Reasons to give to COPA
Presidential Postal Commission Declares War on Postal Workers
Your future is in the hands of Congress
Presidential Postal Commission Recommendations
Cut Postal Workers Pay The Commission recommends a powerful Postal
Regulatory Board appointed by the President. That board would cap new workers
and cut pay of current workers.
Outsource Postal Jobs All jobs incidental to the delivery of the mail.
The commission recommends contracting out of motor vehicle maintenance, local
mail transportation, maintenance, mail processing, retail services and support
Elimination of the No Lay Off Clause This would force us to take small
salary increases, jeopardize COLA and decrease benefits if we wanted to maintain
this collective bargaining right.
Cut Postal Benefits Remove postal workers from the federal employees
health benefits program, pension programs and OWCP program. These benefits are
now guaranteed by law.
Close Post Offices and Consolidate Plants Without the say of customers,
employees or our elected representatives.
Curtail Collective Bargaining The commission supports collective
bargaining, so they claim. They recommended that binding arbitration be
eliminated and go to implementation of the last best offer. They feel what is
guaranteed by law should be part of the bargaining package.
These changes cannot happen until Congress changes the law.
Hear what the special interest groups have to say:
Time Magazine CEO Ann Moore endorsed Commission proposals that would curtail
workers’ rights in negotiating for pay, benefits, and working conditions. “We
fully support the Commission's conclusion that the collective bargaining process
needs revision,” she said, “today's system of binding arbitration does not
always provide an optimal solution.”
Asserting, “approximately 80 percent of the Postal Service's costs are
labor,” she advocated reducing those expenses through increased work sharing.
RR Donnelly CO. CEO William L. Davis, the largest commercial printer in
the United States, testified before the senate and stated: “we support the
recommendations of the Presidential Commission and we urge congress to push
ahead right now. The status quo is not acceptable. When we talk about
outsourcing, we don't mean India, we mean FedEx!”
Pitney Bowes CEO Michael J. Critelli “We at Pitney Bowes and the members
of the Mailing Industry CEO council know that postal reform legislation needs to
get done now.”
FedEx CEO Fred Smith and UPS Chairman Michael Eskew urged lawmakers to
further restrain the Postal Service from using revenue derived through its
letter-mail monopoly to “cross-subsidize” its services in the parcel and
overnight delivery markets. “We believe package delivery is well served by the
private sector,” Eskew said. “The government does not need to be in it.”
Smith went a step further by urging Congress to repeal the USPS monopoly on mail
delivery by 2008, giving companies such as his access to citizens’ mailboxes. In
2008, he noted, similar government protections for privatized European postal
systems are scheduled to end. “This would be the single most important step that
could be taken,” he said.
President Bill Lewis urges you not to sit and watch as these major
mailers convince your representatives that the postal service should adopt the
Walmart model for postal workers. The APWU is prepared to fight this injustice
in the halls of congress and at the polls. I need your help and support if we
are to be successful. This battle for survival is your fight and you must step
up. You can start by giving to COPA, voting, working hard to get out the vote
for postal friendly candidates and writing to your representatives.
GIVE TO COPA TODAY-TOMORROW IS TOO LATE
i have heard from some NALC representatives that 8
of their carriers have been placed on compensation and have had interviews. i
have also heard owcp may have difficulty placing the injured employees. but
this is all hearsay. Mail Handler (4/23/04)
Wanted Overtime Available (3/25/04)
The Trenton P&DC located in Hamilton, NJ has begun the restoration phase of
bringing the once anthrax crippled P&DC back on line.
The building was successfully decontaminated and has been declared safe for
workers to return. The mail processing machines are in need of total overhauls.
The Trenton maintenance staff has a unique situation. It must continue to
maintain our interim facility located in Monroe, NJ which is 18 miles north of
the Trenton P&DC and at the same time we have to do a total overhaul of all of
our mail processing machines in Trenton.
We are currently soliciting details for Mail Processing Equipment Mechanics,
Electronic Technicians and Maintenance Support Clerks to work with us in this
major undertaking. You will receive all contractual entitlements, i.e. travel,
per diem, lodging. There are overtime opportunities available for all.
We currently have 7 vacant Mail Processing Equipment Mechanic positions and 2
Building Equipment Mechanic positions available for permanent reassignment.
Any APWU member who is interested in these opportunities please contact Bill
Lewis, President of the Trenton Metro Area Local for additional information.
Union Office Phone # 609- 631-7745 or email: BillLewisTMAL@aol.com
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Trenton Metro Area Local here in New Jersey is submitting the enclosed
information to generate discussions and request suggestions and strategies to
combat this unprecedented USPS attack on earned wages of Postal Workers.
As many of you may know, the Trenton P&DC in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, has
been a closed USPS facility since October 18, 2001. Since that time, Trenton
employees have been temporarily reassigned to work in five (5) separate Postal
installations - as Temporary Duty Stations.
These Temporary Duty Stations in New Brunswick, Edison, Eatontown, South River,
Monroe Township and Toms River, New Jersey are not suburbs of Hamilton Township
nor does Hamilton Township serve as a suburb of any of these locations.
Since October 18, 2001, the USPS has required the Trenton P&DC employees -
almost 700 in number - to travel - on their own time
to these Temporary Duty Stations.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement is clear. The Trenton P&DC employees are
required to be paid by the USPS for all travel time to
Temporary Duty Stations while their Permanent Duty Station - the Trenton P&DC -
is closed due to the Anthrax attack. Not only has the USPS withheld the wages
of the Trenton Anthrax victims, but has refused to participate in all
scheduled arbitration hearings for the issue.
The USPS refused to appear at the first hearing in July of 2003, claiming their
USPS Attorney-as-Advocate was unavailable. When rescheduled, the USPS claimed
their Attorney-as-Advocate was ill. When the APWU insisted the USPS appear
before the Arbitrator and request a continuance, the USPS agreed and then
contacted the Arbitrator in secret to cancel the Arbitration without
notification to the APWU. When the cases were scheduled for the third time,
the USPS refused to go forward and allegedly moved the cases to Step 4, claiming
a National Level Interpretive Issue existed. At the expiration of the 30-day
period - with no USPS identification of the nature of any interpretive dispute -
the cases were moved back to the Regional Level. With a fourth scheduling for
Regional Arbitration imminent, the USPS again moved the cases to Step 4 claiming
the Temporary Duty Stations referred to above were “defacto Permanent Duty
The USPS has made it clear they hope the issue - and the million in wages
withheld from Trenton APWU members - will be appealed to National Level
Arbitration where it can wait at the bottom of that pending list for the next
We in the Trenton Local are seeking the aid of the Local and State APWU Unions
so that the most effective method can be developed to fight against this
unprecedented attack against earned wages of Postal Workers. We also plan to
bring this issue to the February President's Conference in Connecticut for the
You can visit our Web Site at
the entire, more detailed history of the issue and the events up to the present.
We certainly appreciate your discussion, your input and your help.
One last word - if the USPS is successful in continuing the stonewalling of the
Regional Arbitration of this Wage Withholding, the USPS will - as their strategy
- use the black hole of Step 4 arbitration appeals - and the many years delay -
to stonewall other issues of great import to the APWU. If this USPS
manufactured “Defacto” Permanent Duty Station position is successful, all
temporarily dislocated APWU members will be denied pay whenever a facility is
THIS AFFECTS ALL OF US!
Lewis via email 1/15/04
Trenton P&DC (posted
As we all
know the fumigation process went extremely well. They are currently collecting
samples and test strips. We will have a long wait before we hear the official
results from the environmental clearance committee. The results will be made
public when the committee completes their review and studies the data collected.
I will give a quick overview of all the events and where we are today with
this issue. This is a major class action grievance that affects five hundred
Trenton Union Members from all three APWU crafts.
On July 24, 2003, management informed the Eastern Regional Coordinator's office
they were canceling the July 31, 2003 date with Arbitrator Pecklers. The reason
provided was they were changing advocates and their new advocate was not
available. It should be noted that these cases were reviewed and dates were
mutually agreed upon.
On August 11, 2003, the anthrax travel issues scheduled for July 31, 2003 were
rescheduled for September 26, 2003 with Arbitrator Pecklers. Management
requested to have a meeting on September 23, 2003 to discuss resolution of the
anthrax issues. On September 22, 2003, they called and confirmed that they would
be at the union office around noon. Well, to say the least, management never
showed, their excuse being they were unable to meet with a "higher authority" to
get approval. Anticipating their next move, I reached Jim Burke because I
believed they were going to cancel the date again. Jim agreed with me, there
would be no cancellation.
