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retiring20soon  
#1 Posted : Friday, October 08, 2010 9:17:56 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Mr. Louis Atkins is a true professional and knows the Postal Service. Get rid of the current crooked upper management. Louis Atkins would lead by example... 

NAPS President responds to Darrell Issa’s “trash talk”

The following was released by the National Association of Postal Supervisors:

Congressman Darrell Issa, in recent remarks at the Heritage Foundation, suggested that if he becomes chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next year, he will push the Postal Service to reduce its workforce by 200,000 employees – a dramatic cut of one-third of the total number of postal workers. The Congressman also criticized the Postal Service for employing too many supervisors, as many as one supervisor for every seven employees, according to his estimates.

Trash talk about downsizing postal workers in gargantuan terms makes for good politics in an anti-government election season. But Congressman Issa’s downsizing targets for the Postal Service are wildly off the mark, and so are his numbers.

First, let’s look at the Congressman’s comments about the postal supervisory ratio. In the hundreds of large mail processing plants across the country, where postal workers sort mail and prepare it for delivery, the ratio of supervisors to employees stands at 1 supervisor to every 25 employees. And in thousands of large post offices from which delivery operations originate, the ratio of supervisors to employees is around 1 supervisor to every 30 employees. Supervisors are not even employed in the thousands of small post offices spread across America, where postmasters roll up their sleeves, along with a small staff of clerks, to wait on customers, selling stamps and providing services at the counter.

Where Congressman Issa gets especially tripped up in his supervisory math is in his inclusion of USPS support personnel. These are the thousands of postal employees, both in the rank-and-file and the management ranks, who work in engineering, maintenance, finance, human resources and other support services, just as their counterparts do in large businesses in the private sector. For the Postal Service, these employees are indispensable to the success of moving millions of pieces of mail around the world every day. But very few of them are actually and technically supervisors. Without doubt, the supervisory ratio within the Postal Service is far, far higher than 1:7.

Does the Postal Service need to downsize? It already has. Over the last several years, it has eliminated 100,000 employee positions, bringing the size of its workforce to approximately 625,000 workers. My organization – the National Association of Postal Supervisors — worked with the Postal Service in facility restructurings that resulted in the elimination of over 3,000 supervisory positions last year alone. Our members have worked tirelessly with fewer resources than ever before to assure that the mail gets delivered – miraculously at all-time service records.

Indeed, the Postal Service is going through incredibly difficult times. The severe recession has thrown its finances into a tailspin, driving down mail volume by 20 percent and driving the Postal Service into the red, compounded by a huge Congressional blunder in 2006 that required the Postal Service to sock away billions of dollars for its future retiree health care costs, far more than the Service needs or can afford to put away right now.

The good news for the Postal Service is that as the economy improves, mail volume will rebound and slowly return to the system, most experts predict, increasing USPS revenues. The Postal Regulatory Commission pointed to those favorable trends in its recent rate decision. Of greater long-term concern, though, is the internet and the challenge to mail it presents, just as it has to newspapers, magazines, and anything else that’s hard-copy and embodies information. But the Postal Service is different from these other vehicles of communication, and dramatically so. None of them bear the same obligation to the American people as the Postal Service, which is required by law to provide universal mail service, guaranteeing delivery to every point in the country at the same price, whether in a skyscraper in Manhattan or at an outpost at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

The Postal Service’s business model, which has worked successfully for the past 40 years, is today nearly broken. That model assumes that volume and postage revenue will perpetually increase, in turn satisfying the rising costs created by an ever-expanding number of delivery points, growing at the rate of one-million homes and business delivery points each year. That business model will fail, and the Postal Service with it, if the internet continues to eat away at Postal Service mail volume and revenues – and the Postal Service fails to adapt. Releasing one-third of the Postal Service’s workers will only compound the Postal Service’s problems, not deal with their root cause. This is not to say that more, targeted workforce cuts in the Postal Service are unnecessary. But more than workforce cuts must come about.

Congress needs to provide greater authority to the Postal Service to expand its electronic footprint in new ways in the twenty-first century that advance its historic mission to bind the nation together. My association is committed to working with the Postal Service to finding new opportunities in a host of new product areas that advance and transform that mission, some even in partnership with the private sector.

The Postal Service needs help from the Congress in other immediate ways. It needs Congress to remedy the gross unfairness of the retiree health prefunding payments Congress in 2006 imposed upon the Postal Service, the only federal agency required to make such prefunding payments. In addition, the Postal Service needs Congress to help find a just solution that reverses the estimated $75 billion dollar overpayments that the Postal Service made over the course of nearly 40 years to the Civil Service Retirement System – at the insistence of the Civil Service Commission and the Office of Personnel Management. These two remedial efforts by Congress will contribute enormously to a healthier financial bottom-line and greater stability for the Postal Service.

