NLRB Charges Postal Service with Illegal Surveillance of Staples Protests

NLRB-GIF12/12/2014 –  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has charged the USPS with illegally spying on postal employees while they protested outside a Staples store in Atlanta on March 4 and 9, 2014.

“Respondent has been interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed” in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act and the Postal Reorganization Act, the board charged in a complaint issued Dec. 9. A hearing on the complaint will be held on March 11, 2015.

The complaint stems from charges made by the APWU that the Postal Service dispatched managers posing as “media representatives” to the union protests. Once there, the managers took notes and photos of the rallies. Union members and supporters were protesting the no-bid deal between the USPS and Staples that diverts postal work to Staples.  The protests were not on or near postal property.

In Pittsburgh

The charge follows the settlement of another complaint against the Postal Service for illegally interfering in the Stop Staples campaign in Pittsburgh. The settlement requires the USPS to post a notice to employees that acknowledges:

  • It is against the law to deny employees who are on “non-work time” access to outside and non-work areas, including parking lots, gates, swing rooms, and cafeterias, to distribute union literature and solicit support for APWU activities.
  • It is also against the law to discriminate against the union’s message by prohibiting the distribution and posting of union literature in locations where the Postal Service allows non-union literature to be posted.

“We will continue to protect the rights of APWU members to protest policies that threaten the public Postal Service and their jobs,” said President Mark Dimondstein.

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6 thoughts on “NLRB Charges Postal Service with Illegal Surveillance of Staples Protests

  1. I have been suspecting this kind of behavior for a long time. You can probably rest assured all posts on postal related blogs are monitored daily, and that management in all likelihood has geeks who can get past the anonymity of comments with relative ease, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they traced comments including this one to the home PC or Apple.
    But here’s the rub: while we can’t publicly lambaste management personally and criticize operations, and admittedly it would not make good business sense to do so, because the most likely result would be turning potential customers away, we do have rights to freedom of speech and expression provided we stay within peaceful guidelines and avoid personal accusations and slander.
    Management would love to take that right away from us. They already stick their noses in our personal affairs with offers of “help” for anybody who needs personal counseling for any number of issues. The day I go to a postal sponsored counselor or shrink is the day I get appointed PMG. There’s plenty of good help from other places who can keep your private lives private.
    Management no doubt will try to harass those protesters and make life a living hell for them. They better watch it. The NLRB is on the case, and now that it’s public it would be very stupid to do anything with the information they possess.
    I want to make sure however that not all supervisors and managers at least at local levels would stoop to this kind of shit. My PM is reasonable and works hard. It’s simply the truth and nobody in our office thinks otherwise. We may be one of the lucky few, and believe me I’ve had some corkers in my day so I know the difference.
    I will never let anybody infringe on my freedom of speech or expression – the USPS is not the quasi-government it thinks it is toward employees.

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