The APWU won a major victory Aug. 13 when Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a ruling that will help the union fight subcontracting, President Cliff Guffey has announced. Das ruled that locals must be notified when management makes a decision at the local, district or area level to contract out craft work.
The decision could result in the creation of additional assignments in every craft, Guffey noted. “This is a major victory in our battle to protect jobs,” he said. “That is a fight we are determined to win.”
Article 32 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which governs subcontracting, requires the Postal Service to notify locals of subcontracting at the “field level.” Beginning in October 2007, the USPS claimed the phrase meant that the USPS was required to notify locals of subcontracting initiated at the district or area level, but not subcontracting initiated at the local level.
The union asserted that “field level” refers to any subcontracting initiated below the headquarters level. (For headquarters-level subcontracting, the APWU is notified at the national level.)
Arbitrator Das upheld the union’s position.
“The ruling gives locals a tool to fight for the creation of additional duty assignments by ensuring they are aware of subcontracting decisions,” Guffey said.
In the Clerk Craft, for example, once locals are notified of subcontracting decisions they will be able to challenge the improper establishment of Contract Postal Units, which replace retail positions.
In the Maintenance Craft, notification to locals could result in challenges to the subcontracting of building maintenance work, such as roofing, air conditioning, lawn care, snow removal and cleaning, as well as the installation, repair, maintenance or movement of equipment, among other duties.
In the Motor Vehicle Service Craft, notification to locals could result in challenges to the subcontracting of preventive maintenance inspections and repairs, and emergency and temporary subcontracting of Highway Contract Routes, as well as other work. For more information, visit www.apwu.org.