NLRB Issues Complaint Over USPS Failure to Provide Info to APWU

May 8, 2014

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In response to two charges filed by the APWU, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against the Postal Service on April 30, asserting that the USPS “has been failing and refusing to bargain collectively and in good faith,” by refusing to provide information to the union. The Postal Service’s actions violate the National Labor Relations Act and the Postal Reorganization Act, wrote Steven Shuster, Acting Regional Director of NLRB Region 5.

The NLRB has informed the APWU that because of the Postal Service’s repeated failure to provide information the union is contractually and legally entitled to obtain, it will demand a “formal settlement” of two charges filed by the union. This means that the USPS will be required to admit the violations alleged in the complaint, and, among other remedies, agree to cease and desist from its refusal to provide the information.  If the Postal Service refuses to enter into a formal settlement, a hearing will be held this summer before an NLRB Administrative Law Judge.

The first charge in the complaint involves management’s refusal to provide the Motor Vehicle Service Division with Postal Service Form 7463a. Form 7463a is a cost-statement submitted to the USPS by Highway Contractors seeking to renew contract trucking routes. The information contained on the form is vital to the union’s ability to ensure that the Postal Service is conducting a fair comparison of all reasonable costs before renewing contracts, and will be crucial to the union’s ability to win additional work and jobs in the Postal Vehicle Service.  Management claimed the information contained on the form is confidential and proprietary.

The second charge involved the Postal Service’s failure to provide information to the APWU regarding its “pilot test” of outsourcing to UPS the sorting and processing of irregular and non-machineable outside parcels (NMOs) in Des Moines and Chicago Network Distribution Centers, also known as Bulk Mail Centers. The Postal Service claimed that the Collective Bargaining Agreement is not applicable to “pilots” and therefore management is not required to provide the information. The USPS made a similar claim in its response to the APWU’s request for information about the so-called Staples pilot.

“I’m pleased by the board’s ruling,” said APWU Mark Dimondstein. “Management’s stubborn refusal to provide information cannot hide the truth.

“We will continue to aggressively pursue relevant information and to expose management’s attempts to operate in secrecy. The Postal Service belongs to the people of this country. The people and postal workers have a right to know what postal executives are up to.”

APWU Motor Vehicle Service Division Director Michael O. Foster was also pleased with the ruling. “The decision brings us one step closer to getting the information we need to make a true cost comparison. This will help us win more work for APWU members, help the USPS operate more efficiently, and help us better serve the nation,” he said.

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