After an initial bargaining deadline passed Saturday, the U.S. Postal Service will keep talking to the American Postal Workers Union for at least another two days, but said that negotiations with the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association had reached an impasse, thereby potentially leaving it up to arbitration to decide the outcome, according to a USPS news release.
Contracts with both unions had been set to expire at midnight Saturday, but the Postal Service and the APWU agreed to an extension until noon Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, the union said in its own release.
“We do not have a new contract, but we believe there is still potential to negotiate an agreement,” APWU President Cliff Guffey said in a statement. The NRLCA office was closed Sunday afternoon and no one there could immediately be reached for comment. Between them, the two unions represent some 324,000 workers, according to the Postal Service.
Arbitration was needed the last time the NRLCA’s contract was up for renewal, according to the Postal Service. In that case, a three-member arbitration panel set the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement in December 2007, more than a year after the preceding contract had expired, a news release said at the time.