Court denies request for injunction to delay APWU contract vote

On Tuesday several APWU members opposed to the tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement asked a federal court to delay the ratification vote on the grounds that the information members had received was incomplete, and that the ratification schedule denied opponents the opportunity to effectively organize a campaign against ratification. On Friday the court rejected their application, allowing ballots to be mailed as planned.

The request for an injunction came after the dissidents say the APWU leadership ignored their request to post their arguments on the APWU web site, and include anti-ratification materials in the ratification mailing.


When the dissidents received no response, they filed the request for an injunction to delay the vote. On Friday, Judge Beryl A. Howell denied the request:

The plaintiffs moved for injunctive relief on the assertion that without delaying the ratification of the new CBA, they would not be afforded a fully informed and meaningful opportunity to vote on the agreement. The plaintiffs, however, do not argue that the APWU failed to comply with proper voting procedure or otherwise restricted the plaintiffs’ ability to voice their dissatisfaction with the new CBA. Rather, the plaintiffs’ primary contention is that they need more time to inform and convince other union members to oppose the agreement. This dispute does not rise to the level of a LMRDA violation and the Court therefore has no authority to grant the relief the plaintiffs seek. The plaintiffs have therefore failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their legal challenge. The plaintiffs have further failed to demonstrate that, without an injunction, they will be irreparably harmed. The APWU has not restricted their ability to oppose ratification of the new CBA and has not infringed on any right afforded to the plaintiffs under the LMRDA. Without a strong showing of a likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm, the plaintiffs have not established the need for injunctive relief. Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, the plaintiffs’ motions for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction is DENIED and this case is DISMISSED.

Here is the court’s full opinion:

Opinion in Shelley et al v. APWU

21st Century Postal Worker APWU Members Against Ratification of Tentative Agreement.

  • SoulMan

    “It’s the best we’re going to get” is the saddest excuse for agreeing to this garbage. My God, what cowards we’ve become. Victims of our own comfortable existence, I guess. Where would ANY of us be if the union activists who came before us took that approach? You cowards don’t have the RIGHT to hand back gains that far-better people left us before. Read a history book, morons. Management will NEVER stop asking labor for concessions. With you cowards having a say, we’d be back in the days of sweatshops and no benefits. All on what, management’s whining??? Seriously, it makes me sick to even work alongside you types.

  • fl-mpe

    As a maintenance craft employee, I am voting NO. Although most of the issues do not directly affect maintenance, this is a terrible agreement. We will be next on the hit list. If enacted, we will never be able to get back what we would be giving away. The pay increases and cola will be eaten up by the raise in health insurance costs. Before the ink is dry, management will be abolishing clerk and mvs positions and reposting them with new hours and off days (maybe split off days) with 30-36 hours. Management says they will not force anybody to take less hours but what would your choice be? Become unassigned and be at the mercy of management possible excessing. And what if there are no offices within 40-50 miles that have open positions? They will excess you anywhere they can find a vacancy. Their plan is to get as many senior people to retire. We cost too much to keep. You can bury your head in the sand and hope the boogie man goes away, but he isn’t going until he has a permanent all cheap labor force. If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. Our national “leaders” torpedoed their own ship. Sink or swim brothers and sisters….I. am swimming by voting NO.

  • kevinmason

    my supervisor has already informed us that once this new contract kicks in we will be going from 40 hrs weekly to 30. For those of you keeping score at home that’s 25% less pay, benefits and leave. Instead of working my window job, my 40 hr a week “guarenteed” job would be working automation on midnights in the mail processing gulag. Are we going to be the first large national union to sellout? Shame!

  • mike

    facebook is gaining steam in the VOTE NO lets hope and keep posting my fellow union brothers and sisters out here in the area offices and plants….national sell out–they belong in DC with the rest of them—-wonder why membership is down. herd nat.leaders getting big big kick backs with there apwu healthplan….thanks burrus for speaking out.

  • Tasha Bryant

    Fellow Brothers and Sisters,
    Please do not be fooled by these uneducated members. It is your reponsibility to read and COMPREHEND the new agreement yourself! You are living in 2011 and an unfriendly union enviroment. Do not allow our fate to be decided by one VERY WEALTHY ARBITRATOR that does not relate to your plight -AT ALL! You have no cost comparisons for your positions and we will lose all this new contract gains, and eventually OUR RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE!!! These people have personal agendas-keep my job safe for the next 25 years-VOTE YES!!!!! Get your MINDS RIGHT!!!