Many of the men and women whom my organization represents — the managers, supervisors and postmasters of the Postal Service — provide outstanding and selfless service to our country. But they lose faith when their agency becomes a political football. Those games must stop.

Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch, which Congressman Issa pledged at Heritage to vigorously pursue, represents a fundamental Constitutional responsibility. My organization looks forward to working with him, regardless of November’s outcome. In the coming Congress, responsible Congressional oversight of the Postal Service will demand not only persistent patience in curing its infirmities, but also unyielding desire to reinvent the Postal Service in new ways that serve future generations.

Louis M. Atkins
President
National Association of Postal Supervisors

retiring20soon2010-10-08 17:23:18
BlameGame  
#2 Posted : Friday, October 08, 2010 6:38:24 PM(UTC)
BlameGame

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retiring20soon, Louis has opened the lines of communication immediately after Keating retired and he was elected as President of NAPS. Members began receiving monthly emails from him and his officers. I applaud Louis for his rebuttal on Issa's trash talk regarding the Postal Service, it's nothing more than grandstanding on the backs of Postal Workers.
 
I have been in this Company for 37 years and I can tell you first hand, the Postal Service has the largest workforce of hard working dedicated employees I've ever seen. From our Custodians, ET's, Automotive Techs, Clerks, Letter Carriers, Postmasters, Managers, Support Staff etc.
 
We have our normal percentage of slugs in management and craft but, the hard working, dedicated employees out-weigh them by far.
 
retiring20soon, thank you for the find and making it available for all to read. And...I second that
motion:
 
Louis Atkins for PMG! 
samac59  
#3 Posted : Friday, October 08, 2010 8:38:05 PM(UTC)
samac59

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I have to disagree with part of his statement. Postmasters in the smaller offices are still supervisors. To say otherwise is just distorting the facts which makes him no better than Issa.

retiring20soon  
#4 Posted : Friday, October 08, 2010 9:33:30 PM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Blamegame,
 
Naps could not have picked a better president for their organization.  I have taken several training classes with Louis many years ago and he is a gentileman with outstanding knowledge of the U. S. Postal Service.
 
He may not be one of Potters golden boys from NY but he would make the approipriate changes the USPS needs to get back on track financially.
 
You know how I speak my peace with management but Louis Atkins would be the change we, craft and management needs to make the USPS viable in the future.
Aloha From Hell  
#5 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 6:31:30 AM(UTC)
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I am a carrier, we have 60 routes and 6 supervisors...the clerk/mail handler side employs around 65 for all three tours combined and there are 7 supervisors....i don't buy this 1 in 25-30 nonsense....all of these are floor supervisors
retiring20soon  
#6 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:08:43 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Aloha From Hell wrote:
I am a carrier, we have 60 routes and 6 supervisors...the clerk/mail handler side employs around 65 for all three tours combined and there are 7 supervisors....i don't buy this 1 in 25-30 nonsense....all of these are floor supervisors
 
I looked at that 25-30 comparison and agree with you. In my plant we had about 330 employees with 8 maintenance EAS and one plant manager, two MDO's, 3 floor mail supervisors, one transportation supervisor and three other BS supervisors. Now when you add all the useless Area and District EAS, I certainly do not buy it.
 
Our plant manager was the most useless peace of sh@t in the U.S, Postal Service and still is but she was promoted by the heavy handed Jerry Lane.
 
 
 
 
notgonepostal  
#7 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:13:26 AM(UTC)
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Aloha From Hell wrote:
I am a carrier, we have 60 routes and 6 supervisors...the clerk/mail handler side employs around 65 for all three tours combined and there are 7 supervisors....i don't buy this 1 in 25-30 nonsense....all of these are floor supervisors

My unit:  119 total employees, 4 supervisors and 1 relief when they are off you do the math.   SWC has eliminated more than a couple thousand supervisor positions.
Jay Killackey is the man behind all recent success.  Louis is working hard but Jay is the MAN.  It is time to save the PO otherwise we are about to lose everything.  

retiring20soon  
#8 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:27:43 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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notgonepostal wrote:
Aloha From Hell wrote:
I am a carrier, we have 60 routes and 6 supervisors...the clerk/mail handler side employs around 65 for all three tours combined and there are 7 supervisors....i don't buy this 1 in 25-30 nonsense....all of these are floor supervisors

My unit:  119 total employees, 4 supervisors and 1 relief when they are off you do the math.   SWC has eliminated more than a couple thousand supervisor positions.
Jay Killackey is the man behind all recent success.  Louis is working hard but Jay is the MAN.  It is time to save the PO otherwise we are about to lose everything.  

Jay and Louis may be very good at what they do but NAPS needs to get ready for the blood bath that is coming their way. Sadly, the APWU with Burras at the helm is not ready for the fight. He needs to get out of bed with little Potty.  Louis Atkins will be ready and will fight 100 % for his peers.   
 
Employees get to comfortable working in the USPS but I totally agree with you that they are about to lose everything to those greed upper management *******s.
 
It is going to take a strike like in 1972 for Potter to understand the importance of the fight. Otherwise you can start to kiss your ***** good night.
 
Get Real  
#9 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:30:02 AM(UTC)
Get Real

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34 carriers. 6 clerks. 4 custodians. 5 supervisors. One PM. 6 of them. 44 of us. (And do I really need to include THE FRICK'IN CUSTODIANS?????). Kind'a less than 10 to one. BTW: When one of the useful idiots fails to show up, nobody cares and the work gets done. When a CRAFT WORKER fails to show up, service suffers.  
Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking. <br />--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne
retiring20soon  
#10 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:43:42 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Get Real wrote:
34 carriers. 6 clerks. 4 custodians. 5 supervisors. One PM. 6 of them. 44 of us. (And do I really need to include THE FRICK'IN CUSTODIANS?????). Kind'a less than 10 to one. BTW: When one of the useful idiots fails to show up, nobody cares and the work gets done. When a CRAFT WORKER fails to show up, service suffers.  
Get Real,
 
How could you have 4 custodians in an office that size??? Burras is getting ready to give up the custodial craft because management wants that craft to be history. APWU will not fight like NAPS did the last RIF for their EAS employees (No one Rifed). Burras will give up his first and second born to his buds in upper management. Stay with the NALC because they will fight to the end.
notgonepostal  
#11 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:52:20 AM(UTC)
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Get Real wrote:
34 carriers. 6 clerks. 4 custodians. 5 supervisors. One PM. 6 of them. 44 of us. (And do I really need to include THE FRICK'IN CUSTODIANS?????). Kind'a less than 10 to one. BTW: When one of the useful idiots fails to show up, nobody cares and the work gets done. When a CRAFT WORKER fails to show up, service suffers.  

I just can't believe this, I am not saying you are lying but it just does not sound right...  I am sure your office will loose at least 2 supervisors when SWC hits them.  
notgonepostal  
#12 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:58:51 AM(UTC)
notgonepostal

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retiring20soon wrote:
notgonepostal wrote:
Aloha From Hell wrote:
I am a carrier, we have 60 routes and 6 supervisors...the clerk/mail handler side employs around 65 for all three tours combined and there are 7 supervisors....i don't buy this 1 in 25-30 nonsense....all of these are floor supervisors

My unit:  119 total employees, 4 supervisors and 1 relief when they are off you do the math.   SWC has eliminated more than a couple thousand supervisor positions.
Jay Killackey is the man behind all recent success.  Louis is working hard but Jay is the MAN.  It is time to save the PO otherwise we are about to lose everything.  

Jay and Louis may be very good at what they do but NAPS needs to get ready for the blood bath that is coming their way. Sadly, the APWU with Burras at the helm is not ready for the fight. He needs to get out of bed with little Potty.  Louis Atkins will be ready and will fight 100 % for his peers.   
 
Employees get to comfortable working in the USPS but I totally agree with you that they are about to lose everything to those greed upper management *******s.
 
It is going to take a strike like in 1972 for Potter to understand the importance of the fight. Otherwise you can start to kiss your ***** good night.
 

Let's hope the NALC and the NAPS will win this fight.  You are right a lot of us were going to loose our jobs but thanks to the NAPS we survived.  



notgonepostal2010-10-11 10:10:40
retiring20soon  
#13 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:59:20 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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NALC fight in 1970....It is the only action that will get Potters attention.

US: Forty years since the national postal strike

Forty years ago in March postal workers defied their unions, federal anti-strike laws, the military and the Nixon government to carry out the first national strike by federal employees against the United States government in history.

Thousands of postal workers voted Saturday, March 21, 1970, at a meeting in the New York City armory, to defy the back-to-work order of the federal government and continue the strike begun days earlier by the wildcat strike of Branch 36 of the NALC.

At its height, the 1970 Postal Strike encompassed over 200,000 workers in over 30 cities—including the major metropolitan centers of New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles—bringing the postal system to its knees and provoking a direct confrontation with the Nixon government.

