Essential Workers and Postal Déjà Vu

Omar M. Gonzalez

May 7, 2021

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

You have always been ‘essential’ to America; the pandemic only proved it. Your work affects everyone in the USA and impacts the economy. Why then do managers so often ignore your worth, dignity and value? Whether denying Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL), improper scheduling or making unjust demands on your daily duties, too many managers run the operation like their own fiefdom. Such mentality seemingly emanates top to bottom especially regarding your work life and staffing. Postmaster General DeJoy’s 10-Year plan, ironically called ‘Delivering for America,’ plans disruption for American postal workers. Get ready!

“We Will Consolidate Our Network”

The PMG plans to close postal facilities claiming it is to “optimize” the network to meet or exceed 95% on time delivery. In reality the “Mail Moves” translate into job losses, abolishments, excessing, facility closures and cuts resulting in delayed mail service.

DeJoy is not the first PMG to impose cuts. Back in the 1780s, PMG Hazard was busted by George Washington for placing mail on horses instead of stagecoaches to “improve service and reduce costs.” In 1992, PMG Runyon re-organized the USPS, imposing almost the identical things DeJoy is doing.

The PMG’s “Transformation Plan” in 2006 reduced the facility network, cut retail services and tried getting workers to buy-in by the using “Voice of the Employee” (VOE), now called the “Postal Pulse” (which you are urged to boycott). The 2010-15 AMPs (Area Mail Processing) consolidations shut down major plants, relaxed service standards and delayed mail.

In 2021, DeJoy’s plan is to close or repurpose plants delaying 30 percent of the nation’s mail. Postal Déjà vu all over again!

Prepare for Back to the Future

Space does not permit outlining all our preparations. But prepare we must! Locals must educate members on the:

  • Big picture privatization threat of mail processing, maintenance and transportation.
  • Critical nature of our contract fight to retain lay-off protections, keep our benefits, the 50-mile radius limit, improve wages and working conditions.
  • Need to begin now contacting local, state and federal representatives to protect mail services.
  • Provisions of Article 12 that lessen the impact of staffing changes but do not necessarily stop changes. And all relevant CBA Articles.
  • Importance of attending, with co-workers and family members, the AMP Community Town Hall Meetings to fight consolidations.
  • “Mail Moves” operational changes impact to work and homelife.

Locals need members to get involved and not rely solely on the National Union. The May thru November “Mail Moves” staffing changes are only the beginning. The time to mobilize is now - DO NOT WAIT!

Regional Coordinators Sharyn Stone, Kennith Beasley, Tiffany Foster, AJ Jones and I are on the “National Fightback Committee,” to organize against plant closings/ consolidations. But we cannot do it without you. Just like one tree can start a forest, one star can guide a ship and one step can start a journey - one member can make a difference in our fight to survive DeJoy! Will you be that ONE member?

Coordinators will be contacting locals to join the fight against Consolidations & Mail Delays – Be Ready!

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