13:0661(108)CA - DOD, Air Force, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, (ALC) Kelly AFB, TX and AFGE Local 1617 -- 1984 FLRAdec CA



[ v13 p661 ]
13:0661(108)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 13 FLRA No. 108
 
 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
 DEPARTMENT OF AIR FORCE
 SAN ANTONIO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER, (ALC)
 KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1617
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 6-CA-1273
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached Decision in the
 above-entitled proceeding finding that the Respondent had engaged in
 certain unfair labor practices and recommending that it be ordered to
 cease and desist therefrom and take certain affirmative action.  The
 Judge further found that the Respondent had not engaged in certain other
 alleged unfair labor practices and recommended dismissal of the
 complaint with respect to them.  Exceptions to the Judge's Decision were
 filed by the Respondent /1/ with the General Counsel filing an
 opposition.
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute (the Statute), the Authority has reviewed the rulings of the
 Judge made at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial error was
 committed.  The rulings are hereby affirmed.  Upon consideration of the
 Judge's Decision and the entire record, the Authority hereby adopts the
 Judge's findings, conclusions and Recommended Order.  Cf. Oklahoma City
 Air Logistics Center (AFLC) Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, 6 FLRA
 159(1980) and Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Ft. Carson,
 Colorado, 9 FLRA No. 69 (1982) (pertaining to certain management
 statements found to be protected by section 7116(e) of the Statute).
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the
 Authority hereby orders that the United States Department of Defense,
 Department of Air Force, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, (ALC), Kelly
 Air Force Base, Texas, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Threatening employees with closing Kelly Air Force Base because
 of the activities of the American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, Local 1617, the employees' exclusive collective bargaining
 representative.
 
    (b) Threatening employees with loss of awards because of articles
 published in the "Labor News, "a publication of the employees' exclusive
 collective bargaining representative.
 
    (c) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining or
 coercing employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
    (a) Post at its Kelly Air Force Base facility, copies of the attached
 Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority.  Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the
 Commanding Officer, or his designee, 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.  Reasonable steps shall be taken to
 insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any
 other material.
 
    (b) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, notify that Regional Director, Region VI, Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, P. O. Box 2640, Dallas, Texas 75221, in writing
 within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been
 taken to comply herewith.
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the remaining allegation of the complaint
 in Case No. 6-CA-1273 be, and it hereby is, dismissed.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., January 13, 1984
 
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
  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 threaten employees with closing Kelly Air Force Base
 because of activities of the American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1617, the employees' exclusive collective
 bargaining representative.
 
    WE WILL NOT threaten employees with loss of awards because of
 articles published in the "Labor News," a publication of the employees'
 exclusive collective bargaining representative.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
                                       (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
 material.
 
    If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance
 with any of its provisions, they may communicate directly with the
 Regional Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region VI,
 whose address is:  P. O. Box 2640, Dallas, Texas 75221, and whose
 telephone number is (214) 767-4996.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE,
    DEPARTMENT OF AIR FORCE,
    SAN ANTONIO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER, (ALC)
    KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS
                                Respondent
 
    and
 
    AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
    EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1617
                              Charging Party
 
                                       Case No. 6-CA-1273
 
    Glenn H. Schlabs, Esq. and
    Lewis G. Brewer, Esq.
    For the Respondent
 
    Steven M. Angel, Esq.
    For the Charging Party
 
    James E. Dumerer, Esq.
    For the General Counsel
 
    BEFORE:  Salvatore J. Arrigo
    Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement of the Case
 
    This is a proceeding under the Federal Labor-Management Relations
 Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C. 7101, et seq.
 
    Upon an unfair labor practice charge filed by the American Federation
 of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1617 (herein referred to as the
 Union) on July 8, 1981, and thereafter amended on August 26 and
 September 25, 1981, the General Counsel of the Authority, by the
 Regional Director of Region VI, issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing
 on June 11, 1982 alleging Respondent, on March 30, 1981:  (1) told
 employees that Respondent might close its Air Freight Terminal and/or
 Kelly Air Force Base because of Union activities;  (2) told employees
 that their performance awards might be affected because of Union
 activities;  and (3) made remarks which denigrated, disparaged and
 showed disdain for Union officials and employees assisting the Union.
 In its response to Respondent's May 21, 1982 Motion to Compel a More
 Definite Statement, counsel for the General Counsel, on June 11, 1982,
 clarified the third allegation, supra, by alleging that Respondent's
 agent, Lt. Col. William Rohleder, stated:  (1) he felt sorry for the
 children of the people who wrote and supported the type of article which
 appeared in a Union newspaper which was critical of the Air Freight
 Terminal because such people were sick and demented;  (2) only a chosen
 few run the Union and dictate its views;  and (3) the people should not
 permit this.
 
