APWU Withdraws Subcontracting Lawsuit
Arbitrator’s Ruling Makes Complaint Unnecessary
03/18/2013 - The APWU has withdrawn a lawsuit aimed at stopping the Postal Service from subcontracting all Postal Vehicle Service routes in California until after the union’s grievance on the matter could be heard in arbitration. In response to the suit, the USPS agreed to postpone the subcontracting until after arbitration, which the union won.
On March 4, 2013, Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg ruled that the Postal Service’s decision to contract out was made in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In accordance with Arbitrator Goldberg’s award, if the Postal Service wants to contract out California PVS or engage in any other contracting that would have a significant impact on bargaining unit work, management must comply with Article 32.1.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The union’s October 2012 lawsuit, which focused on California PVS jobs, was later amended to challenge the Postal Service’s plans to contract out driving jobs at more than 40 other locations. In light of Arbitrator Goldberg’s ruling, those plans are invalid as well. If the Postal Service wishes to consider contracting out these other sites, that decision, too, must be made after compliance with the procedures outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Commenting on these developments, President Cliff Guffey said, “The lawsuit protected the arbitration process as we intended. We are now fighting to protect our jobs in arbitration.”