American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1592 v Federal Labor Relations Board

Local 1592 petitioned for review of Board’s order rejecting Local’s unfair labor practice claim that Air Force investigators improperly excluded union representatives when interviewing a union member about misusing a computer. The panel, 2-1, affirmed. The majority held that under 5 USC 7103(b)(1), the president of United States can exempt agencies for the provisions of the federal government labor relations act if the agency is engaged in intelligence, investigation or national security work, President Carter issued an executive order excluding the investigative agency form the provisions of the act, the statue and order read together take the viewpoint of the investigators, not eh interviewed union member and thus the protections of the act did not apply in the interview. The majority reasoned this was consistent with the national security rationale for the exclusions, the fact the exclusion would be useless in practice if it did not allow union representatives to be excluded and relevant administrative and judicial precedent. The dissent argued that the order only excluded investigators for the act’s protection and the case should be remanded to Board to determine if the investigators were acting on their own authority or as representatives of the union member’s employer Hill Air Force Base.