    A hearing on the Complaint was conducted on October 28, 1982 in San
 Antonio, Texas, at which time all parties were represented by counsel
 and afforded full opportunity to adduce evidence, call, examine and
 cross-examine witnesses and argue orally.
 
    Upon the entire record in this matter, /2/ including my observation
 of the witnesses and their demeanor, and my evaluation of the evidence
 and briefs timely received, I make the following:
 
                  Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
 
    The Alleged Unlawful Conduct
 
    At all times material herein the Union has been the collective
 bargaining representative of various of Respondent's Air Freight
 Terminal Branch within the Transportation Operations Division at Kelly
 Air Force Base.
 
    Sometime in January or February 1981 an article appeared in the
 Union's newspaper, "Labor News," which was highly critical of working
 conditions in the Air Freight Terminal (herein AFT or the Terminal).
 The article, widely publicized and posted throughout the AFT, referred
 to the AFT as "Alcatraz", characterized it as "one of the most, if not
 the worst" place to work at Kelly Air Force Base, and alleged such
 conditions were caused by "mismanagement and the working environment."
 The article indicated that the Union was investigating "numerous
 complaints," concerning:  improper work hours and compensatory time-off;
  sexual harrassment;  safety hazards;  lack of coffee and lunch breaks
 and hazardous duty pay;  no radio playing;  logs specifying nature of
 employee's illness;  low grade structure;  and management abuse of
 authority.  When the article came to the attention of Lt. Col. William
 Rohleder, Chief of the Transportation Operations Division, he asked AFT
 Branch Chief, Theo Gerlich to investigate the charges.  Rohleder was
 informed that there was no truth to the allegations and indeed,
 management had not received any such complaints from employees.
 
    In March 1981 another article critical of Terminal management
 appeared in the Labor News.  The article referred to three supervisors
 as "prison guards of Alcatraz," labeling each as "sick".  One supervisor
 was termed a "Romeo" who invited "new girls" to lunch and subjected
 those who refused to "cheap lunch" to "reprisal, intimidation, and
 coercion in every aspect of their job." The supervisor was described as
 having a "hang up," believing he was a "great lover," and was further
 accused of getting "more dangerous," having allegedly "gone to the
 extent of physically touching a new female employee while pretending to
 show her how to operate a machine."
 
    A second supervisor was labeled "Little Ceasar".  According to the
 column, the supervisor had a "hang up" regarding his height, "builds up
 his ego by giving 'direct orders' to helpless females trapped in a
 counseling session with more than one supervisor . . . (and) . . .
 exerci(es) his authority . . . by firing anyone (especially females) who
 dare to defy him."
 
    A third supervisor was characterized as ". . . one whose hang-up
 seems to be his feminine mannerism . . . the butt of many a joke in
 Alcatraz . . ." The column alleged this supervisor attempted to become a
 ". . . Macho Man by handing out disciplinary actions against
 Mexican-Americans and upholding decisions to fire defenseless females."
 
    Upon the publication of the newspaper several supervisors and
 employees came to Branch Chief Gerlich on March 29 or 30, 1981 and
 expressed their concern.  /3/ Gerlich considered the article to have
 "slandered" supervisors and was "furious." Gerlich immediately notified
 Division Chief Rohleder of the article.  Rohleder discerned that his
 supervisors were "visibly upset" and was "particularly concerned"
 himself over what he termed "the slanderous attack" on his supervisors.
 Accordingly, on March 30, 1981 Rohleder called a meeting of all Terminal
 employees.
 
    Between 60 and 80 employees attended the meeting which lasted about
 10 minutes.  Counsel for the General Counsel called two witnesses to
 testify in support of the allegations of the Complaint that Lt. Col.
 Rohleder's speech violated section 7116(a)(1) of the Statute.  /4/ One
 employee, Bernabe Jorge, a Union steward, testified that Rohleder first
 introduced himself /5/ and then spent the "bulk" of his speech praising
 "the Terminal and individuals" for performing an outstanding job.
 Rohleder concluded the congratulatory portion of his speech by
 indicating that the Terminal and several employees were "up for awards."
 At this point, according to Jorge, Rohleder stated "these awards are in
 jeopardy because of the article" and he would be surprised if a copy of
 the article was not already at the Pentagon.  Jorge further testified
 that Rohleder then said he received a call from an officer in Washington
 earlier that day who stated that "with as much trouble that Kelly Air
 Force Base has had with the Union, he (was) surprised that they hadn't
 closed the Base." Rohleder then made a statement to the effect that he
 felt sorry for the children of the people who write and support "these
 articles" because they had to be "sick and demented." Rohleder thanked
 the employees and concluded the speech.
 
