Closure of Operations at San Mateo Accounting Services Center Stopped

July 9, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

On April 12, the Postal Service notified the APWU that they were discontinuing operations at the San Mateo, CA Accounting Service Center (ASC) no sooner than August 13, 2021.

Support Services Director Steve Brooks and National Business Agent Judy McCann immediately met with the USPS to hear management’s presentation on why this change was occurring. When evidence was requested to justify the move and reduction in staff, management could not provide adequate information.

The Support Services Division began mobilizing affected workers and gained community and political support to stop the plan. On April 27, Director Brooks sent a letter to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA- 14), the House Representative for the San Mateo area, about postal management’s intention and how it would affect the employees, their families and the community. The APWU Legislative & Political Department also reached out to Rep. Speier’s office to set up a meeting. Zoom meetings were held with the affected employees. They were given a draft letter and contact information for their Congressional representatives, the Mayor of San Mateo, and Asian community organizations they could contact (79.3 percent of the affected employees are of Asian heritage). Members sent letters and made phone calls to their representatives. The group also planned a picket for May 22.

On May 6, Rep. Speier sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, saying she did not agree with the move. She demanded he provide data in two weeks to show the reasoning or she would request that a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study be done.

On May 14, postal management informed President Dimondstein that they would not be proceeding with the plan. On May 27, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, stating that the workers will be satellite employees to the St. Louis office, but will process work from the San Mateo area. The APWU is meeting with management on a local MOU to resolve the internal processes on job posting, bidding, and area’s union local representation.

“Stopping the closure of the ASC would not have been possible without the unity of employees in San Mateo,” said Director Brooks. “Thank you for your dedication and commitment in this fight.”

The solidary inspired other workers and showed the “union difference.” After seeing the importance of unity and strength in numbers during this fight, 17 ACS workers joined the APWU.

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