White House Plan to Privatize the Postal Service

Statement by President Dimondstein

Web News Article #:

59-2018

06/21/2018The White House proposal on restructuring the federal government released today, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered nothing but misinformation and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at an affordable cost to 157 million addresses every day. Furthermore, the White House plan is an attack on many federal agencies and the public services they provide.

The White House’s plan states, “Like many European nations the United States could privatize its postal operator…” What’s left unsaid is European nations charge substantially more for mail services delivered in a much smaller area. They also regularly raise the cost of delivery. For example, the cost of sending a letter in the United Kingdom has increased 80 percent over the past decade. By comparison, the U.S. has the lowest postage rates in the industrialized world.

Eliminating the universal service obligation, as the plan suggests, would hurt business and individuals alike, and would be a dagger aimed at the heart of rural America and undermine e-commerce.

The draconian plan uses “burdening the taxpayers” as justification to promote the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service when the truth is USPS is self-supporting and receives no tax dollars for postal operations.

And, while letter mail volumes are lower, package delivery is up substantially. No institution is better suited for the e-commerce revolution than USPS.  The public postal service serves each and every person and belongs to the people of this country. According to recent surveys by Gallup and the Pew Research Center, it enjoys the highest level of satisfaction and trust of any government service or agency, rating the highest among young people.

Privatizing the Postal Service is not in the public interest or the interest of postal workers and would be nothing more than a raid by corporate pirates on a national treasure.

This outrageous White House plan should be a wake-up call to every postal worker and APWU member. The threats of postal privatization, the threats to decent union jobs, the threats to good services, are real.

The American Postal Workers Union stands with the people of the country and our many allies in the ongoing fight to ensure a vibrant public Postal Service for generations to come.

More information and calls for action will be forthcoming.

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Stand Up for Safe Jobs on Workers Memorial Day APWU

Web News Article #:
39-2018
04/23/2018 – Each year on Workers Memorial Day (April 28), working people throughout the world remember those who were hurt or killed on the job and recommit to the struggle for a safe workplace.
Virtually every safety and health protection on the books today exists because union workers fought together to win them, the most notable being the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
On April 28, 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act became effective and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed. Since the law was passed, significantly fewer workers have been killed on the job each year; however, there is still a long way to go. Right now, the federal government is reversing safety regulations and slashing resources for safety enforcement.
The Post Office is a dangerous place to work. In Fiscal Year 2017 alone, 12 postal employees died on the job and 42,594 injury claims were approved.
This Workers Memorial Day, we call for an end to the unnecessary injuries and deaths of our brothers and sisters. We push for action by – and increased protections for – all workers. Report safety hazards in the workplace and let’s hold management accountable to fix them.
Things You Can Do during this Workers Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, April 27-Monday, April 30):
Wear a sticker! (Contact your local leadership for more information)
Be alert for safety issues – not only on Workers Memorial Day but every day – and submit a PS Form 1767 Report of Hazard or Unsafe Working Condition Form when you see something. Speak up and stay on it until the hazard is abated.
“Red tag” broken and damaged equipment, and ensure that Form 1767s and Red Tags are available in your work areas.
Hold a moment of silence with your co-workers when you all clock-in to honor all those injured or who have lost their lives at work.
Join a local union safety committee.
The APWU National encourages you to speak with your local union officers about becoming involved in the union’s safety campaign. The life or limb you save may be your own!
Together, let’s Stand Up for Safe Jobs!

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USPS Safety Ambassador Program

03/16/2018 – The APWU was informed on October 26, 2017 of the Postal Service’s intent to roll out a new program called the Safety Ambassador Program. The Postal Service intends to replace the safety captain program, and any other local safety programs, with this “standardized” and nationally controlled program. The American Postal Workers Union does not support, agree with, or endorse this program.
Using their latest catch phrase—employee engagement—the Postal Service claims that this program “will focus on employee engagement, training, communication, hazard identification/abatement, and accident reduction.” Having a safe workplace is every worker’s right and you must fight for that right! However, the Safety Ambassador Program appears to be nothing more than an end-around our currently negotiated joint union-management safety procedures.
We have multiple issues with the program including, but not limited to, the following:
Rather than encouraging that safety hazards be reported on PS Form 1767, the Service encourages “verbal” reporting of hazards where there would be no record or tracking of the hazard. Written records are the basis for showing the hazard was reported.
Ambassador selection would be at sole discretion of installation head (manager, postmaster) without any union input. Many locals have elected officers and appointed officials who are responsible for safety. We also have reports from the field that management has instructed those making selections to specifically avoid using union representatives and “agitators.” It has been reported that the Postal Service is encouraging its managers to select employees who are not active in their unions as ambassadors.
Ambassadors are supposed to be “volunteers.” However, multiple reports from the field are showing that employees are being forced to become Ambassadors.
Local Safety and Health Committees are not part of the program.
Ambassadors would participate in creating Job Safety Analysis (JSA) which is currently the function of Article 14 Safety and Health Committees.
Ambassadors will be observing their coworkers, telling them they are being unsafe, and providing feedback and coaching to them, as well as reporting back to the supervisors on their coworkers’ actions.
Ambassadors will be trained on the use of the USPS Safety Toolkit which again is in the purview of the Safety and health Committees.
The APWU has initiated an Article 19 appeal to arbitration on the implementation of this program (Q15C-4Q-C 18055498). We believe the Service has violated Article 5 Prohibition of Unilateral Action (past practice of safety programs and failure to negotiate), Article 14 Safety and Health, Article 19 Handbooks and Manuals, ELM Chapter 8. Questions on the dispute should be directed to the Article 14 officers at headquarters, Lynn Pallas-Barber and Terry Martinez. Copies of all relevant documents were sent to the NBAs in the field.
We request that any local or state organization that has Safety and Health Committees immediately file a grievance that the Safety Ambassador program is a violation of Article 14 and the negotiated Safety and Health Committee processes as well as Article 1 Union Recognition – that the APWU is the exclusive bargaining representative for those we represent. Safety programs are subject of bargaining and the union must be included in the decisions about any safety program. Grievances should also be initiated where employees have been involuntarily required to act as ambassadors. No one is required to be an ambassador and they can decline the offer to be one. Any grievances on this issue held, pending the Article 19 appeal, must be held at Step 3 only, to provide better tracking.
The APWU believes strongly that your workplace must be a safe place to work. We believe bargaining unit member participation is important to a safe work place and that we all need to act together to make sure it is. As an individual and in groups you should be able to feel that you can act through using 1767s, workroom floor actions, and filing grievances. You should not have to go through a management-appointed intermediary in order to have a safe workplace!
As the Postal Service remains the most dangerous place to work of all federal agencies in the country, we must fight for our rights to have fair, reasonable, and successful safety programs. The Safety Ambassador Program does not fit that description as it was fully developed and implemented by management while completely ignoring your union.

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