THE MEDIA DEFAULT: Postal
Coverage Falls Short
Jay Galione – Director, Gone Postal
I sifted through the barrage of news
stories on the Postal “default” last week hoping to find
some real journalism. Sadly, I didn’t. Instead, I came
across the same tired citations from official sources like
the Postmaster General, the National Union heads, and the
players in Congress.
Here’s the skinny: Wracked with a
financial burden imposed by the Bush administration* the
Postal Service defaults on a multibillion dollar annual
payment, following the greatest recession since The Great
*“Thomas M. Davis, a former Republican
congressman from Virginia who proposed the law, said the
payment requirement was initiated by the administration of
President George W. Bush.” (NY Times 7-31-12)
The ensuing “crisis” is being used as
a pretext to dismantle the agency as we know it. Postmaster
General Donahoe and Republicans in Congress propose setting
loose tens of thousands of unemployed, and erasing hundreds
of thousands of living wage jobs from an already ravaged
Does the Postal Service need to
economize? Sure. It’d be hard argue with that. But where can
they find efficiency? Certainly not from the Postmaster
General or from the voices in Congress. The people involved
in the conversation at a national policy-making level have
either never worked in a post office, or they haven’t
touched the mail in years.
Want to know where Post Offices can be
consolidated? Where redundancies exist? Where money is
wasted? Ask a letter carrier in Gastonia, North Carolina.
Ask a Postmaster in Gold Run, California or a Mailhandler in
Newburgh, New York.
I did that. The result is a four year
cross country investigation chronicled in the documentary
film (currently in progress), Gone Postal.
Witness a place where efficiency and
progress are lost in a sea of grievances, retaliation, and
lawsuits. Where unreachable goals are never justified but
always enforced. And where employees have no voice.
Solutions to a problem rooted deep in
the foundation of the organization won’t be found in a
headline or a soundbite.
A service that operates on a local
level everywhere in America, meeting different challenges in
each market and terrain is now being shattered by the
decisions of centralized controllers far removed from the
daily operations, who have substantial political and
personal interests at stake. Who’s looking out for the
Director, Gone Postal
Postal Street “Breakdown”
I once publicly asked a senior manager
why he doesn’t engage in cultural diversity awareness as
part of the voice-of-the-employee metric, and after a long
pause his response was because he “was just a little white
boy from the Midwest.” I was shocked that a senior executive
would sound off like that, but I replied back in his terms
“I’m just a little black boy from the South Bronx,” the
crowd of 100+ spectators erupted with laughter. The truth of
the matter is that more important than where we are from is
where our audience is at.
You can take a man from the Bronx, but you can’t take the
Bronx from the man. I was inspired to write this article by
a legendary recording artist from the Bronx by the name of
Grandmaster Melle Mel who recorded “Beat Street Breakdown”.
If you never heard it you should YouTube and check it out.
Mel had a vision about the streets of the Bronx a long time
ago, and I got a similar one about a breakdown today on the
USPS streets. It goes a little something like this:
I know you can feel my heat from across the street, the
postal streets have a lesson too, and you can’t let the
workplace beat you. A leader can express a thousand words to
describe the benefits of the employment we enjoy. There are
plenty of opportunities if we want to improve a personal
situation, and there’s never a better time to paint a better
place to work. Workers from all crafts and levels can grow
professionally in peace and harmony, but it’s up to you.
Postal emblematic logos span walls so grand as far as the
eyes can believe. We never know customer service until we
see your face, and there will never be another to take your
place. Every time you touch the mail Ben Franklin’s soul
controls your hands.
The beauty of cultural diversity fills your head. Tear drops
fall due to a stressed state of the times, and many just
can’t get this workplace out of their minds. Why do you have
to give up so soon before you can prove you’re a good
employee for the greatest mail system in the world? Mail
must travel, bad attitudes must die, and we all need each
other to make sure our ego is fed, and to keep the roof
overhead. Tell me who else is going to dream a possible
dream of a perfect workplace. Janitors clean, clerk’s
scheme, handlers load, managers evaluate, and everyone still
continues to get paid at this middle income party.
