It's Left Up to Us
(This article appears in the November/December 2014 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
Logic, common sense and the Postal Service’s irresponsible decisions tell us that management will not manage the USPS out of its manufactured financial crisis.
The four postal unions – the APWU, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association – have formed a Postal Union Alliance to protect the interests of workers and the public while defending the public Postal Service. As union members and as individuals, we must rise up and pour our concentrated efforts into the union-led fight to protect those interests.
All evidence points to the fact that top-level managers don’t want the USPS to succeed. I’m talking about the Postmaster General, his cohorts and right-wing members of Congress who hope to privatize the Postal Service. A good example is their plan to change service standards and slow down mail delivery.
Management’s actions mean union members will have to take the lead to protect and defend the post office. All union members – individually or in groups – must contact their elected representatives at the local and national level and solicit their help to stop the anti-postal forces from destroying the USPS.
Packages Keeping the USPS Afloat
Package deliveries are keeping the USPS afloat. Instead of shopping in malls, people are ordering goods on the Internet – goods that have to be delivered in a precise and expedited manner. These deliveries have generated much-needed revenue for the Postal Service.
The USPS has been stepping up the delivery process for packages. Management has purchased “state of the art” scanning machines to show where the mail is in the delivery chain at all times. Further, the Postal Service has updated GPS technology so employees can easily and accurately locate addresses.
The Postal Service has also lowered postage rates for packages, which has brought complaints from competitors at UPS and FedEx.
Management should continue to improve the Postal Service’s share of the package business. If the USPS guaranteed timely delivery it would help. We still have the infrastructure in place enough to do a super job.
The union was – and is – hoping that Congress will intervene and issue another moratorium on the consolidation of mail processing plants. Closing plants causes excessing and is a detriment to expediting mail delivery.
The integrity of the postal institution is at stake. A moratorium is needed to help preserve first-class mail standards.
If Congress doesn’t take action, it will have a negative effect on how we serve the public. We have a responsibility to the people who depend on the timely delivery of their mail, medicine and checks, and who depend on the mail to pay their bills in a timely manner.
Management is violating the procedures for excessing with no compunction. In some facilities the USPS wants to excess full-time regular employees and keep Postal Support Employees (PSEs) who hold down the assignments. In other places, management is excessing employees from consolidated mail processing facilities into “gaining installations,” then targeting employees at the gaining installations to be excessed out. This is a clear and blatant violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Employees cannot be excessed into a facility where excessing is taking place.
All these blatant violations of the contract can be demoralizing. Maybe this is management’s way of trying to destroy the spirit of good employees who have hope for the future of the Postal Service.
My fellow Regional Coordinators, Sharyn Stone, John Dirzius, Mike Gallagher and Omar Gonzalez are in unison requesting that all the employees in the APWU stay involved and help fight for the welfare of the U.S. Postal Service. Do as the rap song says, “Be Ready, Stay Ready,” therefore you won’t have to “Get Ready.” It is up to us.