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The working conditions created by the inept and irresponsible managers within the postal service is not only un-American, but creates a serious danger to the unsuspecting public at large.
The interest in this case has been with good cause, because Ms. Snow’s ordeal is the perfect metaphor for the blatant corporate, and now, governmental assault on the American middle class as a whole. But when I promised to keep you abreast of the twists and turns in this particular case, I thought it was simply going to be the story of a middle-class worker’s struggle to finally obtain justice. But instead, it has not only become the story of governmental extortion, threats, and collusion, but the clear demonstration that justice has become nothing more than an illusion for the American middle class.
So, Mr. President, we need to start practicing the virtue of defending human rights here at home before we start lecturing others abroad, because the only thing that rivals the horror of what this United States Government agency is doing to its employees is what it's doing to your stature and credibility in the eyes of people who want very much to respect you.
The pay-for-performance program was initially put into place based on the widely held assumption that outrageously higher pay would draw a higher caliber of executives, but there is absolutely no evidence that there is any correlation between greed and competence. In fact, our recent experience with the postal service, and on Wall Street, seems to suggest that just the opposite is true. Thus, a more accurate rule of thumb should be, any person who places more emphasis on wealth than character is not smart enough to be trusted.
As we sit around comfortable in our complacency and telling jokes about "going postal," postal workers are literally drowning in a cesspool of injustice and corruption that's needlessly destroying their health, well being, and many of their home lives. While that may seem funny to some, the United States Postal Service signals a pronounced change in this nation's attitude toward poor and middle-class workers. And since it is a government agency, and both our president, and the policing agencies mandated to protect our interests are completely ignoring the situation, the ramifications are chilling.
The United States Postal service is literally on the verge of collapse. Customer service is being curtailed, the price of stamps are going up, much needed employees are being excessed, and the wages of gainfully employed workers are being stolen with impunity. Yet, it has been widely reported that former Postmaster General John E. Potter walked out the door earlier this month with the greater part of $6 million in bonuses and perks in his retirement package. In 2008 Potter reportedly hauled in $857,459, while he president of the United States had to settle for less than half that.
So yes, the postal service has serious problems on its hands - and money is the least of them. Their biggest problem is that they've lost all respect from their employees because they've tried to replace intelligent and innovative thinking with harassment, cooking the books, and defrauding their workers. Now they have a Tea Party brewing within their ranks. And since they no longer have anyone left with either the intelligence, foresight, or common sense to address the issue, it's about to explode in their face. You can mark my word on that.
The hip hop community takes great pride in "keeping it real." But are they really keeping it real, or are they simply struttin' around saying, "look at me," while the corporate elite have them unknowingly doing an updated version of Steppin' Fechit - right down to the ape-like body language?
The Black community didn't turn out in unprecedented numbers to simply elect the first Black president; we turned out to elect a strong Black president. In that regard, as a student of history, I hope you recognize that you're dealing with a Rosa Parks moment here, and you're completely missing the boat. Do you see the strong stand being taken by that one courageous and solitary Black woman above? That's what we elected you to do.
"We also found that union representatives received excessive payments from grievance settlements. Union representatives in four districts (Colorado/Wyoming, Alabama, Mid-America, and Capital) were involved with the allocation of class-action grievance settlements for six grievances that resulted in union representatives receiving payments that were significantly more than other members of the class. Specifically, union representatives received $33,447 (or 24 percent) of $141,639 in settlements for these six grievances. One union representative in the Mid-America District received as much as 35 percent of a grievance settlement, while other payees received less than 1 percent.
Until the Brentwood facility was finally condemned by the CDC, Brentwood postal workers handled all of the mail for Washington, DC, including the ‘official mail’ that contained the anthrax-laden envelopes addressed to Senators Daschle and Leahy. While Capitol Hill workers received prompt medical care, Brentwood postal workers were ordered by USPS officials to continue working in the contaminated facility. Two Brentwood workers died from the inhalation of anthrax, and dozens more are suffering from a variety of ailments related to the anthrax attacks. For decades U.S. presidents have gone all over the globe lecturing world leaders on human rights. Yet, our very own United States Postal Service is among the worst abusers of workers' rights outside of the third world.
