The Thanksgiving Ambush
Oakland Postal management hit injured employees with “shock and awe” tactics better suited to the battlefield. Starting a few days before Thanksgiving of 2009, management started to place injured on duty employees off duty. The expected Phase 2 interviews never took place: employees were called aside, allowed to clean out their lockers, and told to
leave the building.
The departures have continued into April 2010. Injured employees have been left wondering if they will be next, and even bystanders are often disturbed by the sight of co-workers forced to do the perp walk just for having been injured on the job. The procedure was heavily scripted, designed to leave no room for negotiation.
Oakland injured employees had been forewarned and offered coaching by local officers and by Western Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez. A series of workshops given by the Oakland Local last summer outlined the history of the NRP and suggested ways to contest actions taken under the program, from filing grievances and EEO complaints to appealing to the MSPB. All of the members that have been placed in a non work status have remained in contact with the local and have received assistance with paperwork. Most of the employees are receiving compensation from OWCP or unemployment benetits from EDD. Thirty of the local’s grievances that were appealed to Step 3 regarding the NRP ambush have been remand to Step 2 pending adjustication of a national grievance that is not applicable to our cases. President Jacobs has ask APWU Headquarters to rescind the remand settlement and have the cases appealed to arbitration.
source: Fred Jacobs, Oakland APWU President