NLRB Charges Postal Service With Illegal Spying on Staples Protests

From the American Postal Workers Union:

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.