BOOCHEVER, Circuit Judge:
Karl Kallmann, d/b/a Love's Barbeque Restaurant (Kallmann), seeks to review and set aside an order of the National Labor Relations Board (Board). The Board cross-petitions for enforcement of its order. The Board found that Kallmann was a successor to Love's Wood Pit Barbeque Restaurant (Love) and that Kallmann had violated section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (Act), 29 U.S.C. § 158(a), by refusing to hire the former Love employees because of their union affiliation and by harassing the former employees during their picketing of Kallmann's restaurant. Consequently, the Board ordered that all forty former employees be reinstated and given back pay. We affirm the part of the Board's order finding violations of the Act, but remand for further proceedings on reinstatement and back pay.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders Union (Union), intervenors in this suit, filed an unfair labor practice suit against Love and Kallmann. The following facts were presented at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
Love, a California corporation, operates and franchises restaurants. Love opened Love's Wood Pit Barbeque Restaurant (Restaurant) as a franchise. From 1973 until September 1977 Love operated it as a company-owned restaurant. In 1977, a collective bargaining agreement was in effect between the Union and Love.
In May of 1977, Ronald Mesker, Love's Vice President, spoke with Kallmann regarding the possibility of purchasing the Restaurant. Mesker informed him that Love had a collective bargaining agreement with the Union covering employees at the Restaurant. Franchising negotiations continued during the summer. Love closed the Restaurant at the end of the business day on September 25. The employees were first notified of the closure on September 26. On September 28, Kallmann and Love entered an agreement under which Kallmann became the owner of the Restaurant on a franchise basis.
While the Restaurant was being cleaned, Kallmann prepared to reopen. He rented two rooms at a hotel for interviewing job applicants and advertised at two local colleges and in two newspapers. He interviewed at the hotel for two and one-half days, commencing on October 12. Thereafter, he interviewed at the Restaurant and the advertisements were changed so that the name and address of the Restaurant were provided for the first time. Kallmann conducted all the interviews at the hotel, but David Sebben, assistant manager, conducted some at the Restaurant.
Seven former employees of the Restaurant applied for positions, but none was hired. Each indicated on the employment application that he or she was a former employee. The seven were: Malone-Morris, Porter, Hansen, Boyd, Logan, Wadsworth and Bishop.
Porter applied to be a waiter or cook (he had been the head cook). Kallmann testified
Wadsworth and Logan applied for both dishwasher and cook jobs. Logan testified that after Kallmann read that Logan had previously worked at the Restaurant, Kallmann indicated that there were no positions open except possibly as a dishwasher. After Logan said that he would take a job as a dishwasher, Kallmann told him that he was pretty certain that it was taken. Wadsworth was offered a job as a busboy, but told Kallmann that he was not interested because his seniority warranted a better job. Hansen stated that after she told Kallmann that she had worked at the Restaurant, he exclaimed, "Oh, you were one of them." Kallmann said that he would check her qualifications.
Kallmann initially hired approximately thirty employees, but no former employees were hired. Kallmann established new wage rates and other benefits for his employees. They were lower than those provided to the former employees.
On October 21, the day after the Restaurant reopened, the Union commenced picketing the Restaurant. Although the Union wanted to negotiate a contract, Kallmann declined to discuss the matter. Pingree, a former employee, testified that while she was picketing, Kallmann asked her to lay down her sign and come to work. He said that he would hire her at Union wages, "but it would not be Union."
After the picketing had concluded one day, Logan and Wadsworth were sitting in a car parked near the Restaurant. Sebben, the assistant manager of the Restaurant, testified that he took their picture because he saw the pair rolling what he believed to be marijuana cigarettes.
The ALJ concluded that: (A) by telling employees he did not intend to operate a unionized restaurant and taking pictures, without a valid reason, of employees who had been picketing, Kallmann violated section 8(a)(1) of the Act; (B) Kallmann was not a "successor" to Love; and (C) Kallmann had not violated sections 8(a)(3) and (5) of the Act. Both sides filed exceptions to the decision of the ALJ. The Board upheld the ALJ's decision that Kallmann had violated section 8(a)(1) by its actions during the picketing. It reversed the other findings and concluded that: (A) Kallmann was a successor employer, and therefore violated sections 8(a)(1) and (5) when he refused to recognize and bargain with the Union, and (B) by refusing to hire the former employees because of their Union affiliation, Kallmann violated sections 8(a)(1) and (3). Kallmann petitioned for review of the Board's order and the Board filed a cross-application for enforcement.
