS FOLLOWS:
 
    "IN A MEETING OF SECTION EMPLOYEES, WHICH ARE HELD WEEKLY IN OUR
 SECTION BY MR. EDWARD
 
    NOACK, I DO REMEMBER MR. NOACK SAYING THAT UNIONS HAVE OUTGROWN
 THEMSELVES AND HAD GOTTEN TOO
 
    BIG, THERE WAS A NEED FOR THEM AT ONE TIME, HOWEVER THEY HAD JUST
 OUTGROWN THEMSELVES.  I
 
    DON'T REMEMBER WHAT PROMPTED HIS COMMENT OR WHAT WAS SAID AFTER HE
 MADE THE COMMENT.  I DIDN'T
 
    THINK MUCH OF WHAT HE SAID, IT WAS HIS OPINION AND WAS NO THREAT TO
 ME OR TO THE AFGE LOCAL
 
    UNION AT THE VA HOSPITAL TO MY KNOWLEDGE.  I DON'T REMEMBER WHEN THIS
 MEETING TOOK PLACE
 
    EXCEPT THAT IT OCCURRED SEVERAL MONTHS AGO." (COMP. EXH. 2).
 
    10.  MR. NOACK TESTIFIED HE HAD BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE VETERANS
 ADMINISTRATION FOR SLIGHTLY MORE THAN TEN YEARS;  THAT HE HAD STARTED AS
 A GS-2 MAIL ROOM CLERK AND HAD ADVANCED THROUGH THE RANKS TO HIS PRESENT
 POSITION AS CHIEF OF PURCHASE AND CONTRACT;  THAT HE HAD BEEN A MEMBER
 OF THE UNION FOR ABOUT TWO YEARS PRIOR TO HIS BECOMING A SUPERVISOR;
 THAT HIS FATHER WAS A MEMBER OF THE TEAMSTERS;  AND THAT HE CONSIDERED
 HIMSELF PRO-UNION.
 
    11.  MR. NOACK STATED THAT WHEN HE CAME TO WORK ON NOVEMBER 18, 1977,
 MS. LUCAS CAME TO HIS DESK AND TOLD HIM THAT ONE EMPLOYEE WAS WORKING
 BEFORE THE REGULAR WORK DAY WAS TO BEGIN AT 8:00 A.M.; THAT HE WENT TO
 MR. SOILEAU, THE EMPLOYEE WHO WAS WORKING BEFORE 8:00 A.M., AND TOLD HIM
 THAT HE WAS NOT TO WORK BEFORE 8:00 A.M. OR BEYOND HIS TOUR OF DUTY;
 THAT DURING THE COURSE OF THE MORNING HE HAD OVERHEARD REMARKS BY
 EMPLOYEES OF THE SECTION WHICH IMPLIED, TO HIM, THAT THEY WERE "LAYING
 THE BLAME OF THIS ON MS. LUCAS";  THAT HE CALLED THE MEETING ON THE
 AFTERNOON OF NOVEMBER 18, 1977, TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THIS WAS NOT
 SOMETHING THAT MS. LUCAS OR HE HAD DREAMED UP, BUT WAS AN ACTUAL LAW AND
 SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE ABIDED BY.
 
    MR. NOACK STATED THAT AT THE MEETING HE DID GO BACK TO PAST HISTORY--
 THE SWEAT SHOPS, UNREASONABLE HOURS, ETC., AND EXPLAINED HOW THE UNIONS
 HAD BROUGHT THESE CONDITIONS UNDER CONTROL.  HE STATED THAT HE SAID:
 
    " . . . THE UNIONS HAVE BROUGHT ALL OF THIS, OR MOST OF IT, UNDER
 CONTROL AND THAT AT THIS
 
    TIME THE UNIONS WERE NOT ACTUALLY NEEDED AS MUCH IN A SENSE AS THEY
 WERE BACK IN THE EARLIER
 
    DAYS." (TR. 107-108)
 
    MR. NOACK ALSO TESTIFIED THAT:
 
    " . . . ONE STATEMENT I DID MAKE ABOUT THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
 WAS THAT I DIDN'T
 
    NECESSARILY AGREE WITH IT, THAT WAS TO THE POINT NOT OF /2/ SAYING
 THAT IT WAS NOT TO BE
 
    ABIDED BY, BUT, THAT IT WAS TOO HARSH, TOO RESTRICTIVE.  ONE MINUTE
 BEFORE 8:00 O'CLOCK, ONE
 
    MINUTE AFTER;  ONE MINUTE BEFORE 4:30 OR AFTER 4:30 SEEMS TO BE JUST
 A LITTLE BIT TOO HARSH FOR
 
    ME." (TR. 106)
 
