A member of the Motor Vehicle Craft won a major victory over the Postal Service when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) slammed management for its refusal to provide information to the union about subcontracting.
Jerome Pittman, former director of the MVS Craft for the San Francisco Local, filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge that resulted in one of the strongest Consent Orders ever issued against the USPS by the NLRB — and which the USPS ultimately agreed to.
As a result of Brother Pittman’s charge, the NLRB instructed the USPS to keep precise records of union requests for information, and to train management personnel on their obligation to provide such information. Furthermore, the Board provided for monetary penalties in the event the Postal Service failed to adhere to its directives.
The NLRB ordered the Postal Service to create a log of all requests for information, listing the name of the person making the request and the date the Postal Service responded to it. The Board also instructed the USPS to provide copies of the logs to the Contempt Ligation and Compliance Branch of the NLRB within 14 days of any requests.
In addition, the NLRB ordered the USPS to:
* Provide a copy of the order to all supervisors, managers and EAS employees within 10 days and direct them to comply;
* Notify managerial personnel that any unreasonable delay or refusal to provide information would not be tolerated and that, based on fact circumstances, supervisors or managers could be disciplined by the Postal Service up to and including discharge for a refusal to comply;
* Require all managers or supervisors receiving the order to acknowledge in writing that they have been furnished with a copy.
The NLRB also directed the Postal Service to conduct training for all managers and supervisors, including temporary supervisors, on an annual basis for at least 10 consecutive calendar days at all San Francisco facilities. The training “shall reference the Postal Service’s intolerance for unreasonable refusals to provide or delays in providing relevant information to labor organizations and possible discipline for such infractions.”
The Postal Service will be audited on a semi-annual basis to make sure it is in compliance with the Board’s instructions. Management is required to post the Consent Order for a 60-day period and mail the notice to each bargaining unit employee who works at the San Francisco installation.
The NLRB will also fine the USPS up to $17,500 for every future violation of the Consent Order, and up to $300 daily for as long as violations continue.
Thank you to Brother Pittman and the San Francisco Local for their dedication and hard work on this case. As many union activists know, San Francisco management’s refusal to provide information is not an isolated incident.
A case in point: Only after exhaustive attempts by the national union and a settlement from the NLRB that cited the Postal Service for unreasonable delays were we able to get information about Ad-Hoc Driving Safety Instructors (DSIs), Road Test Examiners (RTEs) and Road Test Scorers (RTSs).
On Dec. 6, 2010, an NLRB Administrative Judge approved a settlement agreement between the APWU and the Postal Service (Case 5-CA-35727) concerning our requests.
The settlement notice in the national-level case should be posted in each MVS location nationwide for the 60 days.
source: APWU Mtor Vehicle Division