    According to Jorge, immediately after the speech he approached
 Rohleder and a group of supervisors and expressed the opinion that "a
 lot of people took offense" at Rohleder's speech and a brief
 conversation ensured between Jorge, Gerlich, and Genevieve Idar, Deputy
 Chief of the Operations Division.  /6/
 
    Sandra Brown, the other witness called by counsel for the General
 Counsel, had been employed at the Terminal just three months at the time
 of the speech.  She testified that during the speech Lt. Col. Rohleder
 explained and praised the work performed at the Terminal;  commented on
 the outstanding job everyone was doing;  stated there was an article
 referring to the Terminal in the "Labor News or Union paper;" mentioned
 he had a call from Washington;  stated that due to the article, the
 amount of awards "issued to the people" were jeopardized;  indicated the
 writers of the article were "trash," stating he didn't know how they
 could bring up their children in such an environment;  and finally, made
 reference to the Union being "no good" and referred to stewards "being
 not of a good nature, more or less." On further examination Brown
 recalled that Rohleder also said that the writer or writers of the
 article had "small minds" and he received a call from someone in
 Washington who ". . . had received or read this article, and due to the
 article, . . being the union was causing so much trouble, . . . wondered
 why the Terminal hadn't been closed down." Thereupon, Brown concluded:
 "So this is when I found out or put two and two together that he was
 referring to the union article."
 
    Col. Rohleder, two supervisors and a Non-Commissioned Officer In
 Charge (NCOIC) at the Terminal gave testimony on behalf of Respondent.
 While it is not clear from his testimony precisely how his speech was
 ordered, /7/ Rohleder testified that he began the speech by
 congratulating employees on the outstanding work and "tremendous strides
 and improvements" made at the Terminal and specified various areas where
 improvements were made.  Rohleder stated that "unfortunately" some
 unfavorable articles had been written in a "local periodical" that cast
 an unfavorable light on the employees' efforts, or words to that effect.
  According to Rohleder, he enumerated some of the charges contained in
 the earlier Union article, supra, indicated they were invalid, and
 related his desire not to have "this type of publicity" interfering with
 efforts at the Terminal.  At the meeting Rohleder noted that it was the
 time of the year for the annual organizational awards to be given to the
 outstanding performance air terminal in the Command and said he was
 submitting the Terminal for an award.  He indicated there would be some
 recommendations for individual awards as well.  Rohleder thanked the
 employees for their support and according to his affidavit:
 
          "I then stated there had been some adverse publicity which I
       felt was unfounded and unfair.  I stated this type of publicity
       degraded the accomplishments of this unit and penalized the
       efforts of the individuals.  I stated I felt sorry for the
       individuals who supported this type of publicity because it served
       no useful purpose." /8/
 
    When questioned as to whether he related the receipt of awards to the
 "article," Rohleder responded that he didn't recall doing so but ". . .
 might have made the comment that . . . this type of publicity . . .
 can't possibly help the good efforts of the employees in your efforts
 down here in the Terminal." Rohleder continued;  "From that an inference
 can be drawn that . . . if somebody sees this on the selection
 committee, it will jeopardize our award. . . .  But, specifically, I did
 not say that it would jeopardize the award."
 
    Col. Rohleder specifically denied having made reference to numerous
 matters testified to by Jorge and Brown, including making any reference
 to "children," "sick and demented" or the author of the article, "the
 Union," "steward," the "Pentagon," or closing Kelly AFB.
 
    Supervisor Gerlich testified that Rohleder, in his speech,
 congratulated and thanked employees for the good job they were doing,
 indicating they had "come a long way" since he was first assigned to the
 Transportation Division;  stated he was recommending the Terminal be
 submitted for the air terminal of the year award;  said he was also
 recommending that individuals be nominated for awards;  stated that an
 article (or articles) had appeared in a "local periodical," the article
 was not true and should not be believed, and said something to the
 effect that he could not understand how a individual could write such an
 article and face himself in the mirror each morning;  indicated he hoped
 that this type of article or publicity did not adversely affect the
 workforce or morale of the air terminal;  and encouraged employees to
 keep up the good work.
 
