APWU President William Burrus announced that the union had prevailed in its efforts to gain admittance to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, a panel composed of large mailers that meets secretly with postal officials to develop long-term plans for the Postal Service. He called the agreement a “major accomplishment for the union.”
Every piece of equipment that postal employees interact with and every major management initiative — including network consolidation — began in the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, Burrus said.
“This is the group making the plans for tomorrow’s United States Postal Service,” Burrus said, “and we only find out what their plans are once they are willing to go public.”
“If they are going to develop a new flat sorter, we don’t want to find out about it when they start putting it in our facility,” Burrus said. “We want to know five years before — when the idea begins.”
Despite MTAC’s role in influencing postal policy, the APWU had been denied admission to the panel. In May 2007 the union filed a lawsuit, charging that the secret policy meetings violated federal “government in the sunshine” laws. Faced with the prospect of losing the court case, Burrus said, he received written confirmation within the last few days that the APWU would be permitted access to the committee.
“We’re going to be there; we’re going to get that information; we’re going to monitor their activities,” Burrus said. “In short, we won!”