SWFAL-APWU Settles $5.2 Million RI-399 Arbitration Award

Via Sam Wood, President – Southwest Florida Area Local / APWU:


SWFAL-APWU Members (click to enlarge)

This morning the Southwest Florida Area Local – American Postal Workers Union signed a $5.2 million settlement from the 2013 Arbitrator Hales award (Fort Myers P&DC). The award sustained the SWFAL-APWU’s position that the USPS took Flats Preparation work away from the Clerk Craft in August 2000 and gave the work to the Mail Handlers. This award stated the parties must go to the Article 15 process and come up with a monetary remedy. A special Thank You goes out to National Business Agent Billy Woods who did a fantastic job in representing our local in this case.After Arbitrator Hales award came out, it was apparent that management did not agree with the decision, nor did they have any intention on settling this case. After having no success and little help from the National APWU Lawyers, the SWFAL-APWU decided to hire their own attorney’s to represent the local. Thanks to APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Industrial Relations Director Tony McKinnon on working with the SWFAL-APWU and allowing our local to go through the judicial & negotiating process with little interference. With President Dimondstein’s approval, the local hired “MaseLara”, a law firm based in Miami, Fl with Richard Lara being our lead attorney. MaseLara took the USPS to Federal Court and the SWFAL-APWU received a decision that forced the USPS to go back to the bargaining table. At that point SWFAL-APWU Vice President Dan Gray, Clerk Craft Director Paul McAvoy and I began the year long process of negotiating a settlement.

I hope that our local’s fight will help encourage other locals to stand up when they win arbitration cases. Sometimes you have to be prepared to do what is necessary to win. I thank my membership for standing behind our Executive Boards decisions and waiting patiently as many people (including some in the APWU) said this day would never come. I’m proud that we were able to prove them wrong.

Now that we have success with the August 2000 thru June 2006 portion of Arbitrator Hales Award, we now have to pursue the return of our work back along and an additional monetary back pay from 2006 until the resolution of the Article 15 process. Although a $5.2 million settlement may sound great, the SWFAL-APWU will continue to fight on until we get our work back and our membership is made entirely whole.

4 thoughts on “SWFAL-APWU Settles $5.2 Million RI-399 Arbitration Award

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Kansas Kaw Valley, Local 238
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    Our members travel in groups of 2 to ten and don’t even bring back a pamphlet. Usually after their trip summaries, they come back and thank members for sending them, and tell us they “learned a lot”. I can’t tell you what they learned, because they can’t tell us what they learned. I have never seen anything brought back from these trips that will be benefit our members. The trips simply are perks that produce nothing in regards to issues in grievance matters. It is also difficult to reach officers to get answers in real time because they are always out-of-town. Lets reduce the thousands of dollars spent on these mini-vacations and put that money towards an experienced labor attorney.

    Since our local is dominated by the NDC, in votes, I believe other members are afraid to complain. Union meetings can be verbally and physically threatening and within earshot of President or Vice President and they don’t say a word to acknowledge or discourage that type of oppressive conduct. In summary, I believe our officers are intelligent and informed. Because of that, they have more of a responsibility to provide an inclusive atmosphere at meetings and fulfill a legal responsibility of fiduciary care of membership dues. 8-28-19

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    How much did that cost?
    Its great that it happened.

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU Tenn-Tom Area Local
    Office held, if any

    This is the worst part of the whole story.

    After having no success and little help from the National APWU Lawyers, the SWFAL-APWU decided to hire their own attorney’s to represent the local.

  4. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Phoenix Metro

    Congratulations! Thinking outside the box is clearly a needed trend for unions.

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