    Gerlich specifically denied that Rohleder made any reference to Kelly
 Air Force Base or the Terminal closing, the Pentagon, the Union, Union
 Stewards, children, or a small group running the Union.  Thus, Gerlich
 generally supported Rohleder's version on the speech.  However, while
 denying that Rohleder indicated that the type of articles referred to in
 the speech might adversely affect unit or individual awards, Gerlich
 acknowledged that ". . . if the people weren't listening, they could
 twist it around." Further, Gerlich testified he had no recollection of
 Rohleder saying anything to the effect that the "adverse publicity"
 mentioned in the speech "degraded the accomplishments of (the) unit and
 penalized the efforts of the individuals," a statement Rohleder admitted
 having made in the affidavit given during the investigative stage of
 this matter.
 
    Jose Devora, Air Terminal Operations Section Chief, was also called
 to testify by counsel for Respondent.  /9/ Devora acknowledged not
 remembering Rohleder's speech in every detail but recalled that
 Rohleder:  was concerned about the articles that were published in the
 "local paper;" said "he felt sorry for the children of whoever would
 publish or would go along with such tactics;" stated he wanted to make
 sure that employees at the Terminal realized he appreciated their fine
 work and efforts;  and indicated individual employees were being
 recognized through individual awards and the overall efforts of Terminal
 employees was being recognized since the Terminal was "up and running"
 for the air freight terminal of the year award.  Devora denied Rohleder
 mentioned Kelly Air Force Base closing or the Pentagon questioning the
 continued operation of the Terminal;  made remarks about Union officers
 or stewards;  mentioned a small group controlling the Union;  referred
 to people supporting or not supporting the Union or used the word
 "demented." Devora also denied that Rohleder said that employees would
 not receive awards because of the articles.  When asked if Rohleder
 mentioned anything to the effect that the bad publicity (from the Union
 article) might have degraded the accomplishments of the unit and perhaps
 penalized the efforts of the individuals, Devora was evasive and
 vacillated, first admitting and then denying that the statement was
 made.  /10/
 
    The last witness to testify on behalf of Respondent was Sidney
 Hebert, NCOIC of special handling and material handling equipment.
 Hebert testified in conclusionary terms that Rohleder "talked about"
 awards and supervisors recommend employees for awards;  indicated the
 Terminal was being submitted for terminal of the year award for the Air
 Force Logistics Command;  and said the "article in the paper" was
 untruthful and the employees were doing a good job and shouldn't pay
 much attention to the article.  Hebert denied Rohleder made reference to
 the article affecting awards;  the Terminal closing;  Kelly Air Base
 closing;  the Union, Union officers, stewards, or the people running or
 supporting the local Union.
 
    Discussion
 
    The basis issues herein are whether Lt. Col. Rohleder, on March 30,
 1981:  (1) informed employees, in effect, that Union "trouble" at Kelly
 Air Force Base could result in the closing of the base;  (2) told
 employees that performance awards might be adversely affected because of
 an article published in the Union newspaper;  and (3) denigrated,
 disparaged and showed disdain for Union officials and employees
 assisting the Union.
 
    As was apparent throughout the litigation of this matter, disposition
 of this case turns primarily on how credibility resolutions are made.
 However, as counsel for Respondent points out in his brief, all
 witnesses suffered from a common disability, namely, the passage of a
 substantial period of time between the events and testimony with regard
 thereto.  Thus, it comes as no surprise that the testimony given herein
 is somewhat divergent.
 
    Having carefully considered the testimony of record and observed the
 witnesses at the hearing, I credit Union steward Jorge's version of the
 Rohleder speech based substantially upon Jorge's demeanor and indeed my
 evaluation of the demeanor of all those who testified herein.  His
 answers were direct, responsive and precise both on direct and
 cross-examination.  Further, his comment to Rohleder and other
 supervisors immediately after the speech that "a lot of people took
 offense" at Rohleder's remarks is supportive of his version and is a
 reaction one might expect of a Union steward after hearing such
 comments.  Indeed, Rohleder substantially supported Jorge's testimony on
 the confrontation when he testified that after the speech, Jorge asked
 Rohleder if it was his intent to "run down the union," which Rohleder
 denied.  I also note that if Rohleder's innocuous version of his speech
 is credited, there would have been little apparent reason for Jorge's
 post-speech comment on Rohleder's discourse.
 
