31:0942(75)CA - Justice, INS, Washington, DC and Justice, INS, Houston District Office, Houston, TX and National INS Council, AFGE, Local 3332 -- 1988 FLRAdec CA



[ v31 p942 ]
31:0942(75)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


31 FLRA No. 75

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND
NATURALIZATION SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND
NATURALIZATION SERVICE,
HOUSTON DISTRICT OFFICE
HOUSTON, TEXAS

     Respondent

     and

NATIONAL IMMIGRATION AND
NATURALIZATION SERVICE
COUNCIL, AMERICAN FEDERATION
OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3332

     Charging Party

Case No. 6-CA-70159

DECISION AND ORDER

I. Statement of the Case

This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority under section 2429.1 of our Rules and Regulations, based on the parties' stipulation of facts. The complaint alleges that: (1) the Houston District Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the Activity) violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to provide the Charging Party with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees at the Houston District Office; and (2) the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington, D.C. (the Agency) violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) by unlawfully interfering with the bargaining relationship between the Activity and the Charging Party by instructing the Activity not to supply the Charging Party with the requested information. [PAGE]

The Agency and the Activity (jointly referred to as the Respondent) and the General Counsel filed briefs. For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practices as alleged.

II. Facts

The National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council (the Council) is the exclusive representative for all employees of the Agency, excluding professionals, those assigned to Border Patrol Sectors, and those excluded from coverage by the Statute. Local 3332 (the Union) represents the Council at the Activity. By letter dated January 8, 1987, the Union requested the Houston District Director to provide it with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees in the Houston District. By letter dated January 21, 1987, the District Director responded to the Union. His letter stated that under the negotiated agreement, the Agency regularly provides the Council President with a list of names, grades, position titles, and posts of duty of all unit employees, and that the Union could request information relating to the Houston District from the Council President. The letter also stated that if the Union wanted further information from employees, it could post a notice on the Union bulletin board. According to the parties' stipulation, the Union has not received the names and home addresses of unit employees, as requested on January 8, 1987.

The parties also stipulated that the Agency: (1) views the release of unit employees' home addresses on request of the Union to be precluded by law; and (2) has notified its constituent activities concerning its interpretation of law relating to such requests. The parties further stipulated as to the manner in which bargaining unit employees' names and home addresses are maintained, and to the fact that the data sought does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided for local management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.

III. Positions of the Parties

The Respondent asserts that the Authority erred in its decision on remand in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home), enforced in part and remanded sub nom. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Jan. 15, 1988), petitions for rehearing filed. The [ v31 p2 ] Respondent contends that the disclosure of the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees in its Houston District to the Union is prohibited by the Privacy Act and that the information is not necessary or relevant to the Union's representational responsibilities.

The General Counsel argues that this case is controlled by Farmers Home. The General Counsel submits that the Activity's admitted failure to provide the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees at the Houston District to the Union violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. The General Counsel further argues that the Agency violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) by imposing a condition on the Activity and preventing the Activity from fulfilling its statutory bargaining obligations. The General Counsel asserts that by informing the Activity of its position on the issue of disclosure of unit employees' home addresses to unions, the Agency was directing the Activity not to supply the information to the Union. The General Counsel requests a broad remedial order which would require the Agency to direct all of its activities to furnish unions, upon request, with the names and home addresses of all employees in bargaining units represented by those unions.

IV. Discussion

In the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home, the Authority held that the release of the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to exclusive representatives is not prohibited by law, is necessary for unions to fulfill their duties under the Statute, and meets all of the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. The Authority also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. From the parties' stipulation, it is evident that the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4) have been met.

