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 plaintiffsâ€™ ability to voice their dissatisfaction with the new CBA. Rather, the plaintiffsâ€™ 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 plaintiffsâ€™ motions for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction is DENIED and this case is DISMISSED.
Here is the court’s full opinion: