Union Wins Important Ruling For Private-Sector Truck Drivers

February 8, 2006

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A National Labor Relations Board ruling last month concluded that Mail Contractors of America (MCA), a private-sector mail hauler, committed an unfair labor practice when it changed a driver relay point in April 2005 without bargaining with the union. The APWU represents the drivers at five MCA terminals.

The company changed the relay point from York, NE to Havelock, NE during a strike protesting the company’s decision to unilaterally implement its final contract offer after negotiators failed to reach an agreement. MCA kept the new relay point after the strike ended on April 11, causing several drivers to lose work hours and pay.

Following a trial in Des Moines on Sept. 27, and Nov. 30, 2005, Administrative Law Judge William G. Kocol ordered the company to:

  • Cease and desist from changing relay points or other terms of employment without first giving the APWU an opportunity to bargain over the changes; 
  • Restore the changed relay point; 
  • Compensate employees for monetary losses they incurred as a result of the MCA’s unlawful conduct, and 
  • Post a notice for 60 days notifying workers of their rights to form and participate in a union, and pledging not to interfere with rights guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act.

“The APWU spent more than two years trying to negotiate a new contract with this mail hauler,” National Business Agent Bill Manley said. “Instead of negotiating in good faith, MCA hired an anti-labor attorney in an unsuccessful attempt to break the union.”

In addition to his ruling on the company’s actions, Kocol issued a Notice of Potential Admonishment, Reprimand or Summary Exclusion to its attorney, writing that his “conduct was not of [the] professional level expected in appearances before a court.”

Manley said, “The NLRB ruling is a boost to our brothers and sisters from MCA terminals in Des Moines, Kansas City, Memphis, Jacksonville, and Greensboro, who are struggling for a fair and decent collective bargaining agreement.”

The Des Moines Area Local, which represents the MCA drivers, filed the unfair labor practice charge that led to the Jan. 26 ruling.

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