April 30, 2020
Leading off today, I’d like to congratulate Billy Reis and John Visco on their retirement this coming Friday. I thank them both for their service to the country in the Armed Forces, for their service to the customers of the USPS, and for their support of the Union. We wish them good health and happy times on the rest of their journeys in life.
Now from the “spoke too soon” category, I got a little ahead of myself and jinxed us in my last posting by saying that we hadn’t had any new COVID cases. On Friday we learned that another Mail Handler had tested positive for the disease. Our sister should be applauded and commended for her forthrightness. She contacted the Union to let us know of the test result and she wanted everyone to know who she was so that people could do what they needed to in order to feel safe. Contrary to any of the BS rumors that you are hearing on the floor, she was never back at work after seeking to be tested. I appreciate her openness and cooperation, and I hope that we all would do the same for each other if the roles were reversed. I know that I would. We wish her a speedy recovery and return to work.
That brings us to the next topic. When a situation like this goes on there is always bound to be misinformation bandied about. Please do not get lost in the rumors and innuendo. If you want the facts, ask the Union. Tonight I have answered a few questions that people in the building are passing off as fact. Do not buy into the bull; if you want to know the truth ask an honest and responsible source, aka the Union. In this last instance, management themselves were some of the purveyors of falsehoods. When a Union representative tried to correct them, that Union rep was called into the office. Rest assured that the Union reps have your backs and will fight to correct any of the wrong messages or practices. We are in constant communication with Local President Gibson and also clear things through the National President and lawyer as necessary. As I said in the stand-up talks on Friday and Saturday, if we don’t get the answer that we want from the plant management, I have no problem taking it to the district management and beyond. If you see any unsafe practices, if you continue to not receive talks, if you are denied leave or asked for more documentation than necessary, or if you have any other problems then please be sure to bring it to a Union official’s attention.
With the liberal leave policy and the other COVID leaves, you are not required to provide the age of your children or anyone else. There are guidelines for what management is requesting and clearly our attendance control supervisor is doing some freelance work on those rules. She is also thinking that she can just deny peoples’ leave without ramifications or repercussions. Apparently not being able to write up employees for clock rings and absences is creating a void. Please let us know if you have any questions about any attendance related information that you are asked for or if you receive a phone call or a letter. There are issues arising where people are not being put in for their correct leave or where they are being asked to provide documentation that is not within the USPS guidelines. The Union has raised this problem with District management and we are hoping that the harassment will stop. If you have any questions about any of the additional leave that is being offered by the PO, make sure to speak with a steward.
As I said in my last posting, there is no moratorium on grievances or pause on our National Agreement because of the pandemic. If you see a clerk or supervisor performing Mail Handler work, write up a witness statement. Help us defend your rights, your contract, your work, and your jobs.
I will now distribute credit and blame to our local management for a few items. They deserve credit for ordering cloth reusable masks on their own and distributing them. They deserve credit for quickly shutting down the work area and cleaning it upon news of the confirmed positive. They deserve credit for the hot dogs, chips, additional masks, and sodas. Unfortunately, on the very same night of employee appreciation they also deserve blame for bypassing a social distancing measure implemented on the south dock and using the line, “we have to consider productivity” when questioned by a Mail Handler as to why the rollers were being taken away. Of course, they also deserve plenty of blame for the harassing phone calls of people who are absent, the botching and denial of people’s leave, and the dissemination and proliferation of mistruths and deception.
Before I switch gears and wrap it up for this posting, I just want to reiterate a message that I’ve been posting. Remember that we are all here together and we are all here to achieve the same goals of providing for our families and to serve the customers. None of us are sure of what anyone else is going through. Let’s all be considerate of our coworkers and work together to accomplish what we need to safely. We are counting on each other to not only take care of themselves, but also to look out for us and our safety. Stay united. Overall, we are faring pretty well compared to other facilities and to other institutions; let’s keep up the good work and show our pride. Treat others the way that you would want to be treated. Stay home if you are sick. Take advantage of the leave that the USPS and Unions have agreed on if you need to. Stay united and supportive.
The next round of job bids will go up on May 15th. I am hoping to revive and repost some of the previously reverted jobs on that posting; more info on that will be shared as it becomes available.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me to attend the National Convention as a delegate. I appreciate the support and I always consider it an honor to represent the women and men of the Lehigh Valley at any event, but most especially at a national event of such magnitude. It is humbling and I am grateful.
Stay United, Stay Strong, & Stay Safe-