January 9, 2002
Mumtaz H. Alvi, Esq.
Counsel for Pakistan Int'l
Alvi & Alliance
230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169
Roland Wilder, Esq.
Counsel for IBT
Baptiste & Wilder, P.C.
1150 Connecticut Ave., NW.
Washington, DC 20036
Re: NMB Case No. R-6839
Pakistan International Airlines
This determination addresses Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA or Carrier) appeal of Investigator Mary L. Johnson's eligibility ruling. For the reasons discussed below, the appeal is denied.
On September 5, 2001, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT or Organization) filed an application to represent the Office Clerical Employees craft or class on PIA. On November 20, 2001, the National Mediation Board (Board) received a List of Potential Eligible Voters from the Carrier. On November 28, 2001, the IBT challenged the omission of several employees from the List of Potential Eligible Voters. On November 30, 2001, the Board authorized an election. On December 11, 2001, PIA responded to the IBT's challenges. According to the Carrier, the omitted employees were not eligible voters. In particular, the Carrier argued that Kevser Feyzullah is ineligible because she is a "confidential" employee acting as her manager's "alter ego."
On December 11, 2001, the Board mailed the ballots which will be counted on January 10, 2002. Pursuant to the Board's Representation Manual (Manual) Section 12.205, all the employees whose eligibility was challenged were sent "challenged" ballots.
On December 20, 2001, the Investigator ruled that the challenged employees were eligible voters. The Investigator ruled Feyzullah eligible because there was "insufficient evidence that [her] duties are so substantially intertwined with [her manager's] significant managerial responsibilities as to render her his alter ego."
On December 27, 2001, the Carrier appealed the Investigator's ruling on Feyzullah's eligibility. On December 28, 2001, the IBT responded that the Investigator's ruling should be affirmed.
The Carrier argues that Feyzullah has access to confidential information as secretary to Imran Maqsud, PIA's Finance and Administration Manager, U.S.A. According to the Carrier, the Investigator's "erroneous" ruling will "lead to an erosion of [Maqsud's] ability to function effectively. Instead of entrusting his secretary with sensitive material, he will be forced to treat her as a potential source of leaks in union meetings about matters substantial and trivial." The Carrier also argues that Feyzullah filed a "perjurious declaration" and that the Investigator discounted Maqsud's declaration "without any explanation."
The Carrier cites Huron and Eastern Railway Company, Inc., 20 NMB 464 (1993); Guyana Airways, Corp., 17 NMB 470 (1990); Pan Am Express, 14 NMB 108 (1986); and China Airlines, Ltd., 6 NMB 434 (1978). The IBT also cites Huron and Eastern, above, and Guyana, above.
The IBT contends that Feyzullah is eligible because she performs general secretarial duties. The Organization argues further that "[i]f the Carrier's position is accepted, then any secretary working for a management official would be considered confidential and excluded from representation. . . ."
In her ruling, the Investigator cited Maqsud's declaration and Feyzullah's declaration.
Maqsud states that Feyzullah:
Maqsud states further that:
All confidential employer related matters including grievances and disciplinary action that are addressed to me . . . are seen by her. Ms. Feyzullah has access to all financial documents. In addition, she is privy to confidential financial information as she assists in the preparation of memoranda, reports and the like. As my secretary, she knows virtually as much about the company, its financial condition, and personnel as I do.
Feyzullah states that she does not have access to confidential documents or "personnel files, financial documents, or discipline or grievance records." Feyzullah states further that her "duties are exclusively administrative . . . and that she does "not perform tasks that are performed by managers."
The Carrier submitted a 1993 letter Fezullah wrote to obtain a promotion. In the letter, Feyzullah described her responsibilities, "in addition to my extensive secretarial duties," as follows:
China Airlines, above, established the standard the Board uses to determine whether secretaries should be excluded from the Office Clerical craft or class. To be excluded, the record evidence must establish that the secretaries' duties "are so substantially intertwined with the significant managerial responsibilities of [the officials worked for] that they are effectively the managers' alter ego . . . ." See also Huron and Eastern Railway, above, and Guyana Airways, above, finding "insufficient evidence" that the employees at issue were their manager's alter ego.
In Pakistan International Airlines, Inc., 8 NMB 531, 540 (1981), the Board applied China Airlines in determining that the secretary to the Regional General Manager should be excluded from the Office Clerical Employees craft or class. The Board found, however, that "with respect to the secretaries to the Cargo Manager, Cargo Terminal Manager, Finance Manager, and Ticket Office Manager, the record does not show that these employees function on such a close capacity to an official having critical labor relations or personnel authority that their exclusion is warranted." (Emphasis supplied.)
The Board finds that Feyzullah's declaration is consistent with her 1993 letter describing her secretarial responsibilities.
Feyzullah's responsibilities are secretarial not managerial. The record establishes that Feyzullah's duties are not so substantially intertwined with Maqsud's significant managerial responsibilities as to render her his alter ego. Therefore, Feyzullah is eligible to vote. The Carrier's appeal is denied.
The Board finds that there is no basis to overrule the Investigator's rulings. Therefore, the Carrier's appeal is denied. The count will take place as scheduled at 2 p.m Eastern Time, January 10, 2002.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
Mr. Salha Uddin
Ms. Ismat Haider
Mr. Ray Benning
Ms. Joann Corsello