'A Big Advance,' Dimondstein Says
NLRB Calls Interference on Staples
Company Cannot Intervene in APWU Complaint
11/04/2015 - The APWU won an important legal victory on Nov. 4 when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled unanimously that Staples cannot intervene in hearings on charges that the USPS illegally subcontracted work to the office-supply chain.
“The ruling is very significant,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. "This is a big advance."
If Staples had been allowed to intervene, it could appeal rulings – independent of the Postal Service – and exponentially complicate the litigation.
“With Staples’ deep pockets, they could have appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court, even if the Postal Service chose not to,” Dimondstein said.
“It’s long past time for the Postal Service to end its dirty deal with Staples and stop efforts to privatize retail operations,” Dimondstein added.
Administrative Law Judge Paul Bogas granted Staples’ request to participate as a full party to the case when the hearings began in August, but the APWU and the NLRB General Counsel appealed the ruling.
“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,” Dimondstein said at the time. “This ploy enriches Staples executives while advancing the privatization of the public Postal Service,” he added.
The August hearings continued on Nov. 2 and 3, and were dominated by disputes over documents subpoenaed by the NLRB and the APWU. In response to subpoenas, the Postal Service provided the NLRB with more than 90,000 records and withheld thousands more it deemed confidential and/or covered by attorney-client privilege. Thousands of documents were given to the union as well.
“The APWU will continue to fight with everything we’ve got in the legal arena,” Dimondstein said. “But we also know that the best way to secure victory is to spread word of the Stop Staples campaign and the boycott of Staples and Quill.com,” he said.