A. KALLMANN'S ACTIVITIES DURING THE PICKETING
Kallmann contends that his statement to Pingree and Turner, that he would hire Pingree under the same conditions as before but that the Restaurant "will not be Union," is not a violation of section 8(a)(1)
Kallmann, however, was not merely expressing a view of the status at the time he made the statement. One reasonable inference from the remark is that the Restaurant would remain non-union in the future. Moreover, the statement promised Pingree that benefits (i. e., union wages) would be provided even without union protection.
Ingress-Plastene, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 430 F.2d 542, 545 (7th Cir. 1970). There was sufficient evidence from which the Board could find a violation of section 8(a)(1).
Kallmann next contends that Sebben's photographing of Logan and Wadsworth was not a violation of section 8(a)(1) because it was to show that they were rolling a marijuana cigarette, not to harass them for union activity. Neither the ALJ nor the Board, however, believed Sebben's testimony. Thus, there is no basis for overruling the finding that Sebben's actions violated section 8(a)(1). The Board reasonably concluded that such conduct subjected the former employees to harassment.
B. KALLMANN'S FAILURE TO HIRE ANY FORMER EMPLOYEES
The ALJ found that Kallmann did not deliberately refuse to hire the former employees because of their union affiliation. The Board, however, reversed this finding thereby concluding that Kallmann violated sections 8(a)(1) and (3).
Kallmann contends that the Board's finding is not supported by substantial evidence. Moreover, he contends that where, as here, the Board disagrees with the ALJ's findings the evidence supporting the Board's determination must be stronger. This court has rejected Kallmann's second contention.
N.L.R.B. v. Tischler, 615 F.2d 509, 511 (9th Cir. 1980) (citations omitted).
The Board noted that although the ALJ discredited Kallmann's testimony regarding the hiring procedures, the ALJ nevertheless refused to draw the permissible inference that the hiring actions were taken for an unlawful reason — to conceal the reopening. Finding that Kallmann had deliberately refused to hire the former employees because of anti-union animus, the Board took a contrary view. First, Kallmann's statement that he did not intend to let the employees be represented, far from being a mere opinion, supported a finding of unlawful motive. Second, the Board found that Kallmann's "unusual" hiring procedures, which he failed to explain, were designed to conceal the availability of jobs from the former (Union) employees. Third, it also found that Kallmann made no "offers" to former employees because: (A) the offer to Pingree was itself a violation of the Act; (B) the offer of a "possible" busboy position to Wadsworth was not an offer since it was merely an "expression of a possible potential offer" which Kallmann never actualized, and in any event he knew that Wadsworth applied for the cook position; and (C) there was no basis for inferring that Kallmann offered Logan a position.
The Board did not disagree with the ALJ's assessment of witness credibility,
C. KALLMANN AS A SUCCESSOR EMPLOYER
When employees have a collective bargaining agreement and a change in ownership occurs, the new owner must recognize and bargain with the employees' union if the new owner is found to be a "successor employer." N.L.R.B. v. Edjo, Inc., 631 F.2d 604, 606-607 (9th Cir. 1980); Bellingham Frozen Foods, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 626 F.2d 674, 678 (9th Cir. 1980). The new owner is a successor employer if: (A) the employer conducts essentially the same business as the former employer, and (B) a majority of the new employer's work force are former employees or would have been former employees absent a refusal to hire because of anti-union animus. Id.; Pacific Hide & Fur Depot, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 553 F.2d 609, 611 (9th Cir. 1977). The Board found that Kallmann was a successor employer who violated sections 8(a)(1) and (5)
Kallmann concedes that he conducted essentially the same business as Love. He argues, however, the Board erred in finding that he was a successor employer because the Board impermissibly assumed that "but for ... Kallmann's unlawful ... [hiring discrimination], the Union's status as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative would have survived ... Kallmann's take over of the Hayward Restaurant." Kallmann contends that this "bootstrap argument" cannot be made without some evidence that Kallmann would have had the opportunity to hire the requisite number of former employees in the absence of his allegedly unlawful conduct. At most, only nine former employees applied for the twenty-eight to thirty available positions. Therefore, Kallmann contends that there was not substantial evidence to find that the Union's majority status would have continued.
Kallmann's argument has been rejected by several courts.
Id. at 120. Where, as here, a successor employer unlawfully discriminates in hiring, an appropriate remedy is reinstatement for all the former employees. Packing
K. B. & J. Young's Super Markets, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 377 F.2d 463, 465 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 389 U.S. 841, 88 S.Ct. 71, 19 L.Ed.2d 105 (1967). The Board properly assumed a majority would have survived the takeover but for Kallmann's discrimination. We conclude that substantial evidence supports the Board's finding that Kallmann was a successor employer and thus violated the Act by refusing to bargain with the Union.