The struggle was notable for the pronounced contrast between the militancy of the rank-and-file and the cowardice of their unions’ leadership. At every point the union bureaucracy sought to prevent a strike, and once it did occur, to force a return to work. According to one history, “When the strike did break out the national leaders wrung their hands and protested to [Postmaster General Winton] Blount that they had not called the strike, and immediately urged the strikers to return to work.”[1]

Decades of sub-standard pay and poor working conditions, along with congressional neglect of demands for satisfactory pay increases, had created the conditions for the rebellion.

Postal workers were also encouraged by the struggles of other sections of the working class. By the end of the 1960s these subsistence-wage clerks and carriers had seen many other public employees obtain wage increases through so-called “illegal strikes.” Additionally, a decade of mass anti-war demonstrations, the civil rights movement, rebellions in the inner-city ghettoes as well as a rising tide of labor militancy inspired them to test their strength.

The immediate trigger for the walkout, which began in New York City, was an announcement on March 12 that the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee had revealed the contents of a Nixon-supported bill which would transform the Post Office Department into an independent “Postal Authority,” while retaining civil service status for postal workers, and thus the ban on strikes imposed on federal employees. It would also extend collective bargaining and grant a 5.4 percent wage increase retroactive to January.

The previous year had seen thousands of New York City postal workers participate in angry demonstrations to protest a miserly 4.1 percent increase approved by Congress, easily consumed by high inflation, which was well above 5 percent in both 1969 and 1970. In response, frustrated carriers and clerks staged spontaneous walkouts, protests and sick-outs to express their opposition.

At the beginning of 1970 a craft employee of the Post Office with 21 years of service earned a top-of-scale average of $8,440, practically poverty level in numerous urban centers, requiring many to work second jobs. Wages were so low that “in New York City alone, [these wages] left 7 percent of the carriers on welfare of one sort or another.”[2]

Further enraging postal workers, Congress had recently voted itself a whopping 41 percent pay increase while President Richard Nixon—who in February 1969 had pledged to postal workers that “better days are coming”—proposed a six month delay in a comparability raise for all federal workers “because of the need to control and contain the inflationary spiral.”

Postal workers’ long-simmering anger erupted when a meeting of the 6,700 member Manhattan/Bronx Local 36 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), held the same day as the announcement of March 12, learned of a proposed 5.4 percent pay increase. The rank-and-file immediately started chanting “Not enough, not enough, not enough” which transformed into “Strike, strike, strike” and then became “Strike when, strike when, strike when.”[3] The membership had by this time rushed the podium demanding a strike vote.

So distant was the postal hierarchy from its membership that NALC President James Rademacher, a Nixon supporter, had worked with the administration to develop a bill which, when it was presented to his largest union local, instantly sparked a revolt. Local 36 President, Gustav Johnson was able, despite the tumult, to rule workers’ demand for an immediate strike vote as unconstitutional and postpone it to March 17.

Workers at the mass meeting. The placard at the left says "RAT-emacher Must Go," referring to NALC president James Rademacher, who supported Nixon and opposed strike action.

Both Rademacher and Johnson spent the next five days waging an all-out effort to undermine a “yes-strike” vote. Johnson, adopting Nixon’s notorious phrase, appealed to the “silent majority” to vote no. Postal officials were described as feeling confident of a “no” vote since “Gus Johnson and his officers were in control.”[4]

Gathering at the old Manhattan Center on March 17, members of Local 36 voted until 11 PM. Shortly after that the vote totals were announced with 1,555 voting yes to strike and 1,055 no against a strike.

The next day—soon after midnight by one account—picketing had begun, and by late morning 14,000 letter carriers in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn were manning picket lines. The 25,000 member clerks union, whose strike vote was scheduled three days later, refused to cross the lines.

After the vote to strike, the union bureaucracy abruptly reversed course, with Johnson telling postal workers, “I will lead you.” Johnson and the postal bureaucrats recognized that if they stood in the way of the strike they could be cast aside, with unpredictable results. Indeed, Time magazine quoted one NALC official as declaring “We were no longer in control.”[5]

The government responded quickly and ruthlessly to the strike. Temporary restraining orders were issued by federal judges in Manhattan and Brooklyn and injunctions were served on Local 36 officials the same day the strike began. However, not only did strikers defy court orders, the strike spread across the US.

