National Labor Relations Board

Rochambeau Building, 815 Connecticut Avenue NW.
NAtional 9716

Chairman Harry A. Millis
        Gerard D. Reilly John M. Houston        
Director of Field Division Oscar S. Smith
General Counsel Alvin J. Rockwell
Associate General Counsel Malcolm F. Halliday
Associate General Counsel Guy Farmer
Assistant General Counsel Ivar H. Peterson
Chief Trial Examiner Frank Bloom
Director of Information Louis G. Silverberg

Creation and Authority.--The National Labor Relations Board was created as an independent agency by the National Labor Relations Act of July 5, 1935 (49 Stat. 449; 29 U.S.C. 151-66).

Purpose.--The act affirms the right of employees to full freedom in self-organization and in the designation of representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining, and it authorized the Board to conduct secret ballots for the determination of employee representatives, declaring unlawful those unfair labor practices which abridge or deny the right of collective bargaining.

Organization.--The President named a Board of three members who were confirmed of appointment by the Senate on August 24, 1935. Personnel of the field agencies of the National Labor Relations Board superseded by the above Board were transferred to the new one, as were also regional officers and those in the District of Columbia. The old National Labor Relations Board was created under authority of public resolution of June 19, 1934 (48 Stat. 1183; 15 U.S.C. 702a-02f).


As set forth in the act, the principal powers of the National Labor Relations Board are:

  1. By the issuance of cease-and-desist orders, to prevent any person from engaging in any of the following specified unfair labor practices when they affect commerce: interference by employers with employees' rights of self-organization and collective bargaining, employer domination of a union, discharge of an employee or discrimination against him because of his union activity or because he has filed charges or has given testimony under the act, and refusal by the employer to bargain collectively with the proper representatives of the employees.

  2. To decide whether the unit appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining shall be the employer unit, craft unit, plant unit, or subdivision thereof.


  1. To certify the names of employee representatives designated, or to ascertain the names by secret ballot.

  2. To order and conduct hearings and, if it finds a violation of the act, to issue an order to cease and desist from such unfair labor practice.

  3. To issue subpenas, administer oaths, conduct investigations, and issue complaints.

  4. To petition any circuit court of appeals for the enforcement of a cease-and-desist order.

  5. To prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the act.

The National Labor Relations Act provides that nothing in the act shall interfere in any way with the right to strike.

Charges and Complaints.--A charge that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, any unfair labor practice affecting commerce may be made by any person or labor organization. No formal complaint will be made until the Board has examined the facts and concluded that some ground for action exists; nor will the Board make public any charges against employers unless the facts show that a formal complaint is justified.

Hearings by Trial Examiners.--Hearings re ordinarily conducted before trail examiners in the regions where the unfair labor practices occur. In its discretion the Board may issue a complaint from Washington and proceed with a hearing on a violation of an unfair labor practice, and may follow the same procedure on a petition for an election. Hearings on complaints and on petitions for elections will be public unless otherwise ordered. Full inquiry will be made into the facts. Witnesses will usually be examined orally under oath. Testimony by deposition may be allowed under extraordinary circumstances.

Reports by Trial Examiners.--The trial examiner's intermediate report on evidence produced at a hearing contains findings of fact, and in cases where the complaint is found justified, contains recommendations as to the steps the employer should take to end the specified unfair labor practice and the affirmative action necessary to effectuate the policies of the act.

Review of Cases.--The Board will review cases on appeal from any party to a regional hearing. The findings of the Board as to the facts, if supported by evidence, are conclusive.

Enforcement of Decisions of the Board.--After hearing and decision by the Board, it issues a cease-and-desist order requiring the person found to have been engaged in one of the enumerated unfair labor practices to cease and desist, and may petition the respective circuit courts of appeals for enforcement of such order.


Review of Labor Cases by Courts of Appeals.--Review of the Board's orders may be obtained by any aggrieved party in a circuit court of appeals.

War Activities.--Federal recognition of the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively was first established as a national policy during defense preparations in 1917, thus setting a precedent for the role of the National Labor Relations ACt in facilitating the War Program.

Strikes disturbed production during the first 10 months after the declaration of war in April 1917. It was proposed to assure workers the right to organize for the twofold purpose of relieving the industrial unrest occasioned by the employer resistance to organization and of providing channels for grievance and wage negotiations between employers and recognized employee organizations. The agency chosen to enforce these rights was the War Labor Board under the joint chairmanship of William Howard Taft and Frank P. Walsh. In practice the protection of the right to organize had the expected salutary effect of preserving the stream of industrial production from interruption.

The procedure of collective bargaining is today more integrated in the industrial life of the Nation than it was in 1917-18. The National Labor Relations Board has laid the ground work for a thorough protection of employees in the exercise of their right of self-organization and collective bargaining, as well as the determination of majority bargaining representatives in appropriate bargaining units. Resolution of disputes arising over substantive terms of employment has been left to other agencies operating in the field of mediation, conciliation, and arbitration.

Grounded as it is upon the experience of the first World War, the National Labor Relations Board is an integral cog in the Nation's program of preserving democratic rights in industry as the tested means of insuring a maximum production of goods required in the prosecution of the present war. Regional Offices.--Regional directors, in charge of the field offices of the Board, are designated as the Board's agents, with power to prosecute necessary inquiries, to investigate employee representation (including the taking of secret ballots), to have access to and the right to copy evidence, and to administer oaths and affirmations.

Regional Offices--National Labor Relations Board
City Director Address
Atlanta 3, Ga. Paul L. Styles 10 Forsyth Street Building
Baltimore 2, Md. Ross M. Madden 601 American Building
Boston 8, Mass. A. Howard Myers Old South Building
Buffalo 2, N.Y. Meyer S. Ryder Genessee Building
Chicago 3, Ill. George J. Bott 2200 Midland Building
Cincinnati 2, Ohio Martin Wagner 1200 Ingalls Building, 6 E. Fourth Street
Cleveland 13, Ohio Walter E. Taag 713 Public Square Building
Detroit 26, Mich. Frank H. Bowen 1332 National Bank Building
Fort Worth 2, Tex. Edwin A. Elliott Federal Court Building
Indianapolis 4, Ind. C. Edward Knapp 105 E. Washington Street Building
Kansas City 6, Mo. Hugh E. Sperry Temple Building, 903 Grand Avenue
Los Angeles 14, Calif. Stewart Meacham 111 W. Seventh Street


Regional Offices--National Labor Relations Board--Continued
City Director Address
Minneapolis 4, Minn. James M. Shields Wesley Temple Building
New Orleans 12, La. John F. LeBus 820 Richards Building
New York 5, N.Y. Howard F. LeBaron 120 Wall Street
Philadelphia 7, Pa. Fred G. Krovonos Bankers Securities Building
Pittsburgh 22, Pa. Frank M. Kleiler 2107 Clark Building
St. Louis 1, Mo. William F. Guffey, Jr. 1413 International Building
San Francisco 3, Calif Joseph E. Watson 1095 Market Street
Seattle 1, Wash. Thomas P. Graham, Jr. 806 Vance Building
Honolulu 2, T.H. Arnold L. Wills 341 Federal Building
San Juan 22, P.R. James R. Watson Post Office Box 4507


Harry A Millis


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Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation