NEWS17 August 2010

Postal workers union urges boycott of employee surveys

North America

US— The American Postal Workers Union is urging members to boycott staff surveys fielded by the United States Postal Service (USPS), fearing the results will be used to “undercut the union” in upcoming contract negotiations.

The union has written to local and state representatives to warn them not to complete the voluntary surveys as talks with USPS management on wages and benefits are due to begin on 1 September.

Director of industrial relations Greg Bell claimed in the letter: “The Postal Service has misrepresented the results of employee opinion surveys in the past when it used survey data to justify claims that employees supported its wage proposals.”

Bell called for “continued support in boycotting the surveys”. Since 1998, the union has discouraged members from taking part in such research.

USPS reported a third-quarter loss of $3.5bn for the three months ending 30 June, and warned that efforts to reduce work hours – already cut by 6.6% during the first nine months of the fiscal year – would have to continue.

Announcing the results, chief financial officer Joseph Corbett said: “Despite ongoing aggressive cost reductions totalling over $10bn in the last three years, it is clear that a liquidity problem is looming and must be addressed through fundamental changes requiring legislation and changes to contracts.”

@RESEARCH LIVE

8 Comments

10 years ago

Hm, how about using a third party, trustworthy research company to create a survey, analyze results and prepare a report which is then made public. Simply avoiding the entire process sounds suspicious to me.

Like Report

10 years ago

I just received my VOE survey, completed it, and turned it back in. I feel very fortunate to be a Postal employee. The salary is fair and benefits are terrific. The survey is our opportunity to let management know what, if anything, needs to change. I think the union is looking out for the union, not for the employees. The union needs to try to upset employees to keep membership up--they need the membership dues to pay the union officials.

Like Report

10 years ago

The union will gripe about every single thing management puts out. Nothing will ever be acceptable to them and I agree with the majority of the American public that the union is the reason for the huge deficits at the USPS.

Like Report

10 years ago

As a customer of the USPS, I appreciate you completing the survey, anonymous! I work for the Federal Government and see how the unions manipulate the masses.

Like Report

10 years ago

I'm VERY happy you feel fortunate to be a postal employee. I noticed you used the word employee, instead of worker and that bothered me. It makes me think you're not a union worker and your post is intended to mislead. Either that or perhaps you don't have enough time in to remember when management used the confidential survey against the workers interests. I'd be interested in how you explain "Going Postal" vs. "Going Brown", but given the simplicity of your post I won't expect much. Why did Potter get $859k in compensation from his $265k salary ? Houston we have a problem.

Like Report

10 years ago

Saying the Union is looking out for the Union is like saying the fish is just swimming. It goes without saying! If new vacancy announcements were published at half the salary, there would be people standing in line to apply, especially considering the terrific leave, insurance, and retirement benefits. Consider what the average police officer or school teacher makes, and decide if you would quit and look for another job if your salary was cut to match that paid by the police department, or the school board. Then ask yourself what the Union stays so worked up about all the time! Unions played a very important role in improving working conditions, wages, and benefits, but the problems in those areas were gone many years ago. Telling workers to boycott a survey is putting their heads in the sand, and ignoring a critical change in how Americans communicate today. the U.S.P.S. business plan HAS to change.

Like Report

10 years ago

The National Association of Postal Supervisors, the League of Postmasters and the National Association of Postmasters of the United States have also recommended to their members not to participate with the Voice of the Employee [VOE] surveys for basically the same reason.

Like Report

10 years ago

USPS is fighting for its very life. The biggest obstacle to progress is fighting the dysfunctional "union attitude" that many employees have in turning any initiative into a dispute. This in spite of the fact that, when it comes to keeping promises, meeting contractual obligation and providing for the human needs of employees, no organization has more integrity than USPS. The unions need to be very careful in their conduct these days, because public sentiment is definitely against them. If a list of the causes of USPS deficit finances was made, Congress, the Internet and the unions would be the top three on the list.

Like Report