    In addition, Jorge is corroborated in essentials by employee Brown.
 However, I credit Brown only to the extent that Brown and Jorge's
 testimony is mutually corroborative.  Brown's testimony was, in large
 measure, given in a blurting, jumbled, fashion.  She was a relatively
 new employee in March 1981 and perhaps blended recollections of the
 speech with post-speech conversations with others.  Moreover, while
 Brown testified that Rohleder in his address referred to the "Labor News
 or union paper" when discussing the article in question, she also
 testified that she had to "put two and two together" to conclude
 Rohleder was referring to the article in the Union paper.  In this
 regard, I further note that Jorge had no recollection of the word
 "union" being used by Rohleder, a matter which, as a Union steward,
 would not have readily escaped Jorge.
 
    Turning now to Lt. Col. Rohleder, while his testimony on direct
 examination was responsive, on cross-examination he was, at times,
 rather evasive.  For example, Rohleder testified at first that during
 his speech he made no reference to the author of the article in the
 Labor News.  After being confronted with his affidavit, supra, wherein
 Rohleder acknowledged that during the speech he ". . . stated (he) felt
 sorry for the individuals who supported this type of publicity, because
 it served no useful purpose," Rohleder was asked what he meant by the
 "individuals who supported this type of publicity." Rohleder replied:
 "Well, somebody that would chastise my supervisors." When asked to
 repeat his answer, Rohleder responded:
 
          "Okay.  Somebody that would chastise my supervisors in articles
       like this and in other articles, demeaning to the work force.  You
       know, I just felt that that type of publicity had no useful
       purpose in the organization and accomplished nothing."
 
    Examination on this matter by counsel for the General Counsel
 continued:
 
          "Q.  So then you now recall that you did, in fact, refer to the
       author of the article in this meeting.
 
          A. Well --
 
          Q.  In terms of those people who supported this type of
       activity?
 
          A. I am sorry.  I don't see any reference there to any author.
       I say in reference to the material contained in the article.
 
          Q.  Okay.  In other words, what you mean is those who would
       make changes like this about the organization.  Is that what you
       mean?
 
          A. Anyone that would believe that those charges were true.  I
       believe the reference there is I felt sorry for anybody that
       supported this type publicity.  If it is unfavorable publicity,
       unfair publicity, you know, it is that type of thing, not an
       individual, that I felt sorry for."
 
    In assessing Rohleder's reliability as a witness I also note he
 testified he made no reference to "children" during the speech.
 However, Supervisor Devora, whose testimony is corroborative of Jorge's
 and Brown's in this regard, recalls Rohleder saying "he felt sorry for
 the children of whoever would publish or go along with such tactics."
 
    The general reliability of Gerlich, Devora, and Hebert as witnesses
 is similarly questionable.  Thus, with regard to the newspaper article,
 all three witnesses denied hearing Rohleder state during the speech that
 "this type of publicity degraded the accomplishments of this unit and
 penalized the efforts of the individuals." However, Rohleder in his
 affidavit acknowledged having made the statement, and the remark is one
 of substantial significance in view of the unfair labor practice charges
 being considered herein.
 
    Accordingly, based upon the credibility findings made herein, I find
 and conclude that Lt. Col. Rohleder's statement during his March 30,
 1981 speech to the effect that he received a call from an officer in
 Washington who stated that with as much trouble Kelly Air Force Base has
 had with the Union, he was surprised that they hadn't closed the base,
 violated section 7116(a)(1) of the Statute.  The remark constitutes an
 implied threat of reprisal against employees for engaging in protected
 activity.
 
    I further find and conclude that Lt. Col. Rohleder's statement when
 referring to the article that appeared in the Union's newspaper "Labor
 News" during his speech on March 30, to the effect that awards were in
 jeopardy because of the article, violated section 7116(a)(1) of the
 Statute.  /11/ The statement is tantamount to threatening employees with
 reprisals for the conduct, or perhaps the misconduct, of a Union
 publication.  It is entirely possible that Rohleder said, as he admitted
 in effect, that the article "penalized" the efforts of individuals and
 he did not say "jeopardize" the awards.  In any event, I find that by
 cleverly juxtaposing phrases concerning awards and the article, Rohleder
 clearly conveyed the impression that the objectionable newspaper article
 would or could result in adverse consequences to employees regarding
 awards.
 
