40:0348(34)CA - - Naval Ordnance Station and IAM, Columbia Local 174 - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v40 p348
[ v40 p348 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
40 FLRA No. 34
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations based on a stipulation of facts by the parties, who have agreed that no material issue of fact exists. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs with the Authority.
The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by failing and refusing to provide the Union with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees represented by the Union. For the following reasons, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practice as alleged.
The Union is the exclusive representative of a unit of Respondent's employees. On June 30, 1989, the Union requested the names and home addresses of the unit employees it represents. By letter dated August 14, 1989, and at all times thereafter, the Respondent has refused to provide the Union with the home addresses it requested.
III. Positions of the Parties
A. The Respondent
The Respondent disagrees with the Authority's decision in U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 37 FLRA 515 (1990) (Portsmouth Naval Shipyard), application for enforcement filed sub nom. FLRA v. U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, No. 90-1949 (1st Cir. Oct. 1, 1990). In that case, we reaffirmed the Authority's decision in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home), and concluded that a union is entitled, under section 7116(b)(4) of the Statute, to the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees.
The Respondent contends that the disclosure of employees' home addresses is prohibited by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552. The Respondent argues, in this regard, that the requested information is not necessary, within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, because it "has provided the Union with adequate alternative means of communication between the Union and the employees it represents." Respondent's Brief at 2-3. The Respondent also asserts that the Authority should apply the reasoning of the court in FLRA v. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service, 884 F.2d 1446 (D.C. Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 110 S. Ct. 863 (1990), to find that the Respondent was not required to supply the Union with the requested information.
Finally, the Respondent asserts that although "employee official personnel files do contain home addresses, they may not be current." Stipulation at 3, para. 10. According to the Respondent, the only system of records which contains current home addresses of unit employees is its payroll system. The Respondent asserts that disclosure of employees' home addresses from official personnel files or the payroll system is "not a permitted 'routine use' of that information under both the Navy and the [Office of Personnel Management] regulations . . . ." Respondent's Brief at 4.
B. The General Counsel
The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decisions in Farmers Home and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are dispositive of the issues in this case. Noting that the Respondent does not contend that the requested information is not normally maintained by the Respondent or reasonably available to the Respondent, within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4), the General Counsel asserts that the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the Union with the requested information violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
In Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, we reaffirmed Farmers Home and concluded that the release of the 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 generally is required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. We find that resolution of this case does not require consideration of whether alternative means of communication are available to the Union.
The Respondent does not assert that the requested information is not normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business or is not reasonably available to the Respondent, within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. Accordingly, based on the Authority's decision in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, we conclude that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute by failing to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of unit employees represented by the Union.
We note, in this regard, the Respondent's argument that official personnel files, the system of records subject to the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) routine use notice, are not the most accurate source of employees' current home addresses. This argument is not relevant to our resolution of this case. There is no basis on which to conclude that the Union specifically requested the Respondent to provide the home addresses from its payroll records. Moreover, the Respondent concedes that the requested information is available from the OPM system of records. As such, the possible availability of the requested information from other agency systems of records has no bearing on whether the information is properly releasable from the system of records subject to OPM's routine use notice.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of