Postal Officials projected 97 million patrons visited a post office during the holidays, reporting retail offices generated $12 billion in FY 09. Not bad for business.
On the hand, Deputy PMG Donahoe ruins it all by claiming waiting time in line at post offices was just over 3 minutes. He ignores the hundreds of thousands complaining of waiting in line sometimes as long as 20 minutes. The PMG eliminated Consumer Complaints Cards so the only way to complain is to go of all places, online. Donahoe’s brag is actually based on averaged surveys.
The fact is management has gutted window operations. Calling it “efficiency” they will continue to reduce window operations through 2013. The current number of post offices targeted for closure is 141. Pointing to alternative services that generate $5 billion, they contend reducing window service is good business. (Go figure) Wait a minute Mr. PMG. Why are you taking service out of the USPS?
Postal officials are quick to blame the economy, alleged 1964 mail volume and the internet to justify the reduction of the workforce, closures of post offices, and consolidation of operations. They sacrifice service while claiming to be more efficient. While service slips your work life is disrupted almost daily.
While boasting the Postal Service is the highest rated and trusted government agency, the bosses do everything to cut service. Some admit the recording and reporting of mail conditions is off track. Try finding a blue mail box in your neighborhood. Business hours have been condensed, fit and shipped priority boxes don’t make it in six days, and damaged mail can take more than 90 days to be delivered. Mail is still hidden, color codes are illegally changed while pallets of delayed mail gather dust.
Why? Why would a company that cries it is broke and needs revenue continue to cut service? Why would a management that boasts service goals are at 96% or better continue to gut operations? One reason is to garner public scorn for postal workers. Management daily pushes patrons to the internet. Management routinely points to the high labor costs and the need to cut workers, but why?
Is it Your Fault?
How often have you heard a manager claim employees are USPS’s #1 asset and then proceed to make your postal life hell? In their report to Congress the PMG and Chair of the Board of Governors bragged they cut 90 million work hours in 2009 and reduced costs by $6 billion. The bosses claimed they did all this and still had high service performance and customer satisfaction.
They gave you some credit saying it was the dedication of the men and women of the Postal Service that make it possible, but in the very next paragraph in their report the bosses state they are adapting their work force by “changing operations, staffing and facilities.”
Management claims USPS is in debt by about $10 billion and by the end of 2010 the debt will be $12 billion, so they plan to cut more work hours by about 100 million or so. They plan to “maximize” operational efficiencies [abolishments, excessing, AMPs, closures NRP etc.] They want to “adjust delivery” [cut delivery service to 5 days a week.]
The bosses also told Congress that they plan to “negotiate FAIR contracts that reflect the state of the economy and current and FUTURE mail revenues to maintain financial stability.
Management has made it clear to Congress and declared that in order to achieve savings they must OVERCOME the challenge to reduce employee complement.
They you have it! It is the fault of the employees why more cuts are needed. (Of course there are other factors like fuel, Do Not Mail state/city laws, weather etc.) According to management their #1 cost is labor- YOU! They claim total factor productivity is down for the second year in a row.
So expect 2010 at the post office to be crazier than ’09, but you can effect the outcome and destiny of the Postal Service and your future job security. Yes, YOU who management blames for the need to cut costs, can make a major difference.
by Omar Gonzalez, APWU Western Region Coordinator via East Bay Area Local #47, The Unionizer
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