Consistent with the decision in Farmers Home, we find that the Activity was required to furnish the exclusive representative of its employees with the names and home addresses of the unit employees in the Houston District and its refusal to do so violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. See United States Department of the Navy and Philadelphia Naval Shipyard v. FLRA, No. 87-3005 (3d Cir. Mar. 2, 1988), enforcing Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 24 FLRA 37 (1986); U.S. Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois v. FLRA, No. 87-1143 (7th Cir. Jan. 27, 1988), petition for rehearing filed Mar. 16, 1988, affirming Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, [ v31 p3 ] 24 FLRA 226 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration v. FLRA, 833 F.2d 1129 (4th Cir. 1987), petition for rehearing filed Jan. 8, 1988, affirming Department of Health and Human Services Social Security Administration, 24 FLRA 543 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration and Social Security Administration Field Operations, New York Region, 24 FLRA 583 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, 24 FLRA 600 (1986). Since the stipulation does not reflect whether the Activity's January 21, 1987, denial of the Union's request occurred before or after the Agency notified the Activity of its position concerning release of unit employees' names and home addresses, there is no showing that the Activity's refusal to furnish the requested information was a ministerial act which was mandated by the Agency's notification of its position to the Activity. Compare Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C. and Dallas Veterans Administration Medical Center, Veterans Administration, Dallas, Texas, 31 FLRA No. 48 (1988).

We further find that following receipt of the Agency's notification of its position concerning release of unit employees' names and home addresses to unions, the Activity has been effectively precluded from complying with the Union's request. Therefore, the Agency's action constitutes impermissible interference in the bargaining relationship between the Activity and the Union in violation of section 7116 (a) (1) and (5). As a remedy, we will order the Agency to cease and desist from directing its activities to refuse to furnish on request of the exclusive representative of bargaining units of its employees the names and home addresses of employees in the units they represent. See Dallas Veterans Administration Medical Center.

ORDER

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, the United States Department of Justice, United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington, D.C. shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Interfering with the bargaining relationship -between the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, [ v31 p4 ] AFL - CIO, Local 3332 and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Houston District Office, Houston, Texas, by directing the Houston District Office not to release bargaining unit employees' names and home addresses to the Union upon its request.

(b) Directing other component activities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to refuse to furnish on request of the exclusive representative of bargaining units of its employees the names and home addresses of employees in the units they represent.

(c) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Statute.

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:

(a) Rescind its direction to the Houston District Office not to release bargaining unit employees' names and home addresses to the Union upon its request.

(b) Post at all its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332 are located, copies of the attached Notice A on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by its Associate Commissioner, Management, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region VI, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply.

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, the United States Department of Justice, United States Immigration and [ v31 p5 ] Naturalization Service, Houston District Office, Houston, Texas shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees at the Houston District Office.

(b) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Statute.

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:

(a) Furnish the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees at its Houston District Office, the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees it represents.

(b) Post at all its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332 are located, copies of the attached Notice B on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by its Houston District Office Director, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region VI, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing, within [ v31 p6 ] 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply.

Issued, Washington, D.C., March 23, 1988.

Jerry L. Calhoun,        Chairman

Jean McKee,                Member

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

[ v31 p7 ]

                             NOTICE A
                     NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
       AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
              AND TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE
        FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE
                  WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:

WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner, interfere with the bargaining relationship between the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332 and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Houston District Office, Houston, Texas, by directing the Houston District Office not to release bargaining unit employees' names and home addresses to the Union upon its request.

WE WILL NOT direct other component activities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to refuse to furnish on request of the exclusive representative of bargaining units of our employees the names and home addresses of employees in the units they represent.

WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor-management Relations Statute.

WE WILL rescind our direction to the Houston District Office not to release bargaining unit employees' names and home addresses to the Union upon its request.

                               ____________________________
                                      (Activity)

Dated: ___________________ By: ____________________________
                                 (Signature)  (Title)

This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material. [ v31 p8 ]

If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Region VI, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 525 Griffin Street, Suite 926, Dallas, Texas 75202 and whose telephone number is: (214) 767-4996. [ v31 p9 ]

                              NOTICE B
                      NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
        AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
               AND TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE
         FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE
                   WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:

WE WILL NOT refuse to furnish, upon request of the National Immigration and Naturalization Service council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332, the exclusive representative of certain of our employees, the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees at our Houston District Office.

WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.

WE WILL furnish the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3332, the exclusive representative of certain of our employees at our Houston District Office, the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees it represents.

                               ____________________________
                                      (Activity)

Dated: ___________________ By: ____________________________
                                 (Signature)  (Title)

This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Region VI, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 525 Griffin Street, Suite 926, Dallas, Texas 75202 and who