The issue in this case is whether the employer can be compelled to furnish a union with current wage data of employees in the bargaining unit when requested to do so in the course of bargaining for a new contract. The Office Employees International Union, Local No. 34, A. F. of L., was certified as the exclusive bargaining representative for certain of respondent's non-production employees in 1946 and continued as such during all times material to the present case. After certification the Union executed contracts with respondent in the years 1946, 1947 and 1948. The 1948 contract expired February 24, 1949, and prior to its expiration the Union and respondent began negotiations for a new contract, in the course of which the Union requested four major changes in the 1948 contract. It demanded a 15 per cent. across-the-board wage increase, a $1.00 minimum hourly wage, a union shop, and longer vacations for employees with seniority. Respondent refused these requests and offered to renew the 1948 contract without change. Thereupon the Union asked respondent for and was refused a list of all employees, together with their current salaries and salaries as of January 1, 1946, 1947 and 1948. At a hearing before a Trial Examiner appointed by the Board, the Examiner found that respondent's refusal to supply the requested information constituted a refusal to bargain in violation of section 8(a) (5) and (1) of the Act.
Respondent concedes that an employer must supply a union with relevant wage information as an incident of its duty
Since the employer has an affirmative statutory duty to supply relevant wage data, his refusal to do so is not justified by the Union's failure initially to show the relevance of the requested information. The rule governing disclosure of data of this kind is not unlike that prevailing in discovery procedures under modern codes. There the information must be disclosed unless it plainly appears irrelevant.
Nor is our determination that the information was relevant affected by the subsequent execution of a contract without disclosure. The most that can be inferred from the Union's action is that the advantages of a contract in hand outweigh those which the Union might later obtain when all relevant information would be available to it.