Union gears up to file complaints about Labor parking policies
Representatives of Labor Department employees plan to file a series of grievances after officials did not respond to their gripes about new parking policies, a union official said.
The American Federation of Government Employees Local 12 claims the department is planning to bring in a private contractor to oversee the garage at its headquarters in Washington, causing parking fees to skyrocket. Under the new plan, the garage also would be open to the public.
The Frances Perkins Building garage charges employees $40 a month. According to the union, the private contractor Labor has proposed would charge $240 a month.
“We understood that there needed to be an increase [in fees], but the agency would not even engage in bargaining so that we could go back and forth on the price,” said Alexander Bastani, president of Local 12.
According to Bastani, Labor has yet to respond to the union’s complaints or its alternative suggestion: close parking to the public for security reasons, and continue a discounted parking subsidy for disabled employees and carpoolers in accordance with clean air laws.
Labor Department officials could not be reached for comment by publication time.
“It is difficult to negotiate when the other party isn’t responding,” Bastani told Government Executive. “You do not know where they are at and what they might listen to.”
The union plans to file several official complaints against the department in the coming weeks -- one asking that the Federal Service Impasses Panel compel Labor officials to bargain over contracting out parking and the increase in rates; another asking the Federal Labor Relations Authority to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the changes until negotiations are completed; and a separate unfair labor practices complaint, also with FLRA.
AFGE will file the temporary restraining order and unfair labor practices claims next Friday, Bastani said.
Additionally, the union plans to discuss the issue with the local government planning authority to “pursue the issue as to whether [Labor] has the authority to allow the use of parking space in a federal building by a private for-profit,” Bastani said.
The union local has pledged to contact the General Services Administration “regarding the issues of who is liable for injuries and accidents in the Frances Perkins Building parking garage,” he added, and is exploring the possibility of class action lawsuits for disabled employees who park there.