    12.  MS. CARTER BECAME A MEMBER OF THE UNION IN EARLY NOVEMBER, 1978
 
                                CONCLUSIONS
 
    THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR DISMISSED ALL ALLEGATIONS OF THE
 COMPLAINT, INCLUDING ALL ASPECTS WHICH ALLEGED A VIOLATION OF SECTION
 19(A)(1), EXCEPT THE ALLEGATION OF ITEM 1 OF THE COMPLAINT AND ONLY TO
 THE EXTENT THAT ITEM 1 ALLEGES A VIOLATION OF SECTION 19(A)(1) OF THE
 ORDER.  ITEM 1 OF THE COMPLAINT ALLEGED THAT:
 
    "ON NOVEMBER 18, 1977, MR. EDWARD NOACK, CHIEF PURCHASING AND
 CONTRACT, IN A MEETING OF HIS
 
    SECTION EMPLOYEES, STATED HE DISAGREES WITH THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS
 ACT AS IT APPLIES TO
 
    GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, AND THAT HE FEELS THERE WAS PERHAPS A TIME
 WHEN UNIONS WERE NEEDED BUT
 
    THAT TIME HAS PAST."
 
    THE RECORD FULLY SUPPORTS THE ALLEGATION OF THE COMPLAINT.  INDEED,
 MR. NOACK ADMITS THAT, IN SUBSTANCE, HE MADE THE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED
 TO HIM.  THUS, AS TO THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT, MR. NOACK STATED:
 
    "ONE STATEMENT I DID MAKE ABOUT THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT WAS THAT
 I DIDN'T NECESSARILY
 
    AGREE WITH IT . . . THAT IT WAS TOO HARSH, TOO RESTRICTIVE."
 
    AND, AS TO UNIONS, MR. NOACK STATED:
 
    " . . . THE UNIONS WERE NOT ACTUALLY NEEDED AS MUCH IN A SENSE AS
 THEY WERE BACK IN THE
 
    EARLIER DAYS."
 
    THERE IS NO QUESTION WHATEVER THAT MR. NOACK SAID THAT HE DISAGREED
 WITH THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT.  I AM AWARE THAT MR. NOACK TESTIFIED
 THAT HIS STATEMENT THAT "UNIONS WERE NOT NEEDED AS MUCH . . . AS THEY
 WERE BACK IN THE EARLIER DAYS" WAS MADE IN THE COURSE OF HIS REVIEW OF
 THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF SWEAT SHOPS, ETC. . . . , AND THAT THE
 TESTIMONY OF MS.  LUCAS THAT MR. NOACK SAID "THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN
 THEY (UNION) WERE NEEDED BECAUSE THE WORKING CONDITIONS WERE SO TERRIBLY
 POOR" FULLY SUPPORTS MR. NOACK'S STATEMENT THAT HE REVIEWED THE HISTORY
 OF SWEAT SHOPS, UNREASONABLY LONG HOURS, ETC.  NEVERTHELESS, IT IS CLEAR
 THAT MR. NOACK TOLD THE ASSEMBLED EMPLOYEES THAT "UNIONS WERE NOT
 ACTUALLY NEEDED".  MS. LUCAS VERY CREDIBLY TESTIFIED THAT MR.  NOACK
 SAID THAT UNIONS WERE NO LONGER NEEDED, THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THEY
 WERE NEEDED BECAUSE THE WORKING CONDITIONS WERE SO TERRIBLY POOR, BUT
 THAT THAT WAS NO LONGER THE CASE" AND MR.  POLANDER'S STATEMENT, WHICH
 WAS RECEIVED WITHOUT OBJECTION, RECITES THAT MR. NOACK SAID, "UNIONS
 HAVE OUTGROWN THEMSELVES . . . THERE WAS A NEED FOR THEM AT ONE TIME,
 HOWEVER, THEY HAD JUST OUTGROWN THEMSELVES." ACCORDINGLY, I ALSO FIND
 THAT, AS ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT, MR. NOACK ALSO SAID THAT HE FELT
 THERE WAS PERHAPS A TIME WHEN UNIONS WERE NEEDED BUT THAT TIME HAS PAST.
 
    COMPLAINANT HAS SHOWN NO UNION ANIMUS.  ALTHOUGH MS. LUCAS REFERRED
 TO SURVEILLANCE, IT IS CLEAR THAT SHE REFERRED TO ACCOUNTING FOR HER
 TIME SPENT ON REPRESENTATIONAL ACTIVITIES WHICH HAD BEEN ALLEGED AS PART
 OF ITEM 4 OF THE COMPLAINT.  AS THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR DISMISSED
 THIS PORTION OF THE COMPLAINT SUCH CONDUCT IS NOT BEFORE ME AND MAY NOT
 BE TREATED AS A VIOLATION OF SECTION 19(A)(1).  UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
 OF THE ARMY, FORT POLK, LOUISIANA, A/SLMR NO. 1100(1978).
 