Defiant postal workers at the mass meeting at the armory, where NALC president Rademacher was hung in effigy

Other cities, major and minor, quickly followed New York City workers out: Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburg, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In Chicago, 3,000 carriers shouted down the union leadership’s pleas to remain on the job and in overwhelming numbers voted to go out. Many others called in sick. Back in New York City the strike was 97 percent effective with letter carriers voting on March 21 to remain out and the clerks local voting to join the strike.

By March 21 Nixon ended his silence and, calling the stoppage an “illegal strike” threatened strikers, saying “we have the means to deliver the mail and we will use those means.” This was widely interpreted to imply the use of the military against the strike. The Post Office and the administration rejected any negotiations with the unions while an “illegal strike” continued.

Workers responded to Nixon’s threats by expanding the strike, with Rhode Island becoming the 14th state to join the walkout. Two days later, in an early morning vote, carriers in Chicago reaffirmed their decision to strike.

An indication of the combativeness of the working class was the response of other government workers to Nixon’s warning that he would involve the US military in the struggle. There was broad and growing support among the ranks of all federal workers to join the walkout. This possibility the union apparatus sought to stave off at all costs.

An effort to resolve the strike on March 21 failed when the rank-and-file ignored Rademacher’s entreaty to return to work for five days in order to allow for negotiators to arrive at a settlement. “Public wrath shall replace support,” he admonished his membership. The Nixon administration’s anxiety was expressed in White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman’s diary entry for that day. “Had to spend quite a little time on postal problem. The settlement didn’t work, because rank and file won’t go back, have rejected leaders, and now SDS types involved, at least in New York.”

On March 23, Nixon spoke on national television and radio to declare a national emergency. He ordered a military mobilization to “begin in New York City the restoration of essential mail services.” He also made it clear that a similar mobilization could be extended to other major cities.

Letter carriers from Brooklyn attend the rally with signs supporting Branch 36 and expanding strike action.

Nixon’s order to deploy the military in America’s largest city brought the union bureaucracy to heel. In response, “NALC President Rademacher had instructed strikers to call off their picketing wherever picket lines still exist and he told them to cross picket lines if they had to in order to get back to work,” NBC newsman Chet Huntley reported.

The mood was different among workers. Strikers in Chicago jeered Nixon’s speech, and 31,000 postal workers remained out in that city alone.

With the Vietnam War still raging, Nixon’s order sent 18,500 troops into New York City in what was dubbed Operation Graphic Hand. Although the primary purpose of the mobilization was to intimidate workers, raising the specter of military dictatorship, a total of 16,836 men were assigned to mail sorting work. According to Graphic Hand documents, the military made preparations for the use of up to 115,468 men in 35 cities if the strike continued.

However, contrary to the traditional use of military units in strikes or demonstrations—as law enforcement shock troops—the troops were strictly instructed to avoid any confrontation, and that “the use of helmets, weapons, gas masks, and other equipment which might imply a civil disturbance role was ruled out.”[6] In contrast, in the Kent State tragedy only a little more than a month later, on May 4, the Ohio National Guard fired 67 rounds at unarmed students, killing four.

Fearing that use of the military in a police action, with the attendant use of violence, could spark a much wider confrontation, drawing in large sections of the working class—a similar action had provoked the May-June general strike in France two years earlier— Nixon chose to lean on the union heads to deliver a “voluntary” return to work.

The postal union hierarchy proved able—under the combined blows of the military, the courts and their own open sabotage of the walkout—to force a return to work. After enough carriers and clerks returned to allow the postmaster general to resume negotiations with a degree of credibility, the unions declared victory and increased pressure on obstinate locals to return to work.

In New York City it took a bogus announcement by Branch 36 president Johnson that an agreement had been reached before striking postal workers there finally relinquished their picket lines on March 25. Formal negotiations between the Post Office Department and seven recognized unions began the same day.

"We will not give back the P.O. until we get Congress and Mr. Nixon to sign a decent pay raise."

The militancy and solidarity of postal strikers resulted in major concessions. Amnesty was conceded to all strikers. Congress approved special legislation for a 6 percent increase with the end of the strike and another eight percent in August. The contract negotiated in 1971 had a new starting wage of $8,440, exceeding the old top-of-scale wage, while the 21 years needed to reach top level was now reduced to eight.

Yet the agreement worked out between the union heads and the federal government was a betrayal. While certain gains related to wages and conditions were realized, the unions accepted the continuation of the strike ban on federal employees and binding arbitration under a so-called “neutral” arbitrator.

Significantly, the unions dropped all opposition to “postal reform,” thus allowing the reorganization of the post office as an independent self-supported government corporation—a significant step toward privatization that was begun soon after the strike with the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. In return for instituting collective bargaining as a principle of the Postal Service, the Post Office was abolished as a cabinet department and reorganized along the lines of a business corporation, in which public financing would be phased out in favor of self-sufficiency. In the long run, this could only be achieved through postage rate increases, reductions to “inefficiencies,” and by driving down labor costs.

