Sofar in 2018, North American sellers had to worry about possible work stoppages at UPS and Canada Post.
Now, some sellers have become concerned about recent news on current contract negotiations between APWU and USPS.
The union contract between the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the United States Postal Service covers the wages, hours and working conditions of 200,000 postal workers and expired on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
USPS management and the APWU have been engaged in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement since June 26, 2018.
But unlike the UPS and Canada Post situation, federal law prohibits postal and federal employees from striking.
While the APWU technically states, “The APWU believes that the right to strike is an inalienable right of all American workers,” the impact of such an illegal work action could be disastrous in a political climate where the USPS is already under fire.
“Our goal is to reach a negotiated settlement that can be voted on by the members. National Negotiations are always challenging. At this point in time it is in the best interest of the members to stay at the bargaining table rather than declare a hard and fast impasse.”
President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein
Impasse Results in Arbitration
If the parties declare an impasse, the two sides enter the phase of mediation and binding interest arbitration.
In an interest arbitration, after both the union and management sides make their presentations and arguments, the final decisions regarding our future conditions of employment is determined by an arbitrator.
Hopefully, the APWU and USPS can complete their contract negotiations soon.
But sellers should also know a strike is highly unlikely. And even if an impasse is declared, there should not be any disruptions to holiday packages in the U.S.
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