29:0276(30)CA - Transportation, Washington, DC and Coast Guard, Fifth District, Portsmouth, Virginia and AFGE Local 22 ### -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
29 FLRA No. 30 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON, D.C. AND UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, FIFTH DISTRICT PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA Respondents and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 22, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 34-CA-70405
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority under section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations based on the parties' stipulation of facts. The complaint alleges that the Respondents violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to provide the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 22, AFL - CIO (the Union) with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees of the United States Coast Guard, Fifth District, located at Portsmouth, Virginia. The Respondents and the General Counsel filed briefs. For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondents have committed the unfair labor practice as alleged.
The Union is the exclusive representative of a unit of nonprofessional employees at the Respondent Coast Guard's Portsmouth, Virginia location. By letter dated February 23, 1987, the Union requested that the Coast Guard furnish it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees. By letter dated March 20, 1987, the Coast Guard refused to furnish the Union with the information requested. The parties stipulated that the information requested is normally maintained by the Respondent Coast Guard in the [PAGE] regular course of business, is reasonably available and does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining. The parties further stipulate that at all times the Respondent Department of Transportation has directed the Coast Guard to refuse to furnish the Union with the information requested pending judicial review of the Authority's Decision on Remand in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986) (Farmers Home), petition for review filed sub nom. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986).
III. Positions of the Parties
The Respondents contend that the Authority erred in its Decision on Remand in Farmers Home. In particular, the Respondents argue that disclosure of the information requested by the Union is prohibited by law within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. The Respondents also argue that the General Counsel has not demonstrated that the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees are "data" which is relevant and necessary for the Union to fulfill its representational responsibilities. Finally, the Respondents argue that the Authority should consider the availability of reasonable alternative means for the Union to communicate with employees in determining whether the employees' substantial privacy interest in nondisclosure of their home addresses is outweighed by the Union's need for the addresses.
The General Counsel contends that this case is controlled by our Decision on Remand in Farmers Home. The General Counsel argues that the release of employees' names and home addresses is not prohibited by the Privacy Act and that the information should be provided regardless of whether alternative means of communication are available to a union. Further, the General Counsel contends that Respondent Department of Transportation is responsible for directing Respondent Coast Guard to refuse to furnish the information requested by the Union and that it thereby violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. Alternatively, the General Counsel argues that if it is found that the Department of Transportation was not responsible for directing that refusal, then Respondent Coast Guard should be found to have committed the violation. [ v29 p2 ]
In our Decision on Remand in Farmers Home, we held that the release of names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to their 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 established by section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. We also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternate means of communication are available.
The arguments made by the Respondents in this case are essentially the same arguments asserted by the agency in Farmers Home. Based on our Decision on Remand in Farmers Home, we reject the Respondents' assertions in this case and find that the Respondent Coast Guard was required to release the information under section 7114(b)(4). The parties stipulated that the Department of Transportation directed the Coast Guard to refuse to furnish the Union with the information requested pending judicial review of the Authority's decision in Farmers Home and other cases on the issue of the release of employees' names and home addresses. Stipulation, paragraph 9. We have long held that higher level management would be held responsible for requiring management at the level of exclusive recognition to follow its directions. See, for example, Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Region VI and Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Galveston, Texas, 10 FLRA 26 (1982).
Accordingly, we find that the Respondent Department of Transportation violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute when it directed the Respondent Coast Guard to refuse to furnish the Union with the information requested. In these circumstances, we will not find that the Respondent Coast Guard's refusal to provide the Union with the names and home addresses sought in this case violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, the Department of Transportation shall: [ v29 p3 ]
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Directing the United States Coast Guard, Fifth District, located at Portsmouth, Virginia, not to furnish, upon request by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 22, AFL - CIO, the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit.
(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 actions in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:
(a) Permit the United States