But the Republicans told us to not to worry. They said, if you'll just give up the right to write off the interest on your credit cards and other debts temporarily, the rewards that the rich are enjoying will eventually "trickle down," and you'll all be showered with the benefits of a robust economy. But their promise never came to past. The only thing that trickled down was our having to pay the tax burden of the rich - and even as I write, the rich are enjoying additional tax breaks while we still haven't regained the simple right to write off the interest on our debts .
At 600,000 strong, plus family, friends, and neighbors - and in an election year where incumbents are hanging on by their fingernails - postal employees are in the driver's seat of a tank. Yet, they're allowing themselves, and their families, to be robbed by a guy with a butter knife - and not just once outside a liquor store, but repeatedly in what is supposed to be the sanctity of their workplace. This has got to come to an end.
The mainstream media never becomes interested in a story until there's an explosion - twenty-nine mineworkers trapped in a poisonous coal mine, eleven oil workers vaporized in the Gulf, or when a postal worker snaps from abuse and walks into the post office with an M16 and brings death and destruction to his co-workers. But what's happened to the families of the twenty-nine mineworkers, eleven oil workers, or victims of postal mayhem since? We'll never know, because they've been relegated to the trash bin of yesterday's news.
But there is an upside to the ledger. Postal employees don't have to beg for justice - they can demand it. They have both the law, and the numbers on their side. There are 600,000 postal employees in America, then when you add all of their family and friends, that's a formidable political group. In addition, in today's political environment up to 76% of the American people are unhappy with incumbents. So postal employees can very easily pull together to make a politician's willingness to fight for workers' rights a litmus test in order to be elected - and that goes for your union officials as well.
The document reads, "We the people," not we the government. This is a covert encroachment on the American middle class that the people simply must repeal, or the rights of all Americas will be placed in dire jeopardy. Once the government declares open season on its employees, who's left to protect us from private exploitation?
The American people have always been comfortable in their belief that while the citizens of many other countries are routinely victimized by their government that 'it can't happen here.' But what the comfortable middle class fail to understand is the comfort that they take so easily for granted is under dire threat. They've been so mesmerized by MTV and their hedonistic pursuits that they're totally oblivious to the fact that under the new global economic structure the standard of living of the American middle class has become a liability to American business. While many may not feel the pinch yet, if they don't wake up, their carefree way of life is going to become a thing of the past.
Currently, the postal service's primary function is to save money at the expense of customer service. So actually having to deliver the mail is looked upon by upper management as an inconvenient, but necessary nuisance in order to obtain their bonuses. In fact, due to the bonuses and the upward mobility awarded managers for saving money, in effect, the entire system is geared to enhance the enrichment of high level post office executives. As a result, the postal service's primary mission is no longer efficiently delivering the mail, but to serve as a welfare system for high paid government bureaucrats.
BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE The United States Postal Service: An Assault on the American Middle Class The federal law is clear. 18 U.S.C....
As a United States government agency the U.S. Postal Service should be at the very forefront of the fight to protect employee rights. For decades U.S. presidents and government officials have been lecturing countries all over the world regarding the need to protect human rights. Yet, the evidence shows that our very own United States Postal Service is running what can only be described as a latter-day plantation, with the Office of Inspector General, the agency directly mandated to protect the employee, in direct collusion.
I write a political column for several publications across the country. I'm also a staff writer for Veterans Today, a publication that will be particularly interested in this case, because not only does government corruption and the assault on the middle class have a negative impact on returning veterans, but Ms. Snow's only son is a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Thus, while he's off defending this nation, his very own government is both robbing and abusing his single mother who he's left behind at home.