Important Arbitration Win in Fight Against Plant Closures and Consolidations
12/04/2015 - Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled on Dec. 3, 2015, that the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union may now go forward with their Step 4 grievances challenging the Postal Service’s decision to close or consolidate approximately 82 mail processing facilities starting January of 2015. The grievances had contended that the consolidations violated the PO-408 Handbook, Closures and Consolidations Area Mail Processing (AMP) Guidelines.
The USPS challenged the grievances stating the PO-408 was not a handbook covered by Article 19. The arbitrator agreed that the PO-408 has a direct relationship with “wages, hours or working conditions” and the hearing on the merits can go forward.
The hearing took place on April 6, 2015, brought forth by the NPMHU with the APWU as an intervenor.
APWU President Mark Dimondstein pointed to “the great work and preparation that the National Mail Handlers Union put forth as well as the essential efforts by the APWU team led by case officer Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy.”
Szeredy noted, “This is an enormous win, and we are now eager to get the merits heard before any further consolidations occur.”