DC District Court Denies Request of Two NALC members to halt contract ratification vote

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS LOGO 7/28/17 –NALC – Today, the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, denied the request of two NALC members for a preliminary injunction that would have deferred the counting of ballots on the proposed tentative 2016-2019 National Agreement between NALC and the U.S. Postal Service.

Thomas Houff of Richmond, VA Branch 496 and David Noble of Washington, DC Branch 142 filed a lawsuit to cancel the ratification vote. The court’s denial of their motion means that the counting of ballots will proceed as scheduled next week.

Ballot committee members will arrive in Washington, DC, on July 30 to monitor and observe the receipt and tabulation of the ratification ballots.

NALC members in good standing who wish to observe the tabulation of the ballots should check nalc.org for details on the hours and the location where the receipt and tabulation will take place. Details will be made available soon.

Source: Ratification ballot update | National Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO

David Noble – As to the claims that NALC had concealed information and given false information, the judge ruled that while concealing information and giving false information violate the LMRDA’s guarantee of a meaningful vote we had not shown a material violation because we hadn’t presented testimony from anyone who had voted yes but would have voted no but for the concealed and false information.

As to the exclusion of retirees from the ratification referendum, she ruled that we had to show more than that NALC’s reading of the text of the constitution was irrational — that mere irrationality did not make their reading of the text “unreasonable.” She acknowledged that their interpretation reads the phrase “in the branch” out of Article 2.

As to the refusal to permit me to make an email blast in June, she ruled that it was “patently unreasonable” for me to make such a request more than a year in advance of the election. On the way home I heard John Delaney announce that he’s begun a campaign for president in 2020, and I remembered that Vince Sombrotto campaigned for eight straight years before he was finally elected.

The judge’s ruling doesn’t mean we lost the case. It just means we couldn’t meet the exacting standards for a preliminary injunction. The next thing that will happen in this case is that we will take discovery, after which both parties may file motions for summary judgment. If summary judgment doesn’t resolve the case, there will be a jury trial. This is far from over. —

2 thoughts on “DC District Court Denies Request of Two NALC members to halt contract ratification vote

  1. David Noble has been a consistent candidate for NALC president and a thorn in the side of the Executive Board as long as I can remember. This doesn’t mean his arguments or positions are invalid. I don’t know if there was hidden or false information concerning the ratification vote or if Noble was just fishing for anything to get attention from disgruntled NALC members.
    But we need to take one lesson as NALC members at large away from this episode: our union belongs to us, and the Executive Board has not performed at all well in the eyes of thousands of city letter carriers. They have every right to complain because they (we) are the ones paying for our representation, and there is no question that there are problems that need to be addressed.
    I for one believe the NALC has been weak in its negotiations with managers for some time. I hear conflicting stories on the CCA debacle – that the union fought it tooth fang and claw only to lose in arbitration, that it went along with it to try to get more people hired with no regard for the impact lower paid and lower skilled carriers would have on the business, and that representation of CCA’s was to be all but ignored. There is no way to know the absolute truth.
    While the new agreement awaiting ratification does allow for conversion of thousands of CCA’s to career positions, it is faulty for only being a one shot deal. The NALC should have demanded a permanent cessation of the CCA position and an immediate return to the PTF program. Even if they were unsuccessful in achieving that demand, it would nonetheless have registered favorably among NALC members.
    This ratification vote could be a close one. If it is, incumbent Executive Board members and officers could be facing tough re-elections next year.

  2. Mr. Noble: Good Luck!!!! I sincerely hope you prevail. Letter Carriers across are being abused by management on a daily basis. The current Union leaders do nothing to change the horrendous work environment. Anything I can do to help let me know!

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