On September 25, 2003, management attempted to cancel the date with the Eastern
Regional Coordinator's office. When we refused, they unilaterally contacted the
arbitrator and canceled the date. We learned of this action on the day of the
hearing, September 26, 2003, from New York Metro Area Advocate Jim Davidson. I
commented that the arbitrator was late, and Mr. Davidson stated, "he's not
coming, we contacted him and canceled".
Upon hearing this news I contacted Jim Burke's office. NBA Eric Wilson
confirmed they did indeed cancel the date after contacting the USPS. NBA Jeff
Kehlert, the APWU advocate for this date, spoke with Arbitrator Pecklers, who
conveyed he was "sandbagged" by the USPS and was led to believe it was a mutual
cancellation. Arbitrator Pecklers immediately gave three dates to choose from.
The Postal Service failed to respond to calls by the arbitrator or the APWU.
Jim Burke chose October 6, 2003 for the hearing, and after the date was
assigned, the USPS surfaced and told the arbitrator they were not available.
The arbitrator, now seeing their stall tactics, informed the USPS if they could
not agree upon a date he would assign a date for all parties to appear.
The USPS, having exhausted all of their stall/delay options, informed Jim Burke
they were sending the grievance to Step 4 for interpretation. Based on what
they are claiming is interpretive, it is clear they are playing a delay game.
On Monday October 20, 2003 I met with the National Labor Relations Board to file
a ULP and discuss the Postal Service's actions of barring the local from
arbitration. Since we already have an open ULP about them barring us from the
grievance arbitration process I piggybacked this complaint with the existing
one. As a remedy I am requesting a complaint be issued and the NLRB direct the
Postal Service to arbitration. Additionally I am requesting the board review
the arbitrator's decision when it is issued.
The USPS had 30 days from the date they referred the grievance to Step 4 to
present their interpretive arguments. November 7, 2003 was the 30th day, and no
arguments were presented, NBA Jeff Kehlert contacted APWU headquarters to get
the grievance sent back to regional arbitration. This was accomplished on Friday
at 4:30 pm. I will request the APWU contact the arbitrator to see if he has
any date available in the near future.
Clearly the USPS has demonstrated that their only reason for the Step 4 referral
was to delay the hearing and deny the Trenton members their day to be heard.
With this recent action of not presenting any interpretive issues and all the
other evidence I presented to the NLRB I would hope the NLRB will see this as a
violation of the National Labor Relations Act.
I am constantly reading how the USPS focus is to improve their labor relations;
this is clearly not the case in the Central New Jersey District or New York
Metro Area. Regardless of what games the USPS will play I will meet them head
on and we will be sitting at the arbitration table presenting the travel
grievances. I cannot predict what the arbitrator's ruling will be, rest assured
we will be heard. Stay tuned for the latest.
United States Postal Service and
American Postal Workers Union, AFL–CIO, Atlanta Metro Area Local NLRB
On July 18, 2001, Administrative Law Judge Pargen
Robertson issued the attached decision. USPS filed exceptions and a supporting brief, and the
APWU Atlanta GA. Metro filed an answering brief.
The National Labor Relations Board has delegated its
authority in this proceeding to a three-member panel.
The Board has considered the decision and the record in
light of the exceptions and briefs and has decided to affirm the judge’s
rulings, findings, and conclusions only to
the extent consistent with this Decision and Order.
This case involves access to
USPS property by both employees and nonemployees for the purpose of engaging in union solicitation. At the time of the events alleged in the
complaint, the Union already represented the USPS employees, but was
seeking to organize drivers employed by Mail Contractors of America (MCOA), a
company that provides mail hauling services to USPS on a contract
basis. Three persons sought access to a
room on USPS premises known as the “contract drivers’ lounge”in order to solicit MCOA drivers.
Those three persons were Joe Johnson, an off-duty employee of USPS; Will Hardy, an off-duty MCOA employee; and
Lyle Grimes, a union
organizer who was not employed by USPS or MCOA. The judge found that USPS violated
Section 8(a)(1) by denying all three of them access to the lounge. For the reasons stated below, we find that
the USPS violated Section 8(a)(1) by denying access to Johnson, but not
by denying access to Hardy and Grimes. full text
note: This grievance is for all APWU members, all crafts who had to
travel outside the local commuting area of Trenton due to closure of
anthrax-tainted postal facility.
As expected the Postal Service canceled the arbitration hearing for our
anthrax issues. We did anticipate the USPS to try something to delay the
This latest stunt was totally unexpected and
unheard of. They called the
Arbitrator and informed him the hearing was canceled. They led the
to believe the cancellation was mutually agreed upon when in fact it was a
unilateral decision. Both parties employ the Arbitrator and a mutual agreement
is required to cancel. Let it be noted, this is the second cancellation, the
first date was July 31, 2003.
