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Postal Service processing plant closures in jeopardy

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Don’t look now, but a key piece of the U.S. Postal Service’s downsizing drive this year is at risk of getting smoked before it even gets started.

It’s the piece that involves closing or consolidating 48 mail processing plants in July and August. As part of that effort, the Postal Service is seeking a legally required advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission on a related proposal to revamp first-class mail delivery standards. The problem is that the commission doesn’t plan to issue that non-binding opinion until early September—after the downsizing is supposed to have been completed.

That doesn’t sit well with the American Postal Workers Union, which represents some processing plant employees. In a 29-page complaint filed last week, the union called on the PRC to bar the Postal Service from proceeding until the opinion comes out. The commission plans to rule on the APWU complaint by July 1, a spokeswoman said today, and its decision in that case will be binding.

Not surprisingly, Postal Service lawyers argue in a rebuttal today that the union doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. But they acknowledge that even a short-term delay to the plant closings “will have real consequences.” That’s because the  Postal Service has already agreed to suspend any further closings from September through December to avoid disruption to mail balloting in this November’s elections or shipments during the lucrative holiday shopping season.

So, if the five-member commission effectively opts to bar any closings this summer, it will likely be game over for this year. While the Postal Service intends to resume the plant closings early next year,  a new implementation date would require “a significant overhaul to . . .  current operations plans, leading to even more expense to the Postal Service in terms of costs and resources,” the agency said in today’s filing.

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Comments

  1. Ms. Window clerk Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Don’t say that the APWU doesn’t have a leg to stand on. These pretentious, arrogant, short sided, so called “managerial leaders” have contracts too with the US Postal Service. Make cuts at the managerial level where they receive extra time in administrative leave, perks such as dumping their evening reports on a bargaining unit employees in the evening when managers do not want to stay their allotted eight hours per day. Managers leave early at most stations. Give them a time card, especially at the TOP levels to insure they stay eight hours a day. No more bonuses.
    Above all stop the House of Representatives from being modern day Hitlers. Who died and made them Gods to uphold a business over a human being, their contract with their employer, and Fed Ex and UPS “lobbyists”, who can’t wait to have the fresh kill added to their delivery points for higher cost to all Americans. A contract is a contract Buckos.

  2. Kevin Lowery Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 7:48 am

    well said

  3. Leenzap Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Bravo, Ms. Window Clerk!

  4. Jay Printer Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Business as usual – USPS is overstaffed, has too many facilities and is burdened with 4 major unions and several others to a lesser degree. Run it like a business, which is what it is, or get out. There may be private sector solutions that could address the problem of a business in structural decline. Should have taken these steps years ago but politicians are looking for votes back home and don’t have the guts to do the right thing.

  5. Brad Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Hitlers? Hmmmmm. Let me guess you are a union honk right? You are probably the laziest clerk in your office. BTW I walked 10 miles today in 95 degree weather so before you start popping off digest that!! Next time you post something know the facts first!! Enough said!

  6. postalgramma Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    So true. A contract is supposedly negotiated in GOOD FAITH. Why, then, is PMG Donahue getting away with his 180-degree reversal, only 3 months after he signed the agreement? Why is he not being called in front of the Oversight Committee for lying and misrepresenting himself? HE SIGNED THE DAMN THING, for God’s sake, and went back on it before the ink was dry. Fire Donahue! Censure him!! Hold him in contempt, why don’t you, Mr. Issa??
    Oh, wait, Mr. Issa doesn’t care about liars, since he is one; I agree with Ms. WIndow Clerk, who died and left him God??

  7. Jemes Ferguson Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Closing plants will add 2 or 3 days to delivery of 1st class mail. By changing the standards, you open the door too even more lax service by the postal service.

  8. Ms. Postmaster Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Ms. Window Clerk, I am sorry to hear you have a poor representative of leadership in your office. Do not assume all management staff has the same work ethics. I do not dump reports on my staff, I do not work less than 40 (usually closer to 55) hours per week. You receive a cost of living increase every year and a contractual raise or two. Management does not. That so called “Bonus” is less in some years than your guaranteed raises. This year, no raise regardless how well my staffand I performed or any other office. Management is given a bigger adminstrative workload in the stations and less staffing do it with. No more personnel, do you own job bidding, more safety required documentation, the list goes on and on. There is a decline in mail volume workload across the country. The APWU wants all offices to stay open to support enough members to fund the lobbyists in Washington to support their agenda, not necessarily what is best for individual members. Staff mail processing centers with full time employees and only enough work for part time. A waste of money for any company. It is more than the clerk or mail handler sorting the mail. You have to do daily maintenance on the machines, you need programs and yes, management employees to supervise the work and mail flow. Cut in all jobs.

  9. caprain clerk Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Closing Plants before the PRC makes a ruling?
    Isn’t like putting the cart before the horse!

  10. caprain clerk Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here!

  11. sue vandegenachte Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Ditto.

  12. TJ Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Where are the AMP study numbers? If they are so convincing why won’t the Post Office release them? Members of Congress can’t even get them! Could it be there aren’t any “real” numbers?

  13. Postal Clerk Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 8:13 am

    A time card for Postmasters is something they should have required all along. We’ve got a postmaster who works his usual 4 to 6 hours a day and then turns around and accuses his workers of “stealing from the Post Office”.

  14. qtpy Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    way too much management – more managers than the law
    allow – they are a waste only to get a LARGE PENSION.
    clerks-mailhandlers and carriers do all the work.

  15. Joe Watsy Says:
    June 23rd, 2012 at 2:57 am

    http://www.apwu.org/about/directory-officers.htm
    call these union officers and ask them and Guffey, why the VER is not here, the USPS is over and done, change has come , let the APWU people go !

  16. retired Says:
    June 24th, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Ms. Postmaster
    Do not complain about your fiscal situation. No one put a gun to your head to get into management. Remember, if no one from management came in but the craft does, the mail gets out. If no one from craft came in….well, good luck getting the mail out. Most managers are only needed for signing a 3971. PMG is a cry baby and proved it with the recent contract. I took the VER in 2009 because I could afford it and I’m glad I did. If craft folks can afford it, take it. If not, try to get your debt down quick so you can. There’s more to life than the USPS

  17. Unionclerk Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I work in a postal plant, the best way to save our facilities from closing is: Retire/eliminate the senior managers and supervisors. They make too much money doing nothing, because they’re too busy worrying about what an employee that does work is doing instead of worrying how to run the place. Management doesn’t know how to run the place, eliminate all these usless 204 B’s most of them are a bunch of ass kissers and sleep with management just so they can become 204B’s. They know nothing about supervising, their just wasting postal money and most of all get rid of all these useless and worthless PSE’s, theyre good for nothing, they just show up to work and do nothing and take away our overtime. Most of all retire/eliminate senior postal workers that take off to much, don’t work and have been there for too long past their retirement. Most of all put an end on favoritism and give everyone a chance to move up the ladder in the postal service.