NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
Washington, D.C. 20572
25 NMB No. 20
December 2, 1997
Paula J. Caira, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
G. Paris Sykes, Jr., Esq.
Counsel for Georgia Ports Authority
Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
1100 Peachtree Street, Suite 2800
Atlanta, GA 30309
Re: NMB Case No. R-6550
Georgia Ports Authority/IBT
Dear Ms. Caira and Mr. Sykes:
This responds to the appeals of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) of eligibility determinations made by Mediator Robert B. Martin.
On September 23, 1997, the IBT filed an application alleging a representation dispute pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. §152, Ninth, among Marine Dock, Warehousemen & Related Employees of GPA. The application was docketed as NMB Case No. R-6550. These employees are currently unrepresented.
On October 8, 1997, the Board found a dispute to exist and authorized an election using a cut-off date of September 16, 1997. Ballots were mailed on October 28, 1997, and the count is scheduled for December 2, 1997.
On October 27, 1997, the IBT filed challenges to the list of eligible employees. The IBT requested that sixty-six (66) individuals be removed from the list. IBT's challenges fell into two (2) categories: (1) management officials and (2) individuals not properly in the craft or class. The IBT submitted documents and privileged statements from employees in support of its challenges.
The craft or class was defined by the Board in Georgia Port Authority, 5 NMB 269 (1976), in which the Board stated that:
[T]he Authority's employees classified as checkers, fork lift operators, laborers, cargo layoutmen, working or lead foremen, warehousemen, crane operators, maintenance (includes carpenters, sheet metal mechanics, motor mechanics, electricians and welders with their helpers and/or apprentices), locomotive engineers, yard conductor, switchmen, and such other classifications as may be intimately connected with loading, unloading, warehousing, moving, storing, checking, clerking and handling or moving of cargo, constitute a proper voting unit designated as 'Marine Dock, Warehousemen and Related Employees' for purposes of resolving this representation dispute in accordance with the provision of Section 2, Ninth, of the Railway Labor Act.
The Carrier, on November 3, 1997, responded to the IBT's challenges. GPA submitted statements from management officials and several documents in support of the eligibility of sixty-four (64) individuals. GPA agreed with the IBT that two
other individuals, Ronnie J. Wiggins and Iris Merriweather, were ineligible.(1) Pursuant to the Mediator's request, GPA also submitted job classifications for the individuals challenged by the IBT.
On November 12, 1997, Mediator Martin ruled on the IBT's challenges. However, the Mediator ruled on the job classifications. He ruled thirteen (13) job classifications ineligible and fifteen (15) job classifications eligible. In those classifications ruled ineligible, the Mediator found that each one "was not part of the craft or class." In those classifications ruled eligible, the Mediator found that the individuals functioned as leads. The IBT and the GPA, on November 18, 1997, appealed the Mediator's determinations.
The Carrier appealed the Mediator's determination that the following job classifications were ineligible:
Assistant Ship Operations Manager
Railroad Chief Clerk
Railroad Maintenance Foreman
Operations Administrative Specialists
Operations Administrative Supervisors
Logistics and Administration Coordinator
Maintenance Planning & Specifications Coordinator
Maintenance Administration Clerk II
In representation cases, the burden of proof required to overrule the Mediator's determination rests with the carrier or organization appealing that ruling. Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., 24 NMB
652 (1997); Federal Express, 20 NMB 404 (1993); Midway Airlines, 18 NMB 193 (1991). In the present case, GPA did not submit any evidence or argument in support of its appeal. The submission was not sufficient to overrule the determination as supported by the Mediator's assessment of the record.
The IBT has appealed the Mediator's determination that the following job classifications were eligible:
Supervisor Terminal Operations
Crane Maintenance Foreman
Crane Maintenance ETM Foreman
Crane Maintenance Planner
Foreman - Electric Shop
Maintenance Supervisor (Fleet Maintenance)
Colonel's Island Leadperson
Foreman - Fleet Maintenance
Leadperson (Fleet Mechanic - Brunswick)
Maintenance Foreman - Brunswick
In support of its appeal, the IBT refers to job descriptions and affidavits previously submitted by GPA to the Mediator. It is the IBT's position that the above classifications are managerial and should be excluded.
Section 5.312 of the Board's Representation Manual provides guidance to the Mediator in determining whether an individual is a management official and therefore, ineligible. In Pan American World Airways, Inc., 5 NMB 112 (1973), the Board that it would consider:
Various individual elements and factors which might not be decisive if considered separately but considered cumulatively would remove a particular position from the status of an employee or subordinate official.
With the exception of the Maintenance Foreman - Brunswick, review of the record does not support a finding that the above job classifications are managerial.
The record reveals that the Maintenance Foreman - Brunswick " counsels, evaluates, disciplines and trains" employees. He has the authority to establish policies and procedures for the maintenance operations. He assists in the preparation of the annual budget and is responsible for its administration. He is given direct authority to handle all equipment needs. He sets the maintenance priorities for the maintenance facility. It is his responsibility to "develop long range preventive and routine maintenance plans and goals for Brunswick Maintenance." The Maintenance Foreman must have had four years of experience as a Foreman of Fleet Maintenance. According to the record, this classification has the indicia of a managerial official and is ineligible.
The IBT has appealed the Mediator's ruling that employees classified as Operations Administrative Coordinator are ineligible. In its challenge to the eligibility list, the IBT did not seek to exclude the job classification of Operations Administrative Coordinator but argued for the exclusion of eight (8) individuals, working as Operations Administrative Coordinator, on the basis that their clerical functions were not "intimately involved" with the movement of cargo. The Organization contended that Georgia Ports Authority, supra, warranted the exclusion of these individuals. It was GPA's position that these eight individuals were eligible because these individuals performed the same work as the approximately forty-three (43) other Operations Administrative Coordinators whose eligibility was not challenged by the IBT. Review of the record in this case reveals that the eight individuals work in either the Administration Building or at another terminal but perform the same work as the other Operations Administrative Coordinators who were not challenged. The Mediator ruled the classification of Operations Administrative Coordinator ineligible.
The record reveals that the Operations Administrative Coordinator performs "clerical duties relating to the receipt\shipment\inventory of Breakbulk and containerized cargo." Their functions are "intimately involved" with the movement of cargo. The classification is part of the craft or class. Georgia Ports Authority, supra. The Mediator's ruling is reversed.
The craft or class must include all of the employees working in classifications deemed eligible, regardless of the their work locations. Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines, 10 NMB 389 (1983). For this reason, the Board finds that all Operations Administrative Coordinators, regardless of their work locations, are eligible.
The count will take place as scheduled.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
1. These individuals have been removed from the eligibility list and their ineligibility is not in dispute. Merriweather is a confidential secretary and Wiggins is a management official.