5/11/2017 – Mailman Mike (Michael Martinez), a letter carrier from Long Island, was critically injured last month while on duty. Mike was loading his mail bag to start a delivery when he was struck by a car outside. Mike’s leg was completely severed. He remains in the ICU. You may read previous coverage and watch a related video here at PEN.
From the NALC Facebook page – Mailman Mike, a carrier from Long Island, was run into by a car while working his route and lost both his legs. That happened about a month ago and Mike is still in the ICU. Mike is married and has two children. One of Mike’s letter carrier friends set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help Mike and his family. I’ll refer to the friend as Good Samaritan. If he wants to reveal his identity that’s up to him. I made a contribution, as did many other people. A few days ago my contribution was refunded. Here’s how that happened.
There is a Code of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch located at 5 Code of Federal Regulations 2635. Reading the document as a whole, it is intended to prevent employees from using their federal employment to enrich themselves. They don’t want letter carriers to extort their customers. They don’t want supervisors to extort their subordinates. They want federal employees to perform their duties impartially. All that is perfectly understandable.
It is also possible to take a micro-view of the document and look just at phrases, without considering the overall purposes of the code. When one approaches legal documents that way, one can get absurd results. That’s what happened to the Good Samaritan.
About a week ago the Good Samaritan was called into a meeting with some people who identified themselves as USPS ethics lawyers. They told the Good Samaritan that he had violated ethics rules by starting up a collection for Mailman Mike. They told the Good Samaritan that he would have to refund all the money collected or he would be subject to disciplinary action. The branch president, the Good Samaritan reports, called Fred Rolando and described what was going on. Rolando, it is reported, said the money should be refunded or OIG would become involved and the Good Samaritan might be disciplined.
Fred Rolando commands a small army of lawyers from the New York law firm of Cohen, Weiss, and Simon. Rolando pays them $1,000 per hour to oppose letter carriers’ interests. In the guise of an arbitrator, for example, Bruce Simon set CCA pay at $15 an hour and gave letter carriers 3.5% in raises over the five-year term of the last contract. Letter carrier Windell Jolicoeur was fired for improperly curbing his wheels. When NBA David Napadano killed his removal grievance Brother Jolicoeur filed an unfair labor practice charge. Cohen, Weiss, and Simon lawyers are now being paid $1,000 an hour to prevent Brother Jolicoeur from getting his job back. For the past twenty-three years Cohen, Weiss, and Simon lawyers have become very wealthy by arguing in federal court that NALC’s national officers are legally entitled to secretly authorize payments to themselves.
When Rolando got that phone call I would have wanted him to blow his top. How can management possibly think that it can interfere with letter carriers’ attempts to take up a collection for a fellow letter carrier who lost his legs? There’s no ethics issue here. Mailman Mike isn’t in a position to do any favors for the people who help him out.
The Good Samaritan wasn’t using his position to enrich himself by soliciting funds to help Mike’s family. Rolando should have directed Bruce Simon to contact USPS’s General Counsel and threaten legal action, as well as all the bad publicity NALC can drum up. But Rolando didn’t do that. Instead, as usual, he acted as management’s tool.
There’s a new GoFundMe page set up by a person who is not a postal employee. It is for the explicit purpose of helping Mailman Mike’s family, who are not postal employees. Please show management and Fred Rolando how you feel about their cruel and absurd actions by donating to it.
The article above came from the NALC Truth Page on Facebook – PEN did not write this article, but we totally agree with its content.