The Alaska Railroad, Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation (Activity) and American Train Dispatchers Association, AFL-CIO (Petitioner)

 



[ v03 p651 ]
03:0651(105)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 3 FLRA No. 105
 
 THE ALASKA RAILROAD, FEDERAL
 RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION,
 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN TRAIN DISPATCHERS
 ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO
 Petitioner
 
                                            Case No. 9-RO-19
 
                    DECISION AND DIRECTION OF ELECTION
 
    UPON A PETITION DULY FILED UNDER SEC. 7111(B)(1) OF THE FEDERAL
 SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE, 5 U.S.C. 7101-7135 (THE
 STATUTE), A HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE A HEARING OFFICER OF THE AUTHORITY.
 THE AUTHORITY HAS REVIEWED THE HEARING OFFICER'S RULINGS MADE AT THE
 HEARING AND FINDS THAT THEY ARE FREE FROM PREJUDICIAL ERROR.  THE
 RULINGS ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE SUBJECT CASE, THE AUTHORITY FINDS:
 
    AMERICAN TRAIN DISPATCHERS ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO (PETITIONER) SEEKS TO
 REPRESENT EXCLUSIVELY EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD (ACTIVITY) IN A
 UNIT DESCRIBED AS:  "AGENTS, AGENT-TELEGRAPHERS,
 TELEGRAPHERS-CLERK-YARDMASTER, TELEGRAPHERS, AND PRINTER MACHINE AND
 TELETYPE OPERATORS, EXCLUDING ALL PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, MANAGEMENT
 OFFICIALS, SUPERVISORS, EMPLOYEES DESCRIBED IN 5 U.S.C. 7112(B)(2), (3),
 (4), (6) AND (7), AND ALL EMPLOYEES WITH EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION ON THE
 RECORD." /1/ THE ACTIVITY CONTENDS THAT THE PROPOSED UNIT IS NOT
 APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE STATUTE,
 ESSENTIALLY BECAUSE IT DOES NOT INCLUDE EMPLOYEES WHO SHARE A COMMUNITY
 OF INTEREST WITH THE EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT, AND THAT
 SUCH A UNIT WOULD NOT PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS OR EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY
 OPERATIONS.  IN THIS REGARD, THE ACTIVITY CONTENDED THAT THE EMPLOYEES
 IN THE SOUGHT UNIT MORE PROPERLY SHOULD BE PART OF A UNIT OF CLERICAL
 EMPLOYEES CURRENTLY REPRESENTED EXCLUSIVELY BY AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 183, AFL-CIO (AFGE).
 
    THE ACTIVITY IS ONE OF SEVERAL COMPONENTS OF THE FEDERAL RAILROAD
 ADMINISTRATION, WHICH IS PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.  THE
 MISSION OF THE ACTIVITY IS TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION FOR PERSONS AND
 PROPERTY OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, CARRY MAIL, AND SUPPORT DEFENSE AND
 OTHER GOVERNMENTAL REQUIREMENTS BY OPERATING A RAIL LINE BETWEEN THE
 PORTS OF SEWARD AND WHITTIER, THROUGH ANCHORAGE, TO FAIRBANKS, ALASKA.
 
    THE ACTIVITY IS ORGANIZED, UNDER THE OVERALL DIRECTION OF A GENERAL
 MANAGER, INTO FOUR STAFF SECTIONS AND SIX DEPARTMENTS, AMONG WHICH IS
 THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT.  THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT
 ARE ADMINISTRATIVELY ASSIGNED TO THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, BUT,
 THEY ARE PHYSICALLY LOCATED AT VARIOUS GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT
 THE ACTIVITY'S OPERATION.
 
