Union Files Suit To Stop Motor Vehicle Subcontracting in California

(10/17/12) The APWU filed suit in federal court in California on Oct. 16, [PDF] seeking an injunction to stop the USPS from contracting out all Postal Vehicle Service operations in the state. The USPS has notified the APWU that beginning Nov. 17 it intends to replace postal truck drivers with drivers employed by contractors.

“We will do everything possible to stop the Postal Service from moving forward with this full frontal assault on postal drivers,” said Motor Vehicle Services Craft Director Bob Pritchard. The USPS plan would eliminate approximately 840 jobs held by postal drivers; there are approximately 6,900 postal drivers nationwide.

The suit notes that the union has demanded expedited processing of a national-level grievance on the decision and that the case is scheduled for arbitration on Nov. 27 and 28.

The court must enjoin the USPS from proceeding with the subcontracting plan pending the outcome of the arbitration, the suit asserts. If the Postal Service is not enjoined, drivers will be forced into retirement or transferred to non-driving jobs, and the union will lose its contractual right to receive advance notice of subcontracting decisions and to offer alternatives to subcontracting before it is implemented, the APWU contends.

“The Postal Service’s actions not only violate our contract and harm PVS employees, they will damage the Postal Service,” said President Cliff Guffey. “We demand justice for APWU drivers in court and through arbitration.”