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September 2002
   The Prez Says



by Ron Woods,
President


Management Reaches a New Low

   I had actually written a newsletter article letter on the way back from the NALC convention in Philadelphia.  A few things that transpired the week after the convention led me to write a completely different article.  I'll leave filling you in on the convention to the other delegates.  This past week our management accomplished something that I thought was impossible; they managed to make my opinion of them sink even lower than it already was.
    First of all I was informed that a carrier was having a problem with a customer leaving garbage cans in front of a curbside box.  My initial reaction was simple, give them a warning notice and if the problem continues don't deliver their mail.  Not so!  I've been enlightened by our management that it is not up to the carrier to determine when we can curtail delivery.  We are supposed to report the problem to our supervisor and only management can make the decision about whether or not to deliver.  Considering the fact that management chose to believe the story that the customer concocted rather than support the carrier and enforce the postal regulation shows what kind of character our leadership has.  From now on I'm just going to get out at every obstructed box and make the delivery.  There is no sense in trying to correct the problem if we aren't going to get any backup from management.
    The next issue deals with a carrier falling down and being injured while delivering.  The carrier called her supervisor right after the accident as we have all been instructed to do, and informed the supervisor that she was hurt but wasn't sure how bad.  The carrier told the supervisor that she would try to continue to deliver the route, but wasn't sure if she would be able to continue, let alone finish.  The carrier requested that the supervisor send someone out to help her.  How long do you think it took for help to show up?  If you guess never you're correct.  The carrier had to continue delivering with what turned out to be a badly sprained ankle and an injury to her wrist for two more hours.  The supervisor just went home without even bothering to send help, or at least check on the carrier herself.  When the carrier returned to the office after completing the entire route, the evening supervisor in charge hadn't even been told anything about what happened.  When I questioned management about the incident, it was more or less just shrugged off as if the supervisors' action or lack thereof was acceptable.  I got the usual "I'll look into it," response.  Past experience tells me that means it's very likely nothing will be done.  If this were my company that supervisor would at least be removed from a position of authority.  My advice to you is if you are hurt on the job don't count on management to get you any help.  Take the mail back and go to the doctor.  Apparently to some members of management it is much more important to go home than to show any concern for one of their employees.
    The next issue deals with the two carriers who received excesing letters.  I now have carriers telling me that yet another supervisor told them that if we had settled the route adjustment grievance that management would have promised not to excess anyone.  I hope no one believes that promise would have been fulfilled.  Past experience has proven that the word of management doesn't always mean a whole lot.  Considering the fact that they informed me less than a month after they eliminated the two routes that that was not enough we should have cut more routes and rumor now has it that if mail volume doesn't pick up soon they plan to eliminate another two routes.  It is very likely that they wouldn't have stood by that promise for long, if at all.  As of yet no one has been excessed and we will do our best to try and prevent that from happening.
    Finally how about that lame excuse for eliminating the sick leave incentive program?  It is too hard for them to figure out who used sick leave?  They enter it into the computer everyday.  The truth is either they didn't want to give out any more money or it would actually take some effort on their part to figure out.  I'm leaning toward the latter choice.  It seems like management doesn't like putting any effort into making our jobs any more pleasant and they certainly don't show a whole lot of appreciation for our hard work.  

Until next time,

Ron Woods