47:0969(93)ro - - AFGE Local 2004 and Letterkenney Army Depot and Defense Logistics Agency Defense Distributuion Region East - - 1993 FLRAdec ro - - v47 p969

[ v47 p969 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

47 FLRA No. 93





LOCAL 2004












June 25, 1993


Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on an application for review of the Regional Director's (RD's) decision and order on a petition for exclusive recognition. The Petitioner sought recognition in a unit of all non-professional wage grade and class act employees of the Directorate of Maintenance, Air Delivery Division (ADD), Letterkenny Army Depot, Building 2-1, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, excluding all professional and other employees described in 5 U.S.C. § 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6), and (7). The RD found that the unit sought by the Petitioner was appropriate and directed an election.

The Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Distribution Region East (DDRE), filed an application for review of the RD'S Decision. The Union did not file an opposition to the application for review.

For the following reasons, we find that DDRE has not demonstrated compelling reasons warranting review of the RD's decision. The application for review will, therefore, be denied.

II. Background and Regional Director's Decision

Prior to April 1991, ADD employees were represented by the Petitioner as part of a bargaining unit at the New Cumberland Army Depot, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. In April 1991, DDRE was created by consolidating the New Cumberland Army Depot with the Defense Depot in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. At that time, ADD was transferred organizationally to the Letterkenny Army Depot, Directorate of Maintenance (D/MAINT), in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. However, ADD remained in New Cumberland, which is approximately 60 miles from Chambersburg. Following a clarification of unit proceeding, the RD excluded the ADD employees from the bargaining unit.(1) The Petitioner then filed a petition to represent a separate unit of ADD employees.

The RD found that ADD's mission is to repair, modify, and fabricate textiles and textile components for airdrop equipment, including parachutes, fabricate aircraft soundproofing blankets, and other rotary-wing textile components. He noted that D/MAINT is part of the Army's Depot Systems Command, and that its mission is to perform depot maintenance. The RD further found that: (1) ADD's manpower authorization, budget, and financial expenditures are handled by the Director of D/MAINT; (2) the ADD Chief reports to the Director of D/MAINT; (3) ADD employees have job descriptions which are similar to those of D/MAINT employees; and (4) some ADD employees have similar skills and perform similar work as D/MAINT employees.

The RD also found, however, that there is no job transfer, interchange, or on-the-job interaction between the ADD employees and other D/MAINT employees, and ADD employees are in a separate competitive area for merit promotions and reduction-in-force (RIF) purposes. He also noted that ADD is the only division of D/MAINT that receives its work assignments from the U.S. Army Troop Support Command and the Army Aviation Systems Command in St. Louis, Missouri. The RD stated that, although personnel and labor relations matters for ADD employees are handled by DDRE, the Chief of ADD establishes policy for labor relations and personnel matters and has authority for hiring, promotion, and discipline.

Based on these findings, the RD concluded that the petitioned-for ADD employees share a common mission, supervision, and location, as well as common working conditions, job duties, and work assignments. The RD concluded that the petitioned-for unit would promote "effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations," as follows:

[T]he authority for most personnel matters affecting the claimed employees is at the division level. In addition, the civilian personnel office responsible for administering such personnel matters and for labor relations services does not provide such services to other organizational components of LEAD.

RD's Decision at 5.

Based on the foregoing, the RD found that the petitioned-for unit was appropriate under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute and he ordered that an election be held.(2)

III. Application for Review

As grounds for review, DDRE argues that the RD "departed from Authority precedent and failed to give equal weight to each of the three criteria which determine an appropriate bargaining unit . . . ." Application at 2. In particular, DDRE argues that the RD failed to "consider equally the evidence going to each of the three criteria" and "make the necessary affirmative determinations that a unit clearly, convincingly, and equally satisfies" each of the criteria.

Id. at 5. Moreover, DDRE argues that the RD "fails to accord proper weight to his own factual findings[.]" Id. at 9.

DDRE asserts that the RD's decision "ignores the body of evidence demonstrating the commonalities" that ADD employees share with D/MAINT employees and improperly emphasizes the geographic separation of the two groups of employees. Id. at 6. DDRE also asserts that the petitioned-for unit would not promote effective dealing with and efficient operations of DDRE because the unit would increase the number of bargaining units at DDRE and would fail to promote a "more comprehensive bargaining unit structure." Id.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

We conclude, for the reasons stated below, that no compelling reasons exist within the meaning of section 2422.17(c) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations for granting the application for review.

The Authority has not specified individual factors or the number of factors necessary to establish a community of interest. Rather, the Authority requires examinati