From the American Postal Workers Union:
Expressing concern about the outsourcing of maintenance and repair work on postal vehicles, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) wrote to the USPS Boston District Manager on Sept. 22, [PDF] and asked for an explanation of USPS policy.
“It is my understanding that the vehicle maintenance work is currently being contracted out at an hourly rate which exceeds that of USPS” employees, he said. In addition, Lynch said he had seen documentation indicating that some of the work failed to adhere to maintenance guidelines and risked harm to the environment.
“Also of grave concern is that these contactors have access to universally familiar USPS vehicles” and are authorized to remove them from postal premises. Lynch said he was concerned that contractors may not have been vetted to ensure that they pose no threat to homeland security.
“It is my hope that you can provide a detailed explanation of USPS motor vehicle maintenance policy and the process by which these contractors are selected,” Lynch concluded.
Rep. Lynch wrote the letter in response to complaints from Boston Metro Area Local Motor Vehicle Services Craft President Bill Weaver. In a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter, [PDF] Weaver outlined concerns about the security of the mail, the lack of training of subcontractors, and the cost of subcontracting, as compared with assigning the maintenance and repair work to postal employees.
APWU national officers praised the activities of the members of the Boston Local and of Rep. Lynch. “We have always gotten a good turnout from Boston,” Assistant MVS Director Michael O. Foster said. “This is exactly the kind of grass-roots effort we need.
“Motor Vehicle Craft employees and local leaders have to get involved,” he said. Foster noted that Rep. Lynch authored the Mail Network Protection Act (H.R. 4236), which would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before it engages in significant contracting-out. The APWU enthusiastically supports the bill and has encouraged union members to urge their congressional representatives to sign on as co-sponsors.