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June 1998
Vol. 1 No. 9 Page 3


by Martin J. Spielman Jr.

Management has always been on a kick about hiding behind public relations rather than facing its problems. A recent example of this is the new goals program and the infamous "Voices." That is all well and good since denial seems to be integrated into the United States Postal Service culture, but the acrimony really starts building when management tries to pretend that tragedies like the massacre at Royal Oak, MI never happened.

Some would call it revisionist history. However, when I heard a supervisor from the Michigan district saying on a propaganda film the employees were all happy and committed utterly to the success of the goals program I felt insulted.

The dead may be buried but those of us left behind hear their continued calls for justice and accountability. No propaganda film is going to change how we feel about management's abuse of power.

Why weren't the letter carriers in the propaganda film allowed to speak?

How quaint that a film about goals and voices had no voice.

How typical.

So what would carriers say if allowed to "Voice" their feelings?

The answer is that it does not take programs like ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution), UMPS (Union Management Pairs), Listen, or EI (Employee Involvement) to create a proper work environment. Those programs were only treatments for the symptoms of the disease that can only be cured by a big dose of dignity and respect.

We were foolish enough to invite Carvin' Marvin (former Postmaster General Marvin Travis Runyon) to our 1992 national convention in St. Louis, MO. Even more, we applauded him when he said he was going to improve the postal culture and get rid of all those unnecessary middle managers, "Who do not touch the mail."

Now Marv is gone and Henderson (newly appointed Postmaster General William J. Henderson) wants to have a negotiated contract.

But what about us in the trenches? We want managers that live up to the contract and their words. "I was told to do it," is an unacceptable answer.

All managers have a right and an obligation, yes an obligation, "To resolve issues at the lowest possible level."

If managers take responsibility for themselves everything else will fall in line. Oh, and we want one more little thing, and that is a discipline program for managers who violate the contract! If we have to put up with them then at least they should have to answer for their misdeeds.

Let's make the playing field level and we'll see then who violates the contract first.

Who knows we may actually get back to our "Core function" of delivering mail.

Brother Martin J. Spielman, Jr., is Chief Steward, Edison, NJ, NALC Branch No. 38 North/Central NJ Merged. He is a 11 year postal veteran with nine of those years as a steward at Edison.

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