The U.S. Postal Service and two of its major unions will stay at the bargaining table for at least another week-and-a-half, all sides said today in separate news releases.
An earlier extension of contract negotiations with the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union was on track to expire today; that deadline is now midnight, Dec. 16. “We have been working in good faith to hammer out a new contract and we hope that this extension will lead to an agreement that our members can enthusiastically ratify,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.
Previous contracts for both unions officially expired Nov. 20. The NALC represents more than 195,000 postal workers, the NPMHU more than 45,000. If negotiations fail to produce new agreements in either case, the next step would be arbitration, which is the path taken by the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Union. That process formally began Monday, according to a posting on the NRLCA’s web site.