42:0659(42)CA - - VA Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV and NAGE Local R4-78 - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v42 p659



[ v42 p659 ]
42:0659(42)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


42 FLRA No. 42

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA

(Respondent)

and

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL R4-78, AFL-CIO

(Charging Party/Union)

3-CA-10514

DECISION AND ORDER

September 30, 1991

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 General Counsel filed a brief with the Authority. Neither the Respondent nor the Union filed a brief.

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.

II. Facts

The Union is the exclusive representative of a unit of Respondent's employees. By letter dated February 26, 1991, the Union requested the names and home addresses of the unit employees it represents. By letter dated March 19, 1991, the Respondent refused to provide the Union with the requested information.

The parties stipulated that the requested information is normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, is reasonably available, and does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided for management officials or supervisors related to collective bargaining. The parties also stipulated that: (1) the Respondent argues that "the Union has alternative means to obtain the names and home addresses"; and (2) the General Counsel argues that "it is not necessary to determine if alternative means of communication . . . are available . . . ." Stipulation at 3, paras. 10 and 11.

III. Positions of the Parties

The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decisions in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home), and U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 37 FLRA 515 (1990) (Portsmouth Naval Shipyard), enforcement denied sub nom. FLRA v. U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, No. 90-1949 (1st Cir. Aug. 13, 1991) (FLRA v. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard), are dispositive of the issues in this case. The General Counsel asserts that, consistent with these decisions, the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the Union with the requested information violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.

As noted previously, neither the Respondent nor the Union filed a brief with the Authority.

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.

We note that, in FLRA v. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied the Authority's petition for enforcement of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Subsequently, in FLRA v. U.S. Department of the Navy, Navy Ships Parts Control Center, et al., Nos. 90-3690, 90-3724 (3d Cir. Sept. 13, 1991), a divided Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied the Authority's petition for enforcement of U.S. Department of the Navy, Navy Ships Parts Control Center and Navy Fleet Material Support Office and NAVSEA Logistics Center and Navy Publishing and Printing Service, 37 FLRA 722 (1990), in which the Authority relied on Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. We respectfully disagree with these courts' decisions and adhere to our decision in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The parties stipulated that the requested information is normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, is reasonably available, and does not constitute advice, guidance, or counsel provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining, 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 requested names and home addresses of unit employees represented by the Union.

V. 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 Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, West Virginia, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Association of Government Employees, Local R4-78, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.

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

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

(a) Furnish the National Association of Government Employees, Local R4-78, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.

(b) Post at its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the Nati