Hearing on USPS-Staples Deal Dominated by Legal Wrangling
Proceedings to Resume Nov. 2
08/18/2015 - A hearing on charges that the Postal Service illegally subcontracted work to Staples was dominated by procedural wrangling on Aug. 17 and 18. The hearing before Administrative Law Judge Paul Bogas of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will resume on Nov. 2.
Region 5 of the NLRB issued a complaint against the Postal Service on June 26 in response to an “unfair labor practice” charge filed by the APWU against the Postal Service. The complaint asked the NLRB to order the USPS to cancel its Approved Shipper deal with Staples and return work that existed on July 31, 2014, to the APWU bargaining unit.
At the hearing, the Postal Service withdrew its request to defer the hearing to arbitration.
Both the Postal Service and Staples continued to resist complying with subpoenas issued by Region 5 of the NLRB and the APWU for use at the hearing, claiming that many documents contain confidential, proprietary information. Judge Bogas will rule on their claims at the Nov. 2 hearing.
Bogas granted a motion by Staples to intervene in the case, after Staples argued that it could not rely on the Postal Service to defend its interests in the proceedings. The Postal Service supported Staples’ motion.
The judge’s ruling is not supported by legal precedent, attorneys for the APWU and the NLRB General Counsel noted, and announced plans to appeal.
“The APWU deplores the ongoing collusion between the Postal Service and Staples to transfer the work of highly-trained USPS employees who are accountable to the people of the country to low-paid Staples employees,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. “This ploy enriches Staples executives while advancing the privatization of the public Postal Service,” he added.
“The APWU will fight with everything we’ve got in the legal arena, but we know the truth: We must defend our rights and interests by increasing members’ participation in the Stop Staples campaign and spreading word of the boycott,” he said.
For more info on the case, click here.