Union Files Second ‘Dispute’ Over Two-Tour Initiative

December 19, 2008

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The APWU has filed a second Step 4 dispute protesting the Postal Service’s nationwide program to eliminate or drastically reduce Tour 2 assignments and employees. The dispute, filed Dec. 16, is a companion to another Step 4 protest  filed the same day, and recaps many of the allegations made by the union in an Unfair Labor Practice Charge  filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Nov. 25.

The Step 4 dispute (HQTG200820) focuses on management’s violation of Article 17.5.B.4, which requires the Postal Service to jointly discuss new initiatives with the union during the development stage, and to bargain in good faith. The APWU learned of management’s plan to compress mail processing operations to two tours from local union officials, the dispute notes, and received no notification from the Postal Service.

The dispute also asserts that the USPS failed and refused to provide the APWU with relevant information requested by the union. In response to a written request for documentation regarding any “nationwide or region or district-wide program, plans or initiatives to eliminate e or reduce Tour 2 operations and/or Tour 2 staffing,” the Postal Service informed the APWU that “no such documentation exists,” the dispute notes.

“However, to the contrary,” the dispute says, “evidence shows that there is a two-tour initiative that is, in fact, nationwide in scope and initiated by the Postal Service at the national level… In fact, many local presidents have been informed by local management that they have been instructed by headquarters to initiate this program…

“The Postal Service assertions that there is no nationwide two-tour initiative and no information responsive to the Union’s request is false,” the dispute says.

In addition, the plan violates the parties’ commitment to protect day-shift assignments, the union contends. “The protection of existing day-shift Tour 2 assignments was central to the historic agreement reached in 2006 contract negotiations,” and management’s actions violate Article 7.1.B.4 and the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Supplemental Workforce and the Conversion of Clerk Craft Part-Time Flexibles.

The union requested that impacted duty assignments be restored, and that affected employees returned to their duty assignments and made whole.

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