This sellout agreement, in other words, created the adverse conditions that postal workers confront still today. It handcuffed postal workers by effectively denying them the right to strike and institutionalized a parasitic union apparatus bitterly opposed to any challenge to the federal government. Within one year of the strike six unions combined to form the United Postal Workers Union.

Despite the strikers’ audacity and militancy, the determination that allowed the strike to ride roughshod over the opposition of an entrenched union apparatus was ultimately unable to overcome the treachery of that same apparatus. What was lacking was a political perspective.

More than most workers’ struggles, the national postal strike of 1970 laid bare the lineup of political forces. Workers were, after all, engaged in a direct confrontation with the American state represented by a Republican president and a Democratic Congress and the judiciary. This posed the necessity for an independent political mobilization. Moreover, inflation, which was impoverishing the postal workers and the working class as a whole, was owed in large measure to the American state’s decade old war against the Vietnamese people.

Under these conditions, the postal workers’ struggle—as well as their critical control over the delivery of mail—had the potential to attract other sections of the working class, both public and private, and take on an openly political character. But to do so workers had first to break with their treacherous union leadership, which was acutely aware of the dangers posed by the strike.

The 40 years since the walkout have witnessed a persistent deterioration in the jobs and conditions of postal workers. The postal unions have made unending concessions in the privatization of various job categories. The original eight years needed to reach top scale has expanded, with ever more lower steps added and correspondingly lower wages paid to the new hires.

Postal workers are currently working harder for less money than at any time since 1972, two years after the strike. According to one study, real earnings among postal workers in 2000 were actually 7.7 percent less than they were in 1972, and 13 percent less than they were in 1978, in real terms.

Today, the US Postal Service is seeking to implement a long-standing agenda of job cuts carried through the elimination of Saturday delivery and the ongoing closure of thousands of mail processing and other facilities and attacks on retirement and other benefits.

The sole response of the union bureaucracy has been to turn to the same agency that has studiously ignored the rampant unemployment and impoverishment of millions of workers, while handing trillions of dollars to the banks—Congress. The unions’ support of the Democratic Party and the Obama administrations, whose policies are formulated by and defend the interests of the financial aristocracy, show that they proceed on every question in opposition to the most basic interests of the rank-and-file.

A new rebellion will find the postal unions as the most determined defenders of management. Independent rank-and-file organizations, linking up the struggles of private and public workers, must be built to undertake a defense of jobs, wages and working conditions on the basis of an independent political struggle for a socialist program. Such a program will repudiate the demand for “self-sufficiency” or outright privatization, and recognize the postal service, a major pillar of the economy, as an essential public service.

retiring20soon2010-10-09 17:04:55
Get Real  
#14 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 1:17:30 PM(UTC)
Get Real

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My office is called a Carrier Annex.  It is also a transportation hub and operates 20-hours a day. Tractor trailers coming and going. So it's a vast facility and there is a lot of space in it. You could put bowling lanes and an indoor soccer field in it.  It has a small box section and one retail terminal. Kind of an out of the way place. But you're right. Even with all that we really don't need 4 custodians. There's been talk of eliminating them and contracting Service-Master to do the routine cleaning and keeping one mechanic. And we certainly could lose a couple of supervisors. The "early guy" "Supervises" 4 mail handlers from 2AM to 6AM. Then the clerks work their asses off for three hours and do little after the carrier***** the street. The custodians move about pushing brooms like turtles or taking several hours per day over several days to cut a couple of acres of grass on a riding mower. Do we really need to pay each of these dolts $45,000/year plus benefits to do "work" that a 16-year old would do for minimum wage? Word is Service-Master will do it all for less than $100,000/year. No legacy costs. No injury comp problems. No equipment or supply fiasco's. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire Postal Service contracts out building and grounds maintaining. 
Get Real2010-10-09 21:25:53
Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking. <br />--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne
retiring20soon  
#15 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:52:41 PM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Get Real wrote:
My office is called a Carrier Annex.  It is also a transportation hub and operates 20-hours a day. Tractor trailers coming and going. So it's a vast facility and there is a lot of space in it. You could put bowling lanes and an indoor soccer field in it.  It has a small box section and one retail terminal. Kind of an out of the way place. But you're right. Even with all that we really don't need 4 custodians. There's been talk of eliminating them and contracting Service-Master to do the routine cleaning and keeping one mechanic. And we certainly could lose a couple of supervisors. The "early guy" "Supervises" 4 mail handlers from 2AM to 6AM. Then the clerks work their asses off for three hours and do little after the carrier***** the street. The custodians move about pushing brooms like turtles or taking several hours per day over several days to cut a couple of acres of grass on a riding mower. Do we really need to pay each of these dolts $45,000/year plus benefits to do "work" that a 16-year old would do for minimum wage? Word is Service-Master will do it all for less than $100,000/year. No legacy costs. No injury comp problems. No equipment or supply fiasco's. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire Postal Service contracts out building and grounds maintaining. 
Get Real,
 
