By Jamison Hixenbaugh – July 7, 2015
After months of rallying and negotiation talks, the American Post Workers Union has yet to reach a contract agreement with the U.S. Postal Service.
According to APWU Erie Area Local President Joe Szocki, the two sides have been in mediation since June, after failing to reach an agreement by the May 20 deadline.
According to Szocki, another concern is the future of the mail sorting facility on East 38th Street. It was scheduled to close back in April and move operations to Pittsburgh. The closure was delayed.
“Initially, everybody was happy that the plant wasn’t closing,” said Szocki. “But the damage has already been done.”
Erie’s mail is now postmarked in Pittsburgh. All of that mail then comes back to Erie to be sorted out before it is delivered.
“All it’s doing is delaying things,” said retired letter carrier David Minor. “People are frustrated about it…and there’s no reason for it.”
Minor–who spent 37 years with the postal service–says the changes have created a number of issues.
“All of the equipment is up in Erie,” said Minor. “So there’s no reason to send anything down to Pittsburgh.”
Szocki says the two sides must reach an agreement by the beginning of August. If no agreement is reached, the U.S. Postal Service and the APWU will go into arbitration.
I reached out to the U.S. Postal Service for comment. In a written statement, Tad Kelley of corporate communications says:
“The Postal Service respects the bargaining process and we prefer to keep our contract negotiations at the bargaining table.”