We got to make something out of a situation that sometimes
feels like nothing, and no vision will keep you from seeing
all you are about being. The challenge is to have a mind of
someone wiser than you, and to exhibit the heart of a beast
with the courage of two to stand up for you, and do what is
right. You and I represent the souls of the brothers and
sisters who can’t come back. You got the skills to make this
place better for you and me. Some people act like they have
to retire, or be excessed just to be free.
When you search for justice you know what you see, just-us,
the few who can find their voices so the rest won’t be on
the unemployment line. You find just-us, working six days a
week from dusk to dawn. Maybe there’s no justice, or is it
Just-ice. Our postal trademarks displayed on trucks and
boxes, and from this day forward there will be no more hard
times, no more pain, no more stupid-bull because we deserve
more than excuses that are lame. All you postal workers get
on up where we belong because the age of the Postal Street
Breakdown is here. We got postal movies, a museum, but no
hall of fame. Can I get a hoooo-rahhh!
Look, a newspaper on the desk, birds flying through the
plant and the headline says, postal worker destroys other
postal workers. Extra, extra, read all the postal news, from
the violence, to the decrease in service standards,
somebody’s going to lose. It’s the sound of the mail
industry caught on fire. Maybe it’s the rise and fall of the
last postal empire. Watch out for the ruthless struggle, and
the desperate lottery jackpot gamble. Here comes the
cheater, the liar, and the individual with the squeaky clean
alibi. The private sector wants to conquer a defaulting
agency because they want a piece of the mail volume pie. The
service is lost, you name the place, and the PMG forgot
about the workers holding down the base.
We’re spending millions, possibly billions to save a market
raking in trillions. There’s a gold mine of packages in the
street, and we can turn that into diamonds right under our
feet. Employees work all month and we still can’t profit no
money. Everyone shouts out in the darkest hour about a sight
unseen with a single-digit approval rating, and a voice that
is finally heard. Oops, too late, the congressional bill got
the last word. Craft attack craft, managers attack managers,
and a superior wants to abrogate an agreement clause.
Everybody is being used, and abused. One-A-Day and B12
vitamins are regularly swallowed back. There’s a constant
fight for power that turns into a hot verbal shower.
Recall generals Klassen, Bailar, Bolger, Carlin, Casey,
Tisch, don’t forget about Frank, Runyon, Henderson, Potter
and Donahoe. If these leaders made any mistakes would they
still be able to look in the mirror? With poor communication
and no rumor control from the top down our minds will be
poisoned, and our spirits will be forever polluted.
Ego-maniac bosses will control others to be bobble-head
Everything is sacred, and nothing is pure. The revelation of
the death spiral is our cure. We are all going to suffer
while the situation gets rougher, and that’s the reason why
we got to get tougher. To learn from the past, and work for
what we want as a future, we can’t be a slave to no social
media. The future of the Postal Service is in your hands.
The attention of all the men and women is the only way to
inherit a solid plan. Before we get to a Postal Street
Breakdown, put your hands in the air and let me hear, no
fear! Then say oh yeah!
by Ronald Williams, Jr. for PostalReporter.com
February 28, 2012
A PUBLIC SERVICE OR A BUSINESS DELIVERY SYSTEM?
A MOVE TO SAVE HIGH PAYING POSTAL MANAGEMENT POSITIONS AT
As a citizen I question the move of
our government institution to reduce our service.
What if I offered a solution that
should resolve all the postal problems for monetary
shortfalls without the people of this country or their mail
Businesses served by the USPS get
discount rates, incentives, rebates.....other offers. When
will our representatives realize that the PO is supposed to
be a public service and not a business delivery system? Cut
the discounts from businesses who write 100% of their
mailing expenses off their taxes. That is the only incentive
any business should receive using the public's service.
