21:0303(38)AR - The Panama Canal Commission and Maritime Metal Trades Council -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



[ v21 p303 ]
21:0303(38)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 21 FLRA No. 38
 
 THE PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
 Activity
 
 and
 
 MARITIME METAL TRADES COUNCIL, 
 AFL-CIO
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1059
 
                 ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION
 
    This case is before the Authority on a request for reconsideration
 filed by the Union on February 25, 1986, seeking reconsideration of the
 Authority's Order of December 9, 1985, dismissing the Union's exceptions
 (20 FLRA No. 100 (1985)).  For the reasons set forth below, the Union's
 request must be denied.
 
    The Authority dismissed the Union's exceptions to the arbitrator's
 award on the basis that such exceptions were untimely.  The Authority
 found that the arbitrator's award was dated October 3, 1985, and
 pursuant to section 7122(b) of the Statute, as amended, /1/ and section
 2425.1 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, as amended, /2/ which
 amendments are applicable to exceptions filed on or after March 2, 1984,
 and under sections 2429.21 and 2429.22 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, which are also applicable to computation of time limit here
 involved, the exceptions had to be filed in the national office of the
 Authority not later than the close of business on November 6, 1985.
 However, the exceptions were not filed with the Authority at its
 national office until November 20, 1985, after having been mistakenly
 mailed to the Authority's Dallas Regional Office where it was received
 on November 19, 1985, and immediately forwarded.
 
    In its request for reconsideration, which the Union recognizes is
 untimely filed under section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, /3/ it requests a waiver of both the time limit for filing
 a request for reconsideration and the time limit for filing the original
 exceptions to the arbitration award on the basis of the unique mailing
 problems that exist between Panama and the United States.  The Union
 asserts in this regard that (1) it did not receive the Authority's
 December 9, 1985, Order Dismissing Exceptions until December 31, 1985,
 and (2) it had filed all previous exceptions with the Dallas Regional
 Office and those in this case were mailed with sufficient time for the
 Dallas Regional Office to forward its exceptions to the national office
 of the Authority.
 
    With respect to the untimely request for reconsideration, section
 2429.23(b) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations provides, in
 pertinent part, that "Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this
 section, the Authority . . . may waive any expired time limit . . . in
 extraordinary circumstances." While recognizing that mail delivery
 between Panama and the United States presents unique problems for a
 party meeting the filing requirements and such problems may, in
 appropriate circumstances, provide "extraordinary circumstances" for
 waiving an expired time limit, such circumstances are not present here.
 /4/ In this regard, it is noted particularly that the Union acknowledges
 receipt of the Authority's Order of December 9, 1985 on December 31,
 1985, but did not file its request for reconsideration until February
 25, 1986.  /5/
 
    Accordingly, as the Union's request for reconsideration does not
 present extraordinary circumstances warranting waiver of the time limit
 for filing such request, it must be denied.
 
    For the Authority.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., April 16, 1986.
                                       /s/ Harold D. Kessler
                                       Director of Case Management
 
 
                                 FOOTNOTES
 
    (1) Section 7122(b) of the Statute was amended by the Civil Service
 Miscellaneous Amendments Act of 1983 (Pub. L. No. 98-224, Section 4, 98
 Stat. 47, 48 (1984)) to provide that the 30-day period for filing
 exceptions to an arbitrator's award begins on the date the award is
 served on the filing party.
 
    (2) 49 Fed. Reg. 22623 (1984).
 
    (3) Section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations provides
 that a party to the proceeding before the Authority who can establish in
 its moving papers extraordinary circumstances for so doing, may file a
 motion for reconsideration of a final decision or order of the Authority
 within ten (10) days after service of such decision or order.
 Therefore, under section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, and sections 2429.21 and 2429.22, which are also applicable
 to the computation of the time limit here involved, the Union's request
 for reconsideration was due in the national office of the Authority
 before the close of business on December 24, 1985.  However, the Union's
 request was not filed until February 25, 1986.
 
    (4) The Authority is not unmindful of the unique problems experienced
 by parties making filings from outside of the continental United States
 and it is the Authority's practice consistent with the provisions of the
 Statute and section 2429.23 of the regulations to grant extensions of
 time where good cause is shown and to waive expired time limits in
 extraordinary circumstances.
 
    (5) While it is concluded that the request for reconsideration must
 be dismissed as untimely, it is noted that even if timely, no basis
 exists for granting the Union's request that the time limit for filing
 the original exceptions to the arbitrator's award be waived.  Section
 2