From APWU: “In a letter to local presidents dated Aug. 6, 2010, APWU Director of Industrial Relations Greg Bell reminded everyone of the APWU’s long-standing policy, adopted by the National Executive Board, to boycott all employee surveys. The USPS recently notified the APWU of a new employee survey that they are conducting. We do not believe that it is a coincidence that this survey is being conducted just as contract negotiations are about to begin. In the past, the Postal Service has used these surveys to undermine the union in collective bargaining, and we have every reason to believe they will attempt the same trick again. We need everyone’s continued support in reminding members not to participate in employee surveys. ”
The APWU is asking union members to boycott USPS “Voice of the Employee” surveys in order to prevent management from manipulating the results to undercut the union during upcoming contract negotiations.
The results of the survey are likely to be misrepresented by the Postal Service in an effort to reduce employee wages and benefits, APWU Director of Industrial Relations Greg Bell wrote in an Aug. 6 letter to local and state union presidents.
The Postal Service recently notified the union that it would conduct a two-part survey of employees and customers “to gain insight into the public’s perception of the USPS brand and how the Postal Service has impacted them.” The first survey took place between July 26 and Aug. 6; the second is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 20 and conclude by Oct. 1. Bargaining begins Sept. 1; the current contract expires Nov. 20.
Surveys have long been a point of contention between the union and the Postal Service; since 1998, the APWU has discouraged union members from taking part. A motion by the National Executive Board adopted that year opposed “the use of all surveys, focus groups, polls and audits as a means of interviewing employees and union officials to evaluate job-related and internal issues.”
“The Postal Service has misrepresented the results of employee opinion surveys in the past,” Bell wrote, including during contract negotiations, “when it used survey data to justify claims that employees supported its wage proposals.”
“Opinion surveys are often designed to elicit a specific response or result,” he noted. Bell pointed out that earlier this year the Postal Service conducted a poll that compared eliminating Saturday delivery to other negative alternatives. Based on the survey, the USPS announced that most Americans favor five-day delivery.
“Our locals and members have done a great job in the past, Bell said. “We need continued support in boycotting the surveys. Participation is voluntary, and members should refuse to take part.”