On Thursday, September 25, 2003, the USPS called the Union to cancel the
date. The Union would not agree and informed the USPS we would be at the
hearing. This did not prevent the USPS from asking the Arbitrator at the
beginning of the hearing for a continuance. In most cases the continuance would
The morning of the arbitration hearing, the Union was prepared to present our
case and any motions to prevent any further delays. Management's
representative arrives 30 minutes early with no papers or even a pad of paper.
He makes small talk for 45 minutes and when I asked, "what happened to the
Arbitrator", Management states, the Arbitrator is not coming. I
immediately contacted Regional Coordinator Jim Burke's office and advised him of
this grievous act of the USPS. The Coordinator's office confirmed that the
Labor Relations Representatives have stooped to an all time low.
The Arbitrator has contacted our advocate and has apologized and stated he has
been sandbagged by the Postal Service.
Medical Documentation Request
Employees are receiving letters from the USPS requesting medical
documentation from employees on rehab light and limited duty positions.
If you received this letter, contact your steward for grievance investigation.
will have discussions with the Postmaster this week.
I have been informed that Management has unilaterally changed employees hours
for Christmas week without any prior discussion with the Union. Other
employees are being solicited for hour changes. I urge employees not to
into this illegal action. Remember the Postal Service has shown their true
colors this week....
President, Trenton Metro Area Local
Tour of the P&DC
July 20, 2003
The tour of the fumigation equipment at the Trenton P&DC happened on July 9,
2003. I was looking forward to the tour so I could share with all of you what
was happening within the walls. Well, several days before the tour, I
received mail from the USPS containing a Non Disclosure / Confidentiality
Agreement related to the tour.
I had to agree to the terms of this document or I could not participate in
the tour. I read the document several times and I felt very uncomfortable
agreeing to it. The way I read it was, if I told you anything from that point
forward about the decontamination process I would be in breech of the terms of
the agreement and I would be liable for a law suit and I would place the local
jeopardy. I forwarded the Non Discloser and Confidentiality Agreement to an
attorney for review. The lawyer agreed with me and called the Postmaster
trying to modify the agreement to allow me to act as a collective bargaining
agent and keep you up to date. The postal service refused to negotiate with me
or our attorney about changing the agreement.
I chose not to silence myself and did not participate in the tour. I will
continue to pass along all information I have. I have not seen any reports from
the other unions who did sign the agreement and took the tour. The only
legitimate reason to participate would be to gather information to relay on to
you, since I was unable to keep you up to date I did not go on the tour.
On July 31, 2003, we will have the arbitration for all the hours spent
traveling to Kilmer, South River, Monmouth, and Toms River. I am still
considering Monroe in the mix. A class action grievance was filed on behalf of
every APWU represented employee. We have been preparing for this arbitration
for some time now. Our case will be presented by National Business Agent Jeff
I do anticipate the Postal Service to play its usual games in delaying or
creating a smoke screen. If this arbitration is ruled in our favor it could
result in a significant sum of money being awarded.
Another case scheduled on this date is a class action grievance filed on the
time spent under going testing and receiving medical treatment at RWJ
hospital. This grievance is also for all APWU employees.
I have over the past few months attempted to resolve these grievances, but
have been unsuccessful. I was told once how nice they were in not excessing us.
I do recall them trying to close us down or rightsize us. It was only last
summer to be exact.
In closing, the best I heard this week was from a manager in Kilmer "we
should be happy we have jobs" similar to "Lucky to have jobs."
The struggle continues for the Trenton Postal Workers.
FEDERAL JUDGE SLAMS POSTAL SERVICE
On July 18th, U.S. District Court Judge William Hoeveler granted the Miami
Locals' request for injuctive relief and prevented the postal service from
reassigning 33 senior employees from Tour 2 to Tour 1 for at least 60 days until
an arbitrator can decide their fate.
The case arose out of postal managements arbitrary decision to abolish Tour 2
jobs in March of 2002. The union grieved the issue and the employees have
remained in the same days off and hours performing the same duties for over a
year. In the meantime PTF clerks were being denied the right to preference on
residuals on Tour 1.
Last week, the service came up with the bright idea of placing the Tour 2 senior
employees on the Tour 1 residuals that the PTF's were not allowed to pref on.