D. THE BOARD'S ORDER OF REINSTATEMENT
Kallmann contends that the portion of the Board's order directing him to reinstate the forty former employees to their old jobs, or to substantially equivalent jobs if the old jobs no longer exist, and to make them whole for any loss of earnings suffered as a result of the discrimination, is punitive and therefore unenforceable. See N.L.R.B. v. Fort Vancouver Plywood Co., 604 F.2d 596, 602 (9th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 915, 100 S.Ct. 1275, 63 L.Ed.2d 599 (1980).
The Board's order requires Kallmann to offer all forty former employees reinstatement. Kallmann argues that this is punitive because he only hired twenty-eight to thirty total employees when he reopened the Restaurant.
Id. at 602.
The Vancouver court also rejected the argument made by the Board here, that the exact terms of the reinstatement order are properly left for subsequent determination, and do not affect the order's enforceability. Id. at 603. It noted that the order required the reinstatement, not just of some non-shareholders, but of exactly seventy-two discharged workers, and this precision made it clear that no further proceedings were contemplated regarding the number of employees to be reinstated. Because the order was so specific, it denied "the company an opportunity to show that fewer than 72 jobs would have been available regardless of its unfair practices." Id. Therefore, the remedial order of reinstatement was unenforceable.
E. THE BOARD'S BACK PAY ORDER
Kallmann also contends that the order mandating back pay is unenforceable because it requires Kallmann to pay more than he would have paid the former employees. After the takeover, Kallmann established wages and benefits which were less than the former union wages and benefits. The Board ordered Kallmann to pay back wages and benefits at the rate existing immediately before the takeover, after finding that Kallmann violated section 8(a)(5) of the Act by unilaterally reducing rates of pay and benefits provided in the collective bargaining agreement. 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(5). A back pay award is appropriate where a successor refuses to hire former employees because of anti-union animus.
The Board recognized that, under N.L.R.B. v. Burns Security Services, 406 U.S. 272, 92 S.Ct. 1571, 32 L.Ed.2d 61 (1972), a successor employer is ordinarily free to set initial hiring terms without preliminary bargaining with the incumbent union. Where, however, "it is perfectly clear that the new employer plans to retain all of the employees," id. at 294-95, 92 S.Ct. at 1585-1586, the successor must consult with the union before altering the terms and conditions of employment. N.L.R.B. v. Edjo, Inc., 631 F.2d 604, 607 (9th Cir. 1980). The Board found that this exception applied because any uncertainty regarding whether
Nevertheless, we disagree with the extent of the remedial order. Even though under the facts of this case Kallmann had a duty to consult with the union before unilaterally changing the terms of employment, as a successor employer he had no obligation to accept his predecessor's labor agreement. Edjo, at 606-07. The effect of the Board's order is to force Kallmann to abide by the terms of his predecessor's contract with the employees for the entire period of time Kallmann has owned the enterprise. In N.L.R.B. v. Dent, 534 F.2d 844, 846-47 (9th Cir. 1976), this court considered a similar remedial order. The successor employer in Dent retained all the former employees, but violated the Act by unilaterally reducing wages. The Board ordered back pay at the pre-reduction levels for all hours worked since the reduction. This court refused to enforce the order because enforcement would, in effect, cause the successor employer to be bound by its predecessor's collective bargaining agreement for the three and one-half years that the successor owned the company, a period longer than the contract period in the union's agreement with the predecessor. We also believe that to the extent that a back pay order requires payment at the higher rate for the entire period of ownership, it acts as a penalty.
The function of the remedy in unfair labor cases is to restore the situation, as nearly as possible, to that which would have occurred but for the violation. Phelps Dodge Corp. v. N.L.R.B., 313 U.S. 177, 194, 61 S.Ct. 845, 852, 85 L.Ed. 1271 (1941). We recognize the difficulty in reconstructing the situation in the present case. For guidance, we believe that an appropriate back pay remedy cannot require Kallmann to pay the higher rate beyond a period allowing for a reasonable time of bargaining. The facts demonstrate that Kallmann would not have agreed to union demands to pay the higher rate. Kallmann's refusal would not be unlawful. In all probability it would have led to an impasse allowing Kallmann to reduce wages. See N.L.R.B. v. Acme Wire Works, Inc., 582 F.2d 153, 156-57 (2d Cir. 1978). After a reasonable period for bargaining, Kallmann would be required to pay only at the rate he set.
We remand this case to the Board to determine the appropriate rate of pay and the number of employees that are entitled to reinstatement. In the Board's discretion, resolution of these issues may be left to bargaining between the parties. We order that the Board's order be enforced in part and denied in part.
29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(3).
29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(5).