    THE EMPLOYEES IN THE SOUGHT UNIT HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN REPRESENTED
 IN A SEPARATE BARGAINING UNIT SINCE SOMETIME IN THE 1920'S, APPARENTLY
 COINCIDING WITH THE START OF THE ACTIVITY'S OPERATIONS.  AT THAT TIME,
 THE EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE OF THESE EMPLOYEES WAS THE ORDER
 OF RAILROAD TELEGRAPHERS. SOMETIME IN THE 1960'S, THE ORDER OF RAILROAD
 TELEGRAPHERS BECAME PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION
 EMPLOYEES UNION, AND, IN 1969, THE LATTER ORGANIZATION MERGED WITH THE
 BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD, AIRLINE AND STEAMSHIP CLERKS (BRASC).  IN 1978,
 THE BRASC DISCLAIMED ANY FURTHER INTEREST IN REPRESENTING THE UNIT.
 PRIOR TO THE DISCLAIMER, FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 19 YEARS THE
 ACTIVITY HAS MAINTAINED A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT AND 11
 SUPPLEMENTS WITH THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PETITIONED FOR
 EMPLOYEES. AT THE TIME OF THE HEARING, THE EMPLOYEES IN THE SOUGHT UNIT
 WERE THE ONLY EMPLOYEES OF THE ACTIVITY ELIGIBLE TO BE REPRESENTED
 EXCLUSIVELY WHO WERE NOT CURRENTLY REPRESENTED BY AN EXCLUSIVE
 BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE.
 
    AS NOTED ABOVE, THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT (HEREIN
 CALLED TELEGRAPHERS) ARE ALL ADMINISTRATIVELY ASSIGNED TO THE
 TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF
 TRANSPORTATION.  WHEREAS, THE CHIEF TRAIN DISPATCHER IS THE FIRST LEVEL
 SUPERVISOR FOR ALL THE TELEGRAPHERS, CLERICAL EMPLOYEES OF THE ACTIVITY
 HAVE DIFFERENT IMMEDIATE SUPERVISORS.  THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT,
 GENERALLY, TELEGRAPHERS ARE ENGAGED IN MAINTAINING RECORDS CONCERNING
 ON-TRACK EQUIPMENT, DEMURRAGE, SHIPPING, RECEIVING AND BILLINGS, AND
 ALSO DEAL WITH THE PUBLIC WITH REGARD TO INFORMATION AND SALES.  IN THIS
 REGARD, THE TELEGRAPHERS' FUNCTIONS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE OF THE
 ACTIVITY'S CLERICAL EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTED BY THE AFGE. HOWEVER, THERE
 ARE SOME CRITICAL EXISTING AND HISTORICAL DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE
 CLERKS AND THE TELEGRAPHERS.  THE MOST OBVIOUS DISTINCTION IS
 HISTORICAL;  THAT IS, THAT THE TELEGRAPHERS, UNLIKE ANY OTHER EMPLOYEE,
 WERE REQUIRED TO BE EXPERT IN THE TRANSMISSION AND RECEPTION OF MORSE
 CODE.  ALTHOUGH TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES HAVE MADE THIS SKILL IRRELEVANT TO
 THE JOB, CERTAIN DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS IMPOSED ON
 THE TELEGRAPHERS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THIS SKILL STILL REMAIN.  FOR
 EXAMPLE, UNLIKE CLERKS, TELEGRAPHERS SPEND A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF
 THEIR WORKING TIME NEAR AND ON TRAINS WHILE CLERICAL WORK IS PERFORMED
 EXCLUSIVELY IN OFFICES;  TELEGRAPHERS PREPARE AND TRANSMIT TRAIN ORDERS;
  AND, THEY ARE REQUIRED TO KNOW, AND ARE EXAMINED ON, THE OPERATING
 RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR ON-TRACK EQUIPMENT.  PERSONNEL AND LABOR
 RELATIONS POLICIES FOR ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE ACTIVITY ARE ESTABLISHED AND
 IMPLEMENTED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE GENERAL MANAGER BY THE PERSONNEL
 DIVISION OF THE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT.
 
