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August 1998
Vol. 1 No. 11 Page 4

Postal Policies Blasted At House Meeting

Spokesmen for the National Association of Letter Carriers, on June 18, declared the hopes for improvement in morale among postal workers could take place only if there was a reform of the state of mind of postal management. Vice President James H. Rademacher, and Secretary-Treasurer J. Stanly Lewis appeared before a House Subcommittee n Postal Operations to expose the problems within the postal establishment which are causing a harmful effect on morale. The two N.A.L.C. leaders highlighted problems which were occurring in the following areas. Labor-Management relations, training, street observations, vehicles, and attitudes of management.

Chairman Robert N. C. Nix, of Pa., had called the hearings with the hope that "disputes that exist can be discussed in the open and a public record made, since the people of the United States are the employers of the Postal Service, and have a right to know about the condition of the Postal Service."

Secretary-Treasurer Lewis discussed the man y frustrations of the bargaining sessions at the Post Office Department. He elaborated on the complete collapse of bargaining at the local level; and told the committee how more than 7,000 alleged non-negotiable items had been the center of one of the greatest controversies in postal history. Chairman Nix was extremely sympathetic and said that he would thoroughly investigate all aspects of the Labor-Management program in the Postal Service. He also requested all documents which were used at the management training programs at the University of Oklahoma. Vice President Rademacher lashed out at the attitudes of management which in some instances have caused letter carriers to feel as important as "undeliverable third class mail."

He criticized the Department's training program which he said was more intended for supervision than for the drivers of thousands of government vehicles. He charged that the high accident rate in the Postal Service was due to the lack of adequate training, especially in the area of right-hand drive vehicles.

Another highlight of the N.A.L.C. testimony was the revelation to the Congress of the harassment on the part of some supervisors who devote a portion of their tour of duty to patrolling letter carrier routes and observing the carrier in an unannounced manner. Also reported to the Congress was the fact that senior letter carriers (beyond age 45) are rarely chosen for supervisory appointments; and "it is grossly unfair to encourage all postal employees to take the supervisor examination and then disregard senior applicants."

The Board of Appeals came under attack as testimony developed serious backlogs of pending cases - in some instances as old as July, 1967. It was made very clear that the members of the Board were most fair and impartial in rendering all the decisions, but that under-staffing and false economies had a great affect on the morale of employees, who had suffered grievances and/or adverse actions.

Source: National Association of Letter Carriers Bulletin, No. 34, June 26, 1968, James H. Rademacher, editor. Copied from Summit City Branch No. 116, Fort Wayne, IN, Emmett Bogdon President, archives.

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