Shared Community Toolbox, Another Bad Idea!

Idowu Balogun

May 24, 2023

Share this article

Here we go again!

The Postal Service has now chosen to disrupt and inconvenience the work lives of our mechanics and technicians with a new Community Toolbox Pod initiative.

On Feb. 7, 2023, the Postal Service notified the APWU of their plans to standardize the workroom floor maintenance work areas and reduce the number of large rolling toolboxes by implementing multiple “pods.” These maintenance pods would be strategically located on the workroom floor to provide coverage for all equipment in its general vicinity and would require badges to enter and access. Each of these pods would contain:

  1. An industrial community toolbox with medium to rarely used tools.
  2. Automated parts storage solution (vending machine) to track the inventory quantity and supplies.
  3. Workbenches, computer kiosks, and other consumable storage options.

On March 2, 2023, national officers of the APWU met with management on the community toolbox initiative to voice our concerns, learn more about their community tool box initiative, and discover how this will directly (and indirectly) affect our mechanics, technicians, maintenance support clerks, and other occupational groups that may need access to the pods and tools.

The Postal Service informed the APWU that once these pods are implemented, individual employee toolboxes will be removed and returned to asset management. Instead of individual toolboxes, each mechanic and technician will now be issued a robust multi-platform tool bag that contains the most common tools used daily.

In addition, the toolbox and parts vending machine will be secure and accessible only by using an employee identification badge for restocking and accountability purposes. New “multi-platform tool bags” that contain commonly used tools will be given to each employee affected by this change. Each technician and mechanic will also be given an additional locker (that is part of a larger bank of lockers) that is also accessible using employee identification badges to store their new tool bag. The pod initiative is fi rst being tested in Richmond, Virginia with other sites and rollout dates yet to be determined.

The stand-up talk given by management solicits employee feedback, so please speak your mind and share your thoughts with the APWU via email at:

Norman, Oklahoma: Tornado Strikes National Center for Employee Development

On Feb. 26, 2023, a tornado hit the NCED buildings in Norman, OK and caused severe damage (power was out, windows were broken, light poles were downed, and there was structural damage, etc.). Contractors were immediately dispatched onsite to evaluate the damage and begin the process of repairing and restoring the facility. The APWU was notified that NCED would reopen on March 12, 2023, and that any training missed as a result of the tornado would be made up. A few areas of the facility are still being repaired and will be separated with yellow caution tape to keep personnel out until the repairs are complete. ■

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.