    BASED ON ALL THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT THE
 PETITIONED FOR UNIT ENCOMPASSES ALL EMPLOYEES WHO SHARE A CLEAR AND
 IDENTIFIABLE COMMUNITY OF INTEREST.  IN THIS REGARD, THE AUTHORITY NOTES
 THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES ENJOY A COMMON MISSION, COMMON SUPERVISION,
 ESSENTIALLY SIMILAR DUTIES, TRAINING, CLASSIFICATIONS, AND ARE SUBJECT
 TO UNIFORM PERSONNEL AND LABOR RELATIONS POLICIES.  MOREOVER, CONTRARY
 TO THE CONTENTION OF THE ACTIVITY, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT SUCH A UNIT
 WILL PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AND EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.  IN
 THIS LATTER REGARD, THE AUTHORITY NOTES THAT THIS UNIT HAS HISTORICALLY
 RESULTED IN EFFECTIVE DEALINGS, AND NOTES THE TESTIMONY OF THE ACTIVITY
 THAT SUCH UNIT WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH THE EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY
 OPERATIONS.  FINALLY, THE AUTHORITY NOTES THAT THE SOUGHT UNIT IS A
 RESIDUAL UNIT OF ALL UNREPRESENTED ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES OF THE ACTIVITY.
 
    THE ACTIVITY, IN ITS ALTERNATIVE POSITION, ASSERTED THAT IF THE
 PETITIONED FOR UNIT WAS FOUND APPROPRIATE, CERTAIN EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE
 EXCLUDED THEREFROM BASED ON THEIR EXERCISE OF SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY.
 THE PETITIONER DOES NOT AGREE.
 
    THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT
 ARE IN THE PROCESS OF HAVING THEIR JOB TITLES CHANGED TO MORE ACCURATELY
 REFLECT THEIR ACTUAL DUTIES.  THUS, INSTEAD OF THE JOB TITLES SET FORTH
 IN THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT, THE EMPLOYEES WERE TO
 RECEIVE, AFTER THE HEARING HEREIN, THE NEW JOB TITLES OF:  TRAIN ORDER
 CLERK, TICKET AGENT, PASSENGER AGENT, STATION AGENT, AND GENERAL
 AGENT/YARDMASTER.  THE ACTIVITY, UTILIZING THE PROSPECTIVE JOB TITLES,
 CONTENDS THAT TWO EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TO BE CLASSIFIED AS GENERAL
 AGENT/YARDMASTER, AND WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO HEALY AND NENANA, ALASKA,
 RESPECTIVELY, SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE UNIT AS SUPERVISORS, THE
 RECORD DISCLOSES THAT BOTH DISPUTED EMPLOYEES SPEND A SIGNIFICANT
 PORTION OF THEIR TIME DIRECTING THE ACTIVITIES OF OTHER EMPLOYEES.  IN
 THE CASE OF THE GENERAL AGENT/YARDMASTER ASSIGNED TO NENANA, ALASKA, HE
 DIRECTS THE ACTIVITIES OF A TRAIN CREW, AND ALSO THE ACTIVITIES OF OTHER
 TELEGRAPHERS AT THAT LOCATION, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC ORDERS FROM
 THE CHIEF DISPATCHER.  IN ADDITION, HE IS AUTHORIZED TO ORDER OVERTIME
 WORK.  IN THE CASE OF THE GENERAL AGENT/YARDMASTER ASSIGNED TO HEALY,
 ALASKA, HE DIRECTS THE ACTIVITIES OF A YARD CREW IN LOADING, UNLOADING
 AND SWITCHING CARS.  IN ADDITION, HE IS AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE ASSIGNMENTS
 OF INDIVIDUAL TRAIN CREW MEMBERS.  THE RECORD CLEARLY ESTABLISHES THAT
 IN EXERCISING THE AUTHORITY TO DIRECT THE ACTIONS OF OTHER EMPLOYEES,
 THE TWO DISPUTED EMPLOYEES CONSISTENTLY EXERCISE INDEPENDENT JUDGEMENT.
 