The excuse that the internet is the
reason mailings are down is a facade concerning business
mailings. These are targeted areas that these businesses
want to reach and not something that can be done with the
internet ever. The cost of handling the mail doesn't go down
just because it is third class mail. It cost the same amount
to handle once it is touched by a postal employee as any
first class letter so quit blaming postal workers incomes
for the downfall of the service. In most cases it cost even
more to work the business mail considering:
It requires the carrier to stop at
every house to deliver a reduced price piece of mail.
It is stored at post offices around
the country for up to three days before delivery
necessitating more costly building space.
It comes in forms that are not
machinable like newspaper inserts without any surcharge we
would be required to pay.
It represents over one third of all
The post office has a revenue
problem? Really!!! The post office just announced these
businesses get the second ounce of presorted first class
mail free. Free? They are falling short of revenue and
offering something "free". The public isn't getting this
deal. The public is subsidizing business mailings and will
be paying the price in first class service standards by
delaying our mail to the third class business standard of
three day delivery or longer instead of overnight.
The USPS states that first class
(your and my) mail is down 25%, however it doesn't specify
what specific areas of the country are experiencing these
reductions to justify the processing center closures. Take
for example Springfield, MO mail processing center. It is in
a part of the state that is the fastest growing area
according to the census and it is scheduled for closure. The
mail will be sent to Kansas City some 180 miles away and
cause a delay of overnight delivery for the local area which
has over 200 outlying community's it serves. One can surmise
that this is not a downsizing of the Post Office to serve
the people, but instead is a way of justifying big
operations in big cities for big business.
What is the actual percentage of
first class mail reduction for an area that is the fastest
growing in the state? I bet it isn't the claimed 25%, or
even close. No actual numbers have been provided because the
postal managers making these decisions won’t take personal
accountability for the answers or decisions. It would affect
their pay scale. Where is the transparency?
If you want the facts on the Post
Office, make their spokesperson tell you who he is speaking
for by name since it is supposed to be a public service and
they don't seem to be speaking for any of the people that I
There is no reason to cut the
services to the people. Cut and reduce the specific areas
that have experienced the reduction of mail they used to
process like in Kansas City. They have already established
they have machines there not being fully utilized. Postal
management has purchased equipment for these big cities and
now will try to justify their purchases by absorbing mail
from other processing plants. This doesn’t provide better
service; it only secures big city postal management jobs.
If an area has experienced a
reduction of mail, cut that office by the same percentage to
match the service.
Match the service to the public and
stop justifying big paychecks to managers that are no longer
needed to run big offices if big offices are not necessary
to serve that cities metropolitan area. The Post Office is
supposed to serve the community, not try to re-establish
This is an example of postal managers
who get big pay checks in big cities trying to hang on to
their big bonuses by justifying big operations instead of
serving the people. Without the numbers to back up their
operations they couldn't justify their incomes based on the
standards currently in place. The manager's pay scales are
determined by the size of the operations they are involved
with. Cut the big cities down to the size of service for
their metropolitan area and these big cheeses would have to
experience a reduction in pay.
Where are the real numbers before
these big managers take away our service? You'll find every
manager questioned hiding behind an arbitrary statement as
to not accept any personal responsibility for giving the
facts. Ask PM General Donahoe and see how fast he diverts
the responsibility of giving our system away to businesses
and bigger postal manager payouts for retaining big city
Sounds like a conspiracy to defunct
the system for personal gain of higher level postal managers
at the public's expense. Isn't it the PO manager's claim
that 80% of all postal cost is directly related to wages and
Imagine how those figures would
change if businesses would pay what we pay to use our
service and the postal managers get their pay scales
Cut these postal managers down to
size and stop the forced subsidizing of business mail. Post
Office Fixed, and monetary problem solved.
Joseph W McKinney