The union believes that local management manipulated the timeline for the
reassignment to coincide with the dissemination of the VERA packets in a
concerted effort to coerce the senior clerks into retirement.
Judge Hoeveler ruled that the "reasonable" thing to do was keep the status quo
for 60 days until an arbitrator can decide the merits of our grievances.
This is a major victory for senior employees and management is devastated.
source: Miami Local President Gil Santana via
APWU Publishes First
In Series of Briefing Papers
"Looking Back, Looking Forward: 30 Years of Postal Reform,"
the first in a series of APWU analytical papers on the Postal Service, was
published Dec. 4. This document, like others to follow, can also be seen on the
union Web site, www.apwu.org.
The papers are being distributed to key lawmakers and opinion
leaders, as well as members of the national media. This first APWU paper
presents a retrospective on the performance of the Postal Service in the 30
years since the passage of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.
The APWU view is that the USPS has been, by any objective
measure other than its recent deficits, a great success. Postal rates have
increased no more than inflation (less than service-industry prices in general),
and customer satisfaction and on-time delivery performance are very high.
Subsequent briefing papers will cover:
the impact of telephone deregulation and the emergence
of the Internet;
the unfunded liability of the Postal Service and what
must be done to address it;
the importance of capital investment
programs that the
USPS has deferred in order to show a "surplus";
the importance of maintaining universal service at a
uniform price, and whether businesses should continue to be required to share
the costs of universal service;
the fact that current postal policy favors business
mailers at the expense of the financial health of the Postal Service; and
the remarkable productivity gains
in USPS mail
processing operations and how they've offset the cost of serving 1.7 million new
delivery addresses each year.
APWU Safety Specialist Named To OSHA Advisory Committee
Corey Thompson, APWU's National Safety and Health
Specialist, has been selected to serve on the 15-member National Advisory
Committee on Ergonomics (NACE), a panel established to advise the Assistant
Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on ergonomic guidelines,
research, and outreach.
Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao in early December announced
the selection of industry, academic, legal, medical, and labor experts that will
meet four to eight times during the next two years.
"I'm confident that this committee of experts will help us
reduce ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses suffered by thousands of workers
each year," Chao said when she announced the composition of the committee.
"We are extremely pleased that Corey has been appointed,"
APWU President William Burrus said. "We know he will be an outstanding advocate
for worker safety. His appointment is especially important in light of the Bush
administration's ongoing efforts to undermine the ergonomics standards that
labor unions fought so hard to implement.
"Regrettably, the panel has many more representatives of
industry than of labor," Burrus added. "The imbalance brings into question
whether there is a commitment to serve corporate interests or to protect the
safety of workers."
The NACE is chartered initially for two years and will
consult and advise on a number of issues related to OSHA's four-pronged approach
to reducing ergonomic-related injuries in the workplace: guidelines, research,
outreach and assistance, and enforcement.
The committee's first meeting will cover information related
to industry- or task-specific guidelines; identifying gaps in existing research
on ergonomics in the workplace; research needs and efforts; outreach and
assistance methods to communicate the value of ergonomics; and increasing
communication among stakeholders.
Thompson has been at APWU for nearly five years and has
worked in the industrial hygiene field since 1980.
Mr. James V. Bertolone, President
Mr. William Burrus, President
Workers Union, AFL-CIO
Mr. Bruce Clark, President
Mr. Wray Davis
Mr. Ken Fitzpatrick, President
Springfield MA Area Local
Frank Giordano, NBA
York Region, APWU
Maria Johnson, President
Mr. Art Luby, Attorney
Schwartz and Anderson
Mr. Jeff Mansfield, President
Seattle Area Local
Mr. Paul Mendrick, President
Metro Area Local
Mr. Greg Poferl, National Business Agent
Support Services Division
Ms. Liz Powell, Regional
Motor Vehicle Service Division
Mr. Frank Romero, Director
Mr. Phil Tabbita, Executive Assistant
Mr. Robert L. Tunstall,
July 13, 2002
(Tulsa World) About 50 postal union
members from Tulsa joined a nationwide demonstration on July 1
against the discount rates given to presorted mail used mostly by
businesses. Workers carrying signs reading, "Big Business Pays
Less, You Pay More," "What is the price of mismanagement?" and
"More $, Longer Lines," walked in front of the downtown station at
7:30 a.m. and then moved about 10 a.m. to the post office at 51st
Street and Sheridan Road.