Thanks for explaining because with all that square footage the custodial package most likely requires 4 custodians.
 
In addition, the cost savings of hiring Service Master in your facility is small compared to a plant with 50 custodians. The USPS could save millions on each plant and that is the reason the OIG and management is pushing so hard to disolve the custodial craft this contract.  In the near future the USPS custodians will be froced into other crafts.
 
I wouldn't be suprised that the entire Building Maintenance be contracted out to a large maintenance company nationwide. Management is restructioning the EAS maintenance employees now so some moron will do another craft maintenance restruction like they have done in the past.
 
In my opinion the savest side of maintenance is on the E/T and MPE side. It may prove advantagous to take some electronic courses at a local technical college and take the MPE or E/T exams.
 
 
retiring20soon  
#16 Posted : Sunday, October 10, 2010 10:13:53 PM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Some background infromation on Louis Atkins. Again, he would be an excellent PMG. 
 
 




Louis Atkins elected first Black president of Nat'l Assn. of Postal Supervisors

Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 12:10 pm













Louis Atkins elected first Black president of Natl Assn. of Postal Supervisors
Louis M. Atkins, a St. Augustine High School graduation and longtime resident of Baton Rouge, La.  became the first Black president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors when he was elected at the association's National Con­ven­tion on August 13 in Orlando, FL.

Atkins began his career in the United States Postal Service at the Baton Rouge Plant in 1973 and continued working in that facility in various positions through August 2000.

Atkins began serving in leadership roles in NAPS with Baton Rouge-based Branch 209. He continued serving the association in multiple leadership positions with the Louisiana State Branch. Prior to his election as a member as a National Resident Officer, Atkins was elected to the positions of Central Gulf Area Vice President in 1990 and Southern Region Vice President in 1998.

In 2000, Atkins was elected as the Alexandria, VA-based association's National Secretary/Trea­surer. After the death of NAPS President Vincent Palladino in December 2004, Atkins rose to the position of Executive Vice President where he oversaw the organization's legislative affairs operations. During this time, Atkins also served as the Chairman for the Postal Employ­ees Relief Fund's Executive Committee.

When the U.S. Postal Service retiree was first elected to a Headquarters Office position, he took leave of absence from the USPS as an association official. Changes made in the association's Constitution and Bylaws at the 2004 NAPS National Convention made it possible for retired (associate) members to hold national office. Atkins subsequently retired from the USPS on October 3, 2005 while retaining his membership in NAPS as an associate member.

NAPS was established in 1908 as a professional organization for supervisors and managers in the USPS. Its main objective is "...to promote, through appropriate and effective action, the welfare of its members, and to cooperate with the USPS and other agencies of the federal government in a continuing effort to improve the service, to raise the standard of efficiency and to widen the field of opportunity for its members who make the Postal Service or the federal government their life work."

Although it was established for active employees of the USPS, NAPS has evolved to allow retired members to continue their membership in the organization.

Many of its retirees have been active branch officers and continue in that capacity to assist the membership in their branches with any problems or questions that may arise with their employment. The organization also lobbies Con­gress on matters pertaining not only to the postal service and its supervisory/managerial personnel, but also to the federal workforce as a whole.

While maintaining a residence in Alexandria, VA, Louis and his wife Bonita also maintain their residence in Baton Rouge and are the proud parents of daughter Kristal, son Ronnie, and grandson Daniel.

notgonepostal  
#17 Posted : Monday, October 11, 2010 2:07:36 AM(UTC)
notgonepostal

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Get Real wrote:

My office is called a Carrier Annex.  It is also a transportation hub and operates 20-hours a day. Tractor trailers coming and going. So it's a vast facility and there is a lot of space in it. You could put bowling lanes and an indoor soccer field in it.  It has a small box section and one retail terminal. Kind of an out of the way place. But you're right. Even with all that we really don't need 4 custodians. There's been talk of eliminating them and contracting Service-Master to do the routine cleaning and keeping one mechanic. And we certainly could lose a couple of supervisors. The "early guy" "Supervises" 4 mail handlers from 2AM to 6AM. Then the clerks work their asses off for three hours and do little after the carrier***** the street. The custodians move about pushing brooms like turtles or taking several hours per day over several days to cut a couple of acres of grass on a riding mower. Do we really need to pay each of these dolts $45,000/year plus benefits to do "work" that a 16-year old would do for minimum wage? Word is Service-Master will do it all for less than $100,000/year. No legacy costs. No injury comp problems. No equipment or supply fiasco's. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire Postal Service contracts out building and grounds maintaining. 

