(en) War in US postal offices

Platformist Anarchism (platform@geocities.com)
Wed, 08 Oct 1997 12:28:39 +0000

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Union Officers Attacked at Unprecedented Rate.

As a union officer you probably thought you were protected by the NLRA, when meeting management in a union capacity. And you are right, it is called the equality rule. The NLRA explicitly states that under the NLRB doctrine, stewards and union offices have a protected legal status. When engaged in representation activities, stewards and union officers are considered to be equals with management. Behavior which could otherwise result in discipline must be tolerated. The NLRA states "The relationship at a grievance meeting is not a "master- servant" relationship but a relationship between company advocates on one side and union advocates on the other side, engaged as equal opposing parties in litigation."

However, Postal Management thinks for some reason they are exempt. Postal Management has no regard for the NLRA and has decided to go after union officers at unprecedented rate. All across the country reports are coming in of union officers who are either acting in their official capacity or who are officers but are letter carriers carrying their route, are being disciplined, suspended through retribution.

Once such incident happen to me last week, two days before going to the Committee of Presidents meeting. I was meeting with a Station Manager who has stated over and over again that he is ANTI-UNION and hates the union because get this "they are bringing down the Postal Service." Every meeting I or my vice president has with this manager ends in a heated argument and throughout the meeting he shoots verbal barbs at the myself or the union. "If it wasn't for the union," You are such an ASS!!!. The union or the union president (me) never cooperates. "How can I run a business with the union always looking down our throats." The NALC is a fuckin union, The union is the cause of all problems etc. etc.

To get back to the story, we got into a heated argument, and he blamed the union again. He was screaming at me, when I stood up he screamed at me, and told me to sit down, I said no I was protected by the NLRA. Again, he said sit down, and again I told him I was protected by the NLRA. He then called 911, and told the cops that I was reaching over his desk and was ready to hit him. WHICH WAS a complete LIE and a SET-UP. We have been winning over 80% of our grievances and this Station Management has gotten in trouble for not writing denials or meeting on Step 2 when they were scheduled with the union. More or less he hates my guts.

The police finally came, and we were both interviewed. Now remember I am in a protected activity or at least I thought I was. The police who told me they understood because they were union too. After they interviewed me, they were called back into the Station Manager's office, after he had time to talk to the Postmaster. The police came back and told me that they changed their mind and that they were issuing me a summons and that I must go to court. I told the police that they are doing it to so they can put me on emergency placement. REMEMBER, I am covered by the NLRA. After the police left, I was issued an emergency placement, but was not escorted off the floor.

As soon as my Vice President and I returned to the union office, we set up a War Room. We called the NBA's office, who gave major support immediately. I told them that I would like to get one of the president's from the two biggest branches to take over my case. They sent down the president of the Denver Branch who did an outstanding job. But what it showed management that there is solidarity in the union and that "an injury to one is an injury to all." To make a long story short, I was put back to duty the day the Denver President came down with backing from our region. However, I still have to go to court, the issue has not been settled. Even though labor charges have been filled for my "protected activity," I expect to be placed on suspension. I am also going to file a defamation of character charge in the courts, because management rubbed my name all over the district thinking they got a big catch.

Well, so far we are winning this case, it has solidified the entire floor throughout the three cities I represent. When the President of Denver and I came to the station to meet on an expedited step 1, the clerks stood up and cheered me. This is true SOLIDARITY. What management doesn't understand is that they have now galvanized a workroom floor which has become very anti-management.

I will be getting a lawyer for both my court case and defamations of character. I feel that regardless if they do not touch me know, we must show them that we will not allow them to do this again to any union officer, and make them think twice about doing to any postal employee. If anyone would like to help or get their branch or local involved in this case please contact me individually. We are going to set up a Defense Fund, not only for me but for other officers who get the same treatment. Because if it can happen here it can happen anywhere. Also, I brought this up and the Committee of President's meeting, were it was agreed that it is better to happen to a union president then someone on the floor, but it was also agreed, that the ramifications of the case could be detrimental to the floor and other union officers, who might be afraid to argue the union's case in fear of retribution. If it isn't me it will be someone else. Through solidarity, we must stop this management madness. So I am looking for to hearing from you.

In solidarity Ray Tillman, President NALC Branch 642.


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