    However, I reject the contention that Lt. Col. Rohleder denigrated,
 disparaged and showed disdain for Union officials and employees
 assisting the Union in violation of section 7116(a)(1) of the Statute by
 his remarks of March 30, 1981.  As stated above, I find, according to
 Bernabe Jorge's credited testimony, that Rohleder's comment in this
 regard was to the effect that he felt sorry for the children of the sick
 and demented people who write and support these articles.  I do not
 conclude that such a statement violates section 7116(a)(1) of the
 Statute, especially if one considers the provocation occasioned by the
 abusive, vulgar, and disparaging nature of the article in the Labor News
 to which Rohleder was responding.  Accordingly, this allegation of the
 Complaint is dismissed.  /12/
 
    Therefore, in view of the entire foregoing I recommend that the
 Authority issue the following:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2430.20 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the
 Authority hereby orders that the United States Department of Defense,
 Department of Air Force, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, (ALC), Kelly
 Air Force Base, Texas, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Threatening employees with closing Kelly Air Force Base
       because of the activities of the American Federation of Government
       Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1617, the employees' exclusive
       collective bargaining representative.
 
          (b) Threatening employees with loss of awards because of
       articles published in the "Labor News," a publication of the
       employees' exclusive collective bargaining representative.
 
          (c) In any like or related manner interfering with,
       restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights
       assured by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
          (a) Post at its Kelly Air Force Base facility, copies of the
       attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor
       Relations Authority.  Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be
       signed by the Commanding Officer 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 Commanding
       Officer shall take reasonable steps to insure that such Notices
       are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.
 
          (b) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
       Regulations, notify that Regional Director, Region VI, Federal
       Labor Relations Authority, P. O.
 
 Box 2640, Dallas, Texas 75221, in writing, within 30
 
       days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken
       to comply herewith.
 
                                       SALVATORE J. ARRIGO
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
    Dated:  April 28, 1983
    Washington, DC
 
                                 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 STATUTE
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT threaten employees with closing Kelly Air Force Base
 because of activities of the American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1617, the employees' exclusive collective
 bargaining representative.
 
    WE WILL NOT threaten employees with loss of awards because of
 articles published in the "Labor News," a publication of the employees'
 exclusive collective bargaining representative.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
                                       (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
 material.
 
    If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance
 with any of its provisions, they may communicate directly with the
 Regional Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region VI,
 whose address is:  P. O. Box 2640, Dallas, Texas 75221, and whose
 telephone number is:  (214) 767-4996.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ The Respondent excepted to certain credibility findings made by
 the Judge.  The demeanor of witnesses is a factor of consequence in
 resolving issues of credibility, and the Judge has had the advantage of
 observing the witnesses while they testified.  The Authority will not
 overrule a Judge's resolution with respect to credibility unless a clear
 preponderance of all the relevant evidence demonstrates that such
 resolution is incorrect.  The Authority has examined the record
 carefully, and finds no basis for reversing the Judge's credibility
 findings.
 
 
    /2/ Respondent's unopposed motion to correct the transcript as to
 minor matters is hereby granted.
 
 
    /3/ The article had also been posted on a bulletin board in the
 Terminal.
 
 
    /4/ All witnesses were sequestered.
 
 
    /5/ While Rohleder had been the Division Chief for three years, there
 had been a substantial turnover of employees at the Terminal.
 
 
    /6/ The substance of this conversation was not alleged by the General
 Counsel to constitute a violation of the Statute and accordingly was not
 fully developed at the hearing and shall not be treated herein.
 
 
    /7/ In reconstruction this version, I have relied on Rohleder's
 testimony and his prehearing affidavit received in evidence at the
 hearing.
 
 
    /8/ On cross-examination Rohleder at first denied saying he "felt
 sorry for the individuals who supported this type of publicity." After
 being shown his prehearing affidavit, Rohleder acknowledged making the
 statement which included ". . . because it served no useful purpose."
 
 
    /9/ Devora is responsible to Gerlich in Respondent's supervisory
 hierarchy.
 
 
    /10/ See Transcript at 127-130.
 
 
    /11/ Although this allegation of the Complaint refers to
 "performance" awards, I view the Complaint as broad enough to encompass
 a finding of violation regardless of whether Rohleder was specifically
 referring to unit awards, individual awards or performance awards.
 
 
    /11/ Counsel for the Charging Party seeks, as part of the remedy of
 the unfair labor practices involved herein, that employees at Kelly Air
 Force Base be assembled and the Commanding Officer be obliged to read
 them the "Notice to All Employees" to dispel any rumors which might have
 started as a result