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A “No Mail” List?

I’m sure all of you have heard by now of the “no mail” list. This thinking, is so stupid, if I didn’t know better, I would swear it was thought up by Postal Management! People are so lazy now, they cannot take the time to throw away the mail they do not want. Instead, they want to put out a “no mail” list so they won’t get the “junk mail”, so once they go to their mail box only the “important mail” will be there.

Well, let’s think about this, shall we? As Letter Carriers our jobs now rely on the standard “junk” mail. This didn’t use to be the case. The first class postage used to be the mainstay of the Postal Service and paid the bills, including our salaries. The internet and other online services have diminished our first class mail to a dribble, and now standard mail is the bread winner for the Postal Service. This is our “important mail”.

First, let me ask you…are you paying your bills online? If you are, you are helping cut your own throats! Not literally, mind you, however for every online bill pay you make, not only do you deprive our jobs of delivering that letter, it usually generates more advertising mail in response. Credit card companies would mail you a bill, and would follow that up with credit card checks and additional advertising, such as mortgage info or car loan information. So each bill could be generating 3 or 4 more letters per month by the credit card companies. By doing your bills online you eliminate not only your bill, but the additional letters it generates.

We all know the volume of mail is declining. We need to help ourselves save our jobs, because others want to eliminate the standard mail they are receiving, and frankly they don’t care about our jobs or our families.

Now, if you are a TE and you are paying bills online, you have probably assured yourself that you will not be signed on for an additional contract. If you are a PTF, you have assured yourself a reduction in hours, or worse, being laid off. And if you are a regular, then a reduction in the routes and longer routes are being done as I write this article.

The USPS is selling the excess equipment and there are not enough vehicles to have a spare available. If volume comes back, where will the mail be cased, how will we deliver it?

But, I digress, the point of this article is the “no mail” list and people who are fed up with the junk mail…remember, this pays our salaries. A reduction in the standard mail creates a domino effect. First, if standard mail drops, then it would only be reasonable for the rates of the first class mail to rise. Second, once the standard mail drops off, then readjusting routes will again take place. Third, the rising first class rates would create a backlash with the public and would create less mail being put in the mail-stream and more people going to online payments. Less mail, route readjustments again. Longer routes, less carriers, lost jobs, and a smaller Union work force...smaller workforce, less money into the local branches and National, creating situations where some branches may not be able to maintain their Union Halls or send officers and/or members to the Training Seminars and State/National Conventions. That dominoes down to the officers training of your local Steward, and resulting the inability of your local to learn and teach to their greatest capacity, which ultimately affects you when you need and want a well informed Steward!

Now, granted this may be my view of the worst that could happen, but how many of you thought we would ever be in the situation the USPS is in now? Falling volumes, longer routes, and no overtime for most carriers. I realize some of you are still working OT, however, the warning management has verbalized for years and years, “don’t rely on OT, its gonna dry up” has finally occurred for most of us. OT in most cities has dried up and many carriers who rely on the OT are scrambling to make their bills. I know of a few with 2 mortgages that had to file bankruptcy and let one of their homes go into foreclosure.

So, if you meet someone who tells you they support a “no mail” list and don’t want their “junk mail”, let them know that the “junk mail” is subsidizing their first class postage. If they eliminate the “junk mail”, because they do not want to walk to the trash can, then they can expect to pay more to mail a letter across town! Of course, do not ever argue with any customer and do not engage in any “controversial issues”, but letting them know what might happen to the first class postage is just being “informative”.

Do yourselves and your families a favor and stop paying your bills online. That’s like working at General Motors and they buying a Hyundai and wondering why your job is being eliminated. We soon might go the way of the automakers if we don’t wake up and smell the roses. A co-worker relayed a story to me about a bank teller that let them know it was their last day of work, they were being laid off. Instead of the “I’m so sorry” response you would expect, the co-worker asked the teller, “ Do you bank online?” They replied, “of course!” To which the co-worker said “There you go, you did away with your job!” And she walked away with the bank teller stunned into the realization that she was right.

All the blame cannot be put on “them”, the public…part of the blame is ours by paying bills online. Let’s help stop the “no mail list” and let us begin to mail our bills …its only our jobs on the line. I wonder if there’s an opening at the bank……………..

Denny Belden

Aka VetCarrier


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