When the Clock Ticks Down
The APWU site explains it this way:
If the contract expires without an agreement, we will be prepared to move ahead with “interest arbitration.” Under the terms of the Postal Reorganization Act, if the parties fail to reach agreement on a successor contract and do not agree on an alternative procedure, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) appoints a mediator. If agreement is still not reached within 60 days of the expiration of the contract, both parties submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration.
If arbitration becomes necessary, the APWU will appoint an arbitrator, as will the USPS. These two party-appointed arbitrators will then agree upon a neutral arbitrator to serve as chair of the panel of arbitrators. If the party-appointed arbitrators are unable to agree upon a neutral arbitrator to serve as chair, he or she will be selected from a list provided by the FMCS. The union will review the history of each of the potential arbitrators, and, after completion of the review, the parties will alternately strike names from the list in order to select the neutral arbitrator who will decide the terms of the National Agreement.
The party-appointed arbitrators will serve alongside the neutral arbitrator to ensure that each side’s interests are clearly understood by the neutral arbitrator.
Reference Source: www.apwu.org