Okay it makes sense... But as I said SWC will take one or two supervisors out of your unit.

notgonepostal2010-10-11 17:34:38
retiring20soon  
#18 Posted : Monday, October 11, 2010 9:25:11 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Check out the testimony of the Panel 2, NALC, APWU, NRCA, NAPUS, NLPS, and the other presidents. Again, Burras is out to lunch but we now understand why.
 
Louis Atkins is right on target with his vision and suggestions.
 
 
 
 
 
retiring20soon2010-10-11 17:31:10
retiring20soon  
#19 Posted : Tuesday, October 12, 2010 11:34:54 PM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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BlameGame wrote:
retiring20soon, Louis has opened the lines of communication immediately after Keating retired and he was elected as President of NAPS. Members began receiving monthly emails from him and his officers. I applaud Louis for his rebuttal on Issa's trash talk regarding the Postal Service, it's nothing more than grandstanding on the backs of Postal Workers.
 
I have been in this Company for 37 years and I can tell you first hand, the Postal Service has the largest workforce of hard working dedicated employees I've ever seen. From our Custodians, ET's, Automotive Techs, Clerks, Letter Carriers, Postmasters, Managers, Support Staff etc.
 
We have our normal percentage of slugs in management and craft but, the hard working, dedicated employees out-weigh them by far.
 
retiring20soon, thank you for the find and making it available for all to read. And...I second that
motion:
 
Louis Atkins for PMG! 
Blamegame,
 
Ask anyone in your association about Louis Atkins and I bet most managers/supervisors have something very positive to say about him. He will not jump ship like some union president just did. When you need him the most he will be up for the fight. These times will prove to be the worse ever for all USPS employees, craft and management.
 
 
retiring20soon  
#20 Posted : Sunday, October 17, 2010 12:04:42 AM(UTC)
retiring20soon

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Atkins pushes back like the APWU and NALC must do in these crazy times.
What is dragging down the ratio is those District, Area and HQ EAS added in that headcount. Lets for once get an honest ratio.
 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Congressman Issa: Where Are All Those Postal Supervisors?

The response to an article two weeks ago that quoted Rep. Darrell Issa as saying one in seven U.S. Postal Service employees has stirred up an unprecedented amount of reaction.

So far, 57 comments have been made to USPS Has Too Many Supervisors And Too Many Employees, Congressman Says -- a Dead Tree Edition record -- and the response was even greater on other sites that linked to the article. Postalreporter.com, for example, has 204 comments. The head of the postal supervisors union also objected to the California Republican's "trash talk" and challenged his statistics.

"Without doubt, the supervisory ratio within the Postal Service is far, far higher than 1:7," said Louis M. Atkins, president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors. Many comments, though acknowledging that the Postal Service has too many layers of management, also questioned Issa's numbers.

I agree with these folks. After looking at USPS employment statistics (see chart at right from the last annual report), I can't find that many supervisory or managerial employees.

Of the approximately 712,000 employees at the end of last year, more than 90% are in categories like carrier and mail handler that seem clearly to be non-supervisory. Adding the "Postmasters/Installation Heads", "Supervisors/Managers", and all headquarters and area-office employees (even though some are non-supervisory) yields abou t 65,000 -- only 1 in 11 USPS employees.

Perhaps Issa excluded non-career employees from his count. But, assuming he recognizes that part-timers and temps are an efficient way to handle fluctuating workloads, that wouldn't make sense. And, besides, that would only change the ratio to about 1 in 10.

Some commenters wondered whether Issa was including 204Bs (substitute supervisors), but they can hardly be called true supervisors.

And one commenter had an insightful response to Issa: "In fairness, the '1 of 7' that Representative Issa refers to also includes low-level Postmasters at thousands of small post offices in small communities throughout the nation. Many of these Postmasters are the only employee in their office, or have just a few clerks or rural carriers. Their salary is less than that of a city letter carrier. Incidentally, many of these same small offices are ones that Congress prevents USPS from closing!"

retiring20soon2010-10-17 08:11:40
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