05/21/2015 – The APWU and the U.S. Postal Service agreed to continue bargaining for an additional week after they were unable to reach agreement on economic issues by the May 20 expiration of the current contract.
“We were unable to reach a negotiated settlement tonight,” Dimondstein said. “We were too far apart on wages and benefits. But we are going to work hard over the course of the next week to see if we can narrow the differences.”
“The terms of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement will continue until a new contract is reached,” he said. “In the meantime, all the old contractual protections remain in full force and effect.”
If the extended bargaining fails to lead to an agreement, the APWU will seek mediation, Dimondstein said, and proceed to arbitration if attempts to mediate a settlement are unsuccessful.
“We made progress in negotiations on many important work-floor issues,” Dimondstein said, “but in the end, we were unable to negotiate a complete agreement. Management scuttled the prospect of reaching a deal before the deadline by insisting on a permanent, new lower pay scale and reduced benefits for future career employees as well as givebacks in pay and benefits for current career workers.
“The union’s job is to fight for those who are part of the workforce today — both career and non-career — and for those who will be part of the workforce in the months and years ahead,” he said. “If we fail to do that, over time we will undermine the wages and benefits of all our members.”
Keep the Heat On!
Dimondstein praised the activism of APWU members throughout negotiations. “Your actions are having an effect,” he declared. “Management takes note of how many of our members are wearing buttons, stickers and union shirts, and how many members participate in rallies and other events. They take it as a measure of the union’s strength.
“So I urge every member to stay involved and keep the momentum going as we enter a new period in our struggle,” he said.
“Over the last few months, management also took note of the tremendous support we received from our sister postal unions, the labor movement and from civil rights, religious, environmental, good government and women’s organizations. I encourage every member to take our message to your family, friends, neighbors, and the organizations you participate in outside of work,” Dimondstein added.
“The ‘I Stand with Postal Workers’ postcards are a great way to let the Postmaster General know that the people of the country want what we want: Good Postal Service! Good Jobs! Good Contract! Let’s keep collecting signatures,” he said.
“Our struggle continues,” Dimondstein said. “Stay strong, stay united and keep Standing Up and Fighting Back!”
– See more at: http://www.apwu.org/news/web-news-article/contract-talks-extended-focus-economic-package#sthash.cqBaAQO0.dpuf