by Lindamarie Peabody

Greetings Everyone! Let me start off by apologizing for this newsletter being long overdue. Coupled with a bout of double pneumonia, a short "vacation" at Taylor Hospital and virtually working every drop day since last August, you can imagine how difficult even the simplest of things have been for me. I think a higher power knocked me down and forced me to take a break whether I wanted to or not! So here we are now and it is time to get back to work! The Post Office is changing daily and it seems that service is the area that is suffering the most. I'm sure most of you have noticed that there have been shifts in delivery times already showing up on the POS units. What was once two or three day delivery, has now been pushed back to three or four days in some cases. This is due to the P.O. Management's belief that they are going to close many more processing facilities and post offices by next year. We must remain vigilant in contacting our reps in Washington and letting them know how we feel regarding postal issues. Information on how to do this is on the national APWU web site or in the printed version of this newsletter. It takes all of five minutes total to send an e-mail or if you want to write a letter, which tends to hold more weight, the address is provided in both areas. We need everyone to get involved and believe me once you do it, you will realize how easy it is and you will wish you had done it sooner! Let them and anyone who will listen know that CONGRESS is responsible for the financial problems of the USPS and they are the only ones who can fix it! Of all the bills floating around in Congress, the one presented by Darryl Issa is the WORST! It would help to mention that his bill will only destroy the service and does not address any of the true issues such as repealing the mandate to pre-fund health care or offering new services to the public. One person can make a difference, but 10,000 can make a statement worth hearing! Act now or forever be out of a job!

On July 28, 2013, the post office will implement a product "simplification" initiative for our products. They have changed the name of our primary products. Express Mail will now be known as Priority Express, and there will be three or four types of regular Priority, some with automatic insurance and some without, as well as different delivery options. HMMMMMMM...It sounds like they took two very easy to understand products with highly developed branding, and changed them into a whole bunch of different options. Even the most experienced window clerks are still trying to figure them out! The Post Office seems to waste more time and money on things that don't need fixing, instead of concentrating on the things like service, which is the core of our business. We will learn about these new products by working on the POS and figuring it out, but once again I feel we are alienating our customers who are just starting to understand the products we currently offer. We must try, however, to make the transition as smooth as possible and to help our business customers learn all the various options before they get frustrated and turn to UPS for comfort. Well, we will wait and see what happens, and hopefully this change will not have any negative effects on revenue during the process.

Lastly, I would like to mention that one of our own, Lansdowne Maintenance Craft Director Charles Hee, has been stricken with an illness that has severely incapacitated him and he has been unable to work for many months. A benefit will be held in his honor on September 15th at Casey's Restaurant in Drexel Hill. The family is in desperate need of help and it would be a great time to hang out with your fellow union members while supporting a wonderful cause. I hope to see everyone there! Remember, as always, enjoy your UNION-WON vacation and have a safe and happy summer!

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor