Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Postal Service Utilizing Disgraced Former NLRB Commissioner

USPS Utilizing Disgraced Former NLRB Commissioner

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson

The United States Postal Service is utilizing Terence F. Flynn, the disgraced former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member, during their current negotiations with the APWU.

Terence “Terry” Flynn started with the Postal Service in 2018 as a labor relations attorney and is currently advising the USPS representatives who are meeting with the APWU Clerk Craft. The USPS team is meeting with Flynn prior to and after each meeting with the Clerk Craft.

Flynn previously represented Dr. Pepper/Snapple corporation as head of labor relations. His biography states his duties, in part, were to “develop and implement labor relations and union avoidance strategies.”

Prior to working for Dr. Pepper, Flynn was at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) where he started in 2004 as general counsel for Republican board members. In 2012, Flynn himself was appointed to the NLRB. He was forced to resign shortly after the agency’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued two reports that severely criticized his prior conduct as a staff attorney.

The OIG found that Flynn leaked confidential information to former NLRB Republican Members Peter Schaumber and Peter Kirsanow. At the time Flynn leaked information, Schaumber was co-chair of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s labor advisory committee and Kirsanow was serving as outside counsel to the National Association of Manufacturers, a notoriously anti-union corporate association. Flynn provided Schaumber and Kirsanow confidential information including drafts of NLRB decisions as well as materials about NLRB internal deliberations. Schaumber resigned as the co-chair of Romney’s labor advisory committee after the scandal broke. Flynn also improperly shared information with his former anti-union law firm, Crowell & Moring.

The NLRB OIG report regarding Flynn in March of 2012 stated: “The facts as outlined above provide a basis for finding that Mr. Flynn violated the provisions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch and that he lacked candor during the investigatory interview.”

The OIG report also found that Flynn leaked “information that was protected from disclosure and considered by the NLRB to be the most confidential of Agency information.” Additional findings for the OIG include:

“Given Mr. Flynn’s position as a Chief Counsel and his years of service,” the OIG stated,“he knew, or should have known, that he had a duty to maintain the confidence of the information that he received in the performance of his official duties”

“We also find that the improper disclosure of information to former Members Kirsanow and Schaumber amounted to a conversion of the information for the private benefit of former Member Kirsanow and his client, the National Association of Manufacturers, and former Member Schaumber’s labor relations consulting and/ or legal practice.”

In a second report in April of 2012, the OIG also indicated that Flynn did improper favors for Schaumber in return for Schaumber helping to secure Flynn’s nomination to the NLRB.

Whatever the USPS is paying Flynn, he probably made ten times more working as head of labor relations for Dr. Pepper/Snapple. So why is he working at the Postal Service and is his public postal salary being supplemented by outside interests who would benefit from his presence in labor relations at the Postal Service?

Given the Postal Service’s willful and blatant violations of the contract and the interests of many large corporations in eliminating unions, the hiring of a corrupt anti-union lawyer for national negotiations is disturbing, yet not surprising.

APWU members are encouraged to attend their union meetings, join the Contract Action Teams, and otherwise participate in the fight for a public Postal Service and a good contract. When we organize, we win.

2012-03-19 NLRB OIG - Investigative Report on Terence Flynn (7.18 MB)
2012-04-30 NLRB OIG - Follow-up Investigative Report on Terence Flynn (660.05 KB)
2012-04-03 NLRB OIG - Letter to OSC Regarding Hatch Act Violations by Terence Flynn (53.58 KB)

Tags: Clerk Craft,Contract Negotiations

Reference Source:

Tags: Clerk Craft, Contract Negotiations

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