    SECTION 7103(A)(10) OF THE STATUTE PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART:
 
    'SUPERVISOR' MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYED BY AN AGENCY HAVING
 AUTHORITY IN THE INTEREST OF
 
    THE AGENCY TO . . . DIRECT, ASSIGN . . . IF THE EXERCISE OF THE
 AUTHORITY IS NOT MERELY
 
    ROUTINE OR CLERICAL IN NATURE BUT REQUIRES THE CONSISTENT EXERCISE OF
 INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT
 
    . . . (;)
 
    UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE AUTHORITY CONCLUDES THAT THE EMPLOYEES
 TO BE CLASSIFIED AS GENERAL AGENCY/YARDMASTER, AND ASSIGNED TO NENANA
 AND HEALY, ALASKA, ARE SUPERVISORS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SEC. 7103 OF
 THE STATUTE, AND ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE UNIT HEREIN FOUND APPROPRIATE FOR
 THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, BASED ON ALL THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE AUTHORITY
 FINDS THE FOLLOWING UNIT TO BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION UNDER THE STATUTE:
 
    ALL AGENTS, AGENT-TELEGRAPHERS, TELEGRAPHERS-CLERK-YARDMASTER,
 TELEGRAPHERS, AND PRINTER
 
    MACHINE AND TELETYPE OPERATORS, EXCLUDING ALL PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES,
 MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS,
 
    SUPERVISORS, AND EMPLOYEES DESCRIBED IN 5 U.S.C. SEC.  7112(B)(2),
 (3), (4), (6) AND (7).
 
                           DIRECTION OF ELECTION
 
    AN ELECTION BY SECRET BALLOT SHALL BE CONDUCTED AMONG THE EMPLOYEES
 IN THE UNIT FOUND APPROPRIATE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, BUT NOT LATER THAN
 60 DAYS FROM THE DATE BELOW.  THE APPROPRIATE REGIONAL DIRECTOR SHALL
 SUPERVISE THE ELECTION, SUBJECT TO THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND
 REGULATIONS.  ELIGIBLE TO VOTE ARE THOSE IN THE UNIT WHO WERE EMPLOYED
 DURING THE PAYROLL PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE BELOW,
 INCLUDING EMPLOYEES WHO DID NOT WORK DURING THAT PERIOD BECAUSE THEY
 WERE OUT ILL, OR ON VACATION, OR ON FURLOUGH, INCLUDING THOSE IN THE
 MILITARY SERVICE, WHO APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE POLLS, INELIGIBLE TO VOTE
 ARE EMPLOYEES WHO QUIT OR WERE DISCHARGED FOR CAUSE SINCE THE DESIGNATED
 PAYROLL PERIOD AND HAVE NOT BEEN REHIRED OR REINSTATED BEFORE THE
 ELECTION DATE.  THOSE ELIGIBLE SHALL VOTE WHETHER OR NOT THEY DESIRE TO
 BE REPRESENTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION BY THE AMERICAN
 TRAIN DISPATCHERS ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 17, 1980
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                          CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
 
    COPIES OF THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY IN THE SUBJECT PROCEEDING HAVE THIS DAY BEEN MAILED TO THE
 PARTIES BELOW:
 
    B. C. HILBERT
 
    PRESIDENT, AMERICAN TRAIN DISPATCHERS ASSOCIATION
 
    1401 S. HARLEM AVENUE
 
    BERWYN, ILLINOIS 60402
 
    THOMAS E. BURKWIST
 
    ACTING GENERAL CHAIRMAN
 
    AMERICAN TRAIN DISPATCHERS ASSOCIATION
 
    BOX 2901, TAKLANIKA DRIVE
 
    EAGLE RIVER, ALASKA 99577
 
    EARNEST P. EASTMAN
 
    LABOR RELATIONS OFFICER
 
    THE ALASKA RAILROAD
 
    POUCH 7-2111
 
    ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99510
 
    ROBERT G. MAYBERRY
 
    REGIONAL DIRECTOR
 
    FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
    ROOM 11408
 
    450 GOLDEN GATE AVENUE, BOX 36016
 
    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94102
 
    /1/ THE UNIT SOUGHT APPEARS AS AMENDED AT THE HEARING.