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Directsat USA LLC v. National Labor Relations Board

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

June 7, 2019

DirectSat USA LLC, Petitioner
v.
National Labor Relations Board, Respondent

          Argued April 2, 2019

          On Petitions for Review and Cross-Application for Enforcement of Orders of the National Labor Relations Board

          Eric P. Simon argued the cause for petitioner DirectSat USA LLC. With him on the briefs were Daniel Schudroff and Douglas J. Klein.

          Arthur T. Carter argued the cause for petitioner DIRECTV, LLC. With him on the briefs were A. John Harper III and Arrissa K. Meyer.

          Gregoire Sauter, Attorney, National Labor Relations Board, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Peter B. Robb, General Counsel, John W. Kyle, Deputy General Counsel, David S. Habenstreit, Assistant General Counsel, and Usha Dheenan, Supervisory Attorney.

          Before: Griffith and Srinivasan, Circuit Judges, and Ginsburg, Senior Circuit Judge.

          OPINION

          SRINIVASAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         DirectSat installs and services satellite television equipment for DirecTV. During negotiations with a union representing its employees, DirectSat proposed that any new work that arose during the term of the agreement would not count as bargaining unit work unless it was "pursuant to its Home Service Provider agreement with DirecTV." The union repeatedly asked to see the full Home Service Provider agreement to understand the proposed scope of bargaining unit work, but the company provided it only a redacted, partial version.

         The National Labor Relations Board found that DirectSat had refused to disclose information relevant to the union's statutory duties and thus violated its duty to bargain in good faith under the National Labor Relations Act. After the Board issued its decision, DirecTV filed a motion to intervene in the proceedings, which the Board denied. Each of the companies now seeks review of the Board's orders against them.

         The Board reasonably concluded that DirectSat's bargaining proposal rendered the entire agreement relevant. And we see no basis to set aside the Board's denial of DirecTV's motion to intervene on the ground that it was filed too late. We therefore deny the companies' petitions for review and grant the Board's cross application for enforcement.

         I.

         DirectSat USA, LLC, installs and services satellite television equipment for DirecTV, LLC, a satellite television provider. From September 2014 until May 2016, DirectSat and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 21, AFL-CIO (the Union) engaged in negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement. One issue that arose concerned whether future products or services other than installation and service of satellite television services would constitute bargaining unit work. The parties exchanged a series of "New Product Lines" proposals over that issue.

         On November 4, 2015, DirectSat submitted a New Product Lines proposal containing the following term: "In the event [DirectSat] is engaged with respect to products or services other than those provided pursuant to its Home Service Provider agreement with DirecTV . . ., such work shall not be deemed bargaining unit work." Bargaining Proposal No. 78 (Nov. 4, 2015), J.A. 83. On November 23, 2015, the Union responded via email: "[O]ne of the company proposals references the HSP agreement with [DirecTV]. We'd like a copy of the agreement referenced in the proposal." Email from Dave Webster to Lauren Dudley (Nov. 23, 2015), J.A. 84. Two weeks later, DirectSat responded with a heavily redacted copy of the Home Service Provider agreement, which it described as "relevant to scope of work." Email from Lauren Dudley to Dave Webster (Dec. 4, 2015), J.A. 87.

         In the ensuing months, the Union repeatedly demanded the full Home Service Provider agreement and DirectSat repeatedly refused. On February 16, 2016, the Union requested the information "to understand the relationship between AT&T [DirecTV's parent company] & DirectSat and the shared work." Email from Dave Webster to Eric Simon (Feb. 16, 2016), J.A. 92. On March 18, the Union again asked for "a FULL copy of the HSP agreement between DirectSat & DirecTV particularly because of the ...


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