Union Files ‘Dispute’ Over Elimination of Tour 2

December 17, 2008

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The APWU has initiated a Step 4 dispute with the Postal Service, protesting management’s nationwide plan to eliminate or drastically reduce Tour 2 assignments and employees. The dispute, filed Dec. 16 by union President William Burrus, is in addition to an Unfair Labor Practice charge filed by the APWU with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Nov. 25.

The dispute notes that during a Dec. 10 meeting on the subject, management officials presented the union with a briefing on the two-tour initiative, including the involvement of headquarters-level postal officials. The briefing and documents indicate that management has initiated a “major relocation of employees” through its plan to compress mail-processing operations into two tours, “reassigning a majority of day shift Tour 2 employees to other tours.”

“The major reduction and relocation of employees on Tour 2 is a significant change to the three-tour operation that has been in existence for over 200 years,” the union contends, “with Tour 2 being the most sought after hours of work for the most senior employees.”

Through the premature implementation of the program, APWU bargaining unit employees have been relocated and reassigned, in violation of contractual requirements for at least 90 day advance notice at the national level and for advance notice of as much as six months at the regional level, the dispute says. (The requirements are stipulated in Article 12.4.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but no advance notification was provided by the Postal Service to the union’s national or regional officers.)

The union has requested that all employees who were improperly reassigned be returned to their assignments and “made whole.” The union also requested that “no Tour 2 employees be reassigned to other tours or duty assignments until the advance notice period has been satisfied.” 

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