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NALC President Rolando responds to Donahoe

NALC President Rolando responds to Donahoe

  • PMG to Congress: Out of the way, I’m ending Saturday delivery
  • NALC to PMG: Not without a fight!

Feb. 7, 2013 — Postmaster General Pat Donahoe’s unilateral and brazen plan to end Saturday mail delivery in August led many reporters at a press conference yesterday to question its legality, given Congress’ 30-year legislated policy to mandate six-day delivery. Donahoe was vague and evasive in responding. The PMG also made a number of claims about employee support for his plan. National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando issued the following statement in response:

The PMG didn’t equivocate when he talked to me before unleashing a sneak attack on the nation’s postal customers, letter carriers and mailers who rely on Saturday delivery. He told me he plans to go ahead with his service- and job-killing plan, even if Congress extends next month the continuing resolution that mandates Saturday delivery. He’s essentially telling Congress to “Drop dead!” He is presuming the right to override the will of America’s elected representatives.

Congress cannot let him get away with this arrogant power grab—not only because it will drive more business away and do irreparable harm to the Postal Service, but also because it will set the stage for a move to four-day and three-day delivery in the years ahead.

Donahoe told reporters that he talked to me before yesterday’s announcement and suggested that letter carriers and other postal employees are “fully supportive” of his plan. This is completely false. Let me respond to both points.

He did talk to me 18 hours before going public, but I made it absolutely clear that letter carriers totally oppose this destructive plan. I told him directly that we consider this an attack on letter carriers, the Postal Service’s customers and the American public, not to mention an affront to Congress. I informed him that I would direct our lawyers to take the most aggressive action possible to thwart his reckless plan.

Donahoe’s claim that postal employees support his self-destructive downsizing plan is plainly untrue—every union has announced its opposition. If he is truly willing to be guided by the views of the nation’s letter carriers, NALC would gladly agree to jointly commission a carrier poll on this matter, so long as the PMG is willing to be bound by the results. Otherwise, he should not arrogantly presume to speak for America’s letter carriers.

More than 90 percent of letter carriers voluntarily belong to the NALC; we are confident that they know what’s best for the Postal Service and its customers. They know what Donahoe seems not to understand: Slowing mail service and slashing service is not a winning business strategy.

Letter carriers, the core workforce of the United States Postal Service, have lost confidence in Postmaster General Donahoe. It is time for him to go.

10 Responses to NALC President Rolando responds to Donahoe

  1. biscuit

    February 8, 2013 at 12:33 am

    A poll of letter carriers would indeed be interesting.

    However, that poll would have to sort through, with proper questions, the emotional part of the carriers’ responses, and then get to the real crux of the issue.

    What I mean is this: Most carriers do not have Saturdays off, and if they have “rotating days” off, then they get one Saturday every six weeks, which is the only reason for rotating days off.

    Carriers, like most other people, would LOVE to have Saturdays off…for family, for two consistent days off in a row, Saturday and Sunday.

    So, the poll would have to sort through the natural desire to have Saturdays off, and finally ask,

    “Aside from your natural tendency to want Saturdays off, do you feel five day delivery would be harmful to the Service part of the USPS?”

    And, “Do you think combining the mail volume normally delivered on Saturday, with Monday’s mail, etc., would cause more overtime expense than the cost savings of reducing mail delivery to five days?”

    And, “Do you think managerial pressure to contain that use of overtime will result in more harassment, intimidation, and other actions and words that would cause more stress and toxicity in the work environment?”

    I personally feel that most postal customers do not care if we go to five day delivery. Most seniors get their Social Security and retirement checks by direct deposit, anyway.

    Most businesses that are not already closed on Saturday, in my opinion, will not notice the lack of delivery on Saturday, because the personnel that handle the incoming mail are not working themselves, on Saturday! So the mail sits in a mailbox, mail room, or on a desk or counter until Monday, anyway.

    But I do believe that five day delivery will certainly cost a lot of money in overtime pay and result in a more toxic work environment, simply because of having to squeeze more work mostly into one or two other days of the week.

    I think the reduction to five days will mostly be a problem internally, rather than a public problem.

  2. Suzanne

    February 8, 2013 at 8:56 am

    The PMG has still resolutely refused to address the number one problem with the USPS…management. This organization is so top heavy, and the managers and supervisors rarely if ever held accountable, it’s a wonder it has taken this long for the USPS to begin to topple.

  3. Randie

    February 8, 2013 at 8:57 am

    i would LOVE for Rolando to poll carriers, HE would resign

  4. Pingback: NALC President Rolando responds to Donahoe - intelisent Postal Affairs Blog

  5. Sucka

    February 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Immediately make management salary not hourly and no overtime. Supervisors get more hours of overtime than any craft workers. Don’t promote the worst craft workers to management, they only become the worst supervisors. Capture 90% of the small parcel market, pickup all returns for fed-ex and UPS and create revenue.

  6. Tuffy

    February 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Most of management is salary and if they are not they will be after Postplan. If I work more than 40 hours I do not get any OT. Which happens on a weekly basis. Why is it the unions always blame management? I know of many PM’s that are working 6 days a week, carrying mail, working the window and doing what it takes to get the job done with zero OT while the carriers are home with their families on Saturday and Sunday. I also see carriers getting paid for 6,7 and 8 hours and working only 4 or 5 hours and home by 1:00. This would be rural carriers. I fully support five days a week delivery! It will give the carriers the weekend with their families and the PM also would not have to deliver mail. It is good that they want to deliver packages as that has grown while first class letter mail has dropped by almost 40% and will continue to drop. You can’t tell me you haven’t noticed the decline in letter mail. There has not been one customer that I have talked with since the PMG announcement that has said they disagree with this. They wonder why it has not been done before now. 7 out 10 people polled are for this. Lets face it folks, the volume is not what it used to be. More and more people are paying their bills online and not just the younger generation. We need to focus on packages and hopefully other revenue generating ideas.

  7. BOHICA

    February 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I say put a vote out to the union members. Let us decide if the union should spend our money fighting the USPS.

  8. shadow

    February 9, 2013 at 8:49 am

    President Rolando would be in a boat alone because all carriers i have talked with in our neighborhoods would love both Saturday and Sunday off. The P O is like any other business in financial trouble, they have to cut and slice to make ends meet.

  9. mark

    February 9, 2013 at 9:52 am

    This is just one example of what postal workers have been dealing with for years. postal management does what it wants .They recognize no authority. Besides, The postmaster general knows that this has been a do nothing congress for years. Congress does not have the balls to challenge the PMG.. Congress should step in and ORDER the pmg to resign or have him arrested for doing something he has no authority to do.

  10. Watchdog311

    February 10, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Don’t expect any help from the President. He unilaterally froze Federal worker’s pay for two years with no negotiations.

    When did middle class Government workers become the enemy?

    It happened when Big Business hedged their bets by backing both Parities. Don’t vote for Parities that throw us under the bus. Vote Parities that support the poor and middle-class.

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