APWU Wins Private-Sector Organizing Drive

April 7, 2005

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The APWU won a union representation election at a privately-run MTESC (Mail Transportation Equipment Service Center) in Cincinnati, Local President Tim Breen has announced. The vote, held April 6, was 65-54; 127 workers were eligible to vote.

The union victory is the result of a long struggle, Breen said. “We held our first election five years ago and lost, but the APWU challenged the election.”

After losing appeals to the regional National Labor Relations Board, the union appealed to the full board, which ruled in December 2004 that a new election must be held. The company engaged in unfair labor practices, the board concluded, when it told employees to vote against the union at company meetings, and had supervisors hand out “Vote No” buttons to workers.

The NLRB supervised the recent election, with representatives of the union and management observing. Employees of Dyncorp, which operates the MTESC, were brought into a company training room one by one, where they cast secret ballots. Dyncorp has seven days to appeal.

Dyncorp also operates MTESCs in Jacksonville, FL, and Des Moines. The company repairs mail bags, APCs and other USPS equipment.

“Workers were concerned about productivity standards,” Breen reported. “The company sets the standards, but every time the workers meet them, the company raises the bar.”

Employees were also upset by the lack of a seniority system and grievance procedure. “When management got ready to lay people off, they’d just go up to someone they didn’t like and walk them out,” he said.

Breen, who will retire from APWU April 16 (he retired from the USPS in 2003), has promised to remain active so that he can help the new APWU members get on their feet. Breen will be succeeded by Mark Durgan, who is currently the local vice president.

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