7/24/2012 11:47:00 AM
On July 20, 2012 a letter over the signature of president Guffey was transmitted to the Newspaper Guild union [a Division of CWA] informing that effective immediately APWU was declaring an impasse in the contract negotiations, and that it is intended to impose the final offer exchanged at the bargaining table. This is the absolute lowest act by an employer. History is replete with union busting employers that have nullified collectively bargained agreements and imposed draconian provisions that they were unable to achieve at the bargaining table.
Postal management attempted to achieve the same results in 1984 and initiated the legal steps to declare impasse. Moe and Vince Sombrotto filed emergency legal and legislative action and convinced Congressman Conte of New York to introduce legislation requiring the exhaustion of the arbitration process. Now the very same union under different leadership uses the same despicable tactic to impose its will. Unable to negotiate the elimination of no lay off provisions included in the Guild contract, APWU leadership intends to abrogate the protection unilaterally. The very union that has declared at repeated national conventions that no lay off protection is absolute intends to eliminate it for 10 of its employees without bargaining.
The Guild represents ten (10) employees who perform in technical assignments of the 100 or so total employees who work for APWU. When the union was born, Moe assigned Bob Tunstall to negotiate the maiden contract and Bob agreed to no lay off patterned after the APWU contract. Now in an act of spite they take the reprehensible step of declaring impasse and abrogating no lay off, the very corner stone of the APWU agreement. With only 10 Guild employees, cost is not a factor when compared to numerous other expenditures for non-representation.
No lay off has continued for 20 years causing no interruptions in the APWU operation. A member of the Guild for some unexplained reason has received the wrath of the president and this act is the continuation of a personal vendetta against that specific employee. She was arbitrarily removed from the Guild and placed in the secretaries’ union (OPEIU, Local 2), grieved the reassignment and won the arbitration ordering her return. She was then assigned to a work center with no computer, no telephone and videotaped. Another grievance was filed and the arbitrator ordered the assignment of duties consistent with her skills. These duties were being performed by children of officers and employees who are employed in the summer student work program. This act of vindictiveness has now extended to declaring impasse in the negotiations with the layoff of this employee to follow.
Larry Cohen, President of CWA is one of the most respected union leaders in the country and he has waged a multi-year battle against Verizon that has used every anti-union tactic imaginable. Now his attention is diverted to a sister union that has stooped to the level of the anti-union forces. Scott Walker will have to move over; there are forces within the labor movement that equal his passion to destroy labor unions.