USPS To Remove Stamp Vending Machines in Western Area by 2008

USPS notified APWU on August 2, 2007 of its intent to  remove all stamp vending machines within the Western Area by September 2008. The removal of the stamp vending machines will impact Clerk and Maintenance craft employees who service the machines.

In October 2006 USPS announced that “A program scheduled to begin in 2007 will phase out stamp vending machines from Post Offices and offsite locations across the country by 2010. Approximately 5,900 vending machines will be removed each year until the nearly 23,000 machines now in service have been withdrawn. USPS points to reasons such as aging equipment, lack of repair parts and the high cost of specialized vending stock for removing the machines from service. Dissatisfaction with dollar coins in change, machine malfunctions and failure to accept credit and debit cards also helped make the machines customer service “has-beens.”

The Western Area encompasses the states of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, the western and southern portions of Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, western Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Text of letter below:

Omar M. Gonzalez
Western Regional Coordinator
1799 Old Bay Shore Hwy, Ste 240
Burlingame, CA 94010-1377

Sharyn M. Stone
Regional Coordinator APWU
Central Region
330 S. Wells St., Ste 800
Chicago, IL 60606-7110

Re: Removal of Stamp Vending Machines

Dear Union Officers:

This is a courtesy notice that we are planning to remove all stamp vending machines within the Western Area by September 2008. There are several reasons for this business decision including: customers are buying fewer stamps from the machines and are choosing alternative channels; only 7% of customers claim that vending machines are their primary source of stamps; revenue from vending machines has decreased 35% from 2001 to 2005; some machines are only used by one or two customers per month and only garner $25; many of the machines are old and are no longer serviceable; the U.S. Treasury Department has changed the $5, $10, and $20 bills to address counterfeiting and the machines lack appropriate bill validators; and consequently it is not cost effective to maintain and upgrade the machines in light of decreased revenue.

The removal of the stamp vending machines will impact clerk and maintenance employees who service the machines. We believe that impacts will be minimal and we do not anticipate excessing outside of the installation or craft. Each District Office will therefore handle their Article 12 notices.

If you have any questions please contact Dan L Foster at 303-313-5702.

Valerie E. Martin
Manager Human Resources
Western Area
1745 Stout St., Ste 600
Denver, CO 80299-4000
(303) 391-5020
FAX: 391-5021

**some portions of the letter removed by