    UNDER OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES, MR. NOACK'S STATEMENTS MAY HAVE BEEN
 INNOCUOUS;  BUT IN THE CONTEXT OF THEIR DELIVERY VIOLATED SECTION
 19(A)(1) OF THE ORDER.  HOWEVER ALLEGORICAL MR. NOACK'S STATEMENT MANY
 HAVE BEEN, HIS MESSAGE TO THE ASSEMBLED EMPLOYEES WAS CLEAR, NAMELY
 THAT, WHILE HE DISAGREED WITH THE POLICY, THEY COULD NOT WORK BEFORE
 8:00 A.M. OR AFTER 4:30 P.M.; THAT THEY COULD THANK THE UNION FOR THIS;
 AND THAT HE FELT UNIONS WERE NO LONGER REQUIRED.  THUS, FOR EXAMPLE,
 MRS. THOMPSON TESTIFIED THAT MR. NOACK SAID, "WHEN UNIONS WEREN'T AROUND
 TO INTERCEDE FOR PEOPLE . . . THINGS SEEMED TO WORK FINE";  MS. LUCAS
 TESTIFIED THAT MR. NOACK SAID, "HE DIDN'T AGREE WITH THIS (THE FAIR
 LABOR STANDARDS ACT), THAT HE FELT THAT IF EMPLOYEES WANTED TO WORK OFF
 THE CLOCK THAT THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DO SO" AND "THAT UNIONS WERE NO
 LONGER NEEDED";  AND MR.  POLLARD STATED THAT MR. NOACK SAID "UNIONS
 HAVE OUTGROWN THEMSELVES . . . THERE WAS A NEED FOR THEM AT ONE TIME,
 HOWEVER THEY HAD JUST OUTGROWN THEMSELVES."
 
    MR. NOACK STATED THAT HE CALLED THE MEETING BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEES
 WERE BLAMING MS. LUCAS FOR "BLOWING THE WHISTLE" ON EMPLOYEES WORKING
 BEFORE OR AFTER NORMAL HOURS.  THE WHOLE THRUST OF HIS REMARKS WAS TO
 "CREDIT" UNIONS FOR THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT;  TELL THEM HE
 DISAGREED WITH THE POLICY;  AND STATED THAT HE FELT UNIONS WEREN'T
 NEEDED ANYMORE.  UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, HIS STATEMENT DID INTERFERE
 WITH, RESTRAIN, OR COERCE EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHTS
 ASSURED BY THE ORDER, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO FREELY AND WITHOUT FEAR OF
 PENALTY OR REPRISAL, TO FORM, JOIN, AND ASSIST A LABOR ORGANIZATION.
 NOR IS MR. NOACK'S STATEMENT RENDERED ANY LESS A VIOLATION OF 19(A)(1)
 BY HIS EXPLANATION OR MOTIVATION, C.F., UNITED STATES ARMY TANK
 AUTOMATIVE COMMAND, WARREN MICHIGAN, A/SLMR NO. 447, 4 A/SLMR 742(1974);
  BY THE FACT THAT MR. POLLARD THOUGHT "IT WAS HIS OPINION AND WAS NO
 THREAT TO ME OR TO THE AFGE LOCAL UNION";  OR BY THE FACT THAT MS.
 CARTER, WHO WAS NOT A MEMBER OF THE UNION ON NOVEMBER 18, 1977, JOINED
 THE UNION ABOUT A YEAR LATER IN EARLY NOVEMBER, 1978.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 6(B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, 29
 C.F.R., SECTION 203.26(B), AND SECTION 2400.2 OF THE TRANSITION RULES
 AND REGULATIONS (5 C.F.R.  SECTION 2400.2, FED. REG., VOL. 44, NO. 1,
 JANUARY 2, 1979), THE AUTHORITY, HEREBY ORDERS THAT THE VETERANS
 ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA SHALL:
 
    1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    A) INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR COERCING ITS EMPLOYEES IN THE
 EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER BY, INTER ALIA,
 TELLING EMPLOYEES THAT COMPLIANCE WITH THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT IS
 REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE INSISTENCE OF THE UNION AND THAT UNIONS ARE NOT
 REQUIRED ANY MORE.
 
    B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
 COERCING EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY EXECUTIVE
 ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER:
 
    A) POST AT ITS FACILITIES LOCATED IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, COPIES OF
 THE ATTACHED NOTICE MARKED "APPENDIX" ON FORMS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE
 AUTHORITY.  UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH FORMS THEY SHALL BE SIGNED BY THE
 HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR AND SHALL BE POSTED AND MAINTAINED BY HIM FOR 60
 CONSECUTIVE DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING ALL
 BULLETIN BOARDS AND OTHER PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE
 CUSTOMARILY POSTED.  THE HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR SHALL TAKE REASONABLE
 STEPS TO INSURE THAT SUCH NOTICES ARE NOT ALTERED, DEFACED, OR COVERED
 BY ANY OTHER MATERIAL.
 
    B) PURSUANT TO 29 C.F.R. SECTION 203.27 AND SECTION 2400.2 OF THE
 TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS, NOTIFY THE AUTHORITY IN WRITING WITHIN
 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER AS TO WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO
 COMPLY HEREWITH.