By Mark Hennessy

Why? Why do we keep hearing from members who want a grievance filed for them? This has been all too prevalent, primarily in offices where we do not have a steward on site. This could be, and is, in offices with one, two, even as many as six to eight members! And not one member wants to bother with looking out for the rights of each other. Incredible! Only to the extent when you hear the answers - again WHY?

Oh, we work things out; we have a good PM, OIC or supervisor. Then down the road, someone gets disgruntled, or maybe that "we work things out" didn't get worked out to their liking. Then we find out and it gets to be a can of worms opened up. Working off the clock, no lunch period, working less than the guaranteed eight hours per day on their non-scheduled day/holiday. Changing their bid job repeatedly over one hour, not rotating overtime, not following the local agreement on leave applications - prime time and incidental leave time. No rest break(s), reducing time-honored rest breaks. And the worst scenario is - management will retaliate against me, us, etc., etc.

Presently we are utilizing our officers to fill in as stewards in offices, increasing their responsibility to not only their own home office, but also their duties as an officer.

We recently attended a meeting with the District Manager, Jim Gallagher. Mr. Gallagher was very forthright, in my opinion honest, truthful and respectful. But, how is it some Postmasters and OIC's still think they can use their title to act as though they are little Hitlers? We have experienced movement of some of these individuals, but some just don't seem to get it. They go to their next assignment and try the same crap!

Well, fear not members! We have made it very clear that we are not going to put up with all that crap! After all, the District Manager has given us all hope of dignity and respect. So far, to his credit, he is reaching these bag eggs as they can be called. Finally!

But also remember, we do have the majority of Postmasters and supervisors who are human, reasonable and practice dignity and respect. Let's make sure we do the same to them. It is a two-way street, you know!

In Unionism,

Mark Hennessy

In Memoriam

John T. Quinn, or to most of us, just "JTQ" or "Quinnie," maybe even just "John." He was a great leader, one of conviction, fight and plenty of humor. John led us through some tough times in postal history, both with postal management and APWU hierarchy. He served as our Local President from 1972 to 1987, also serving as PA State President for several terms of office. Always at the forefront to lead us in battle, John had the respect from all - USPS managers, postmasters, labor relations, district, area, regional, wherever he had to go. There was unmatched friend or foe, USPS or APWU, NALC or NPMHU.

John was my personal mentor for over 15 years. It took me that many years to only scratch the surface of John's vast knowledge, unionism, postalism, and humanism. Lest we forget, John, you led us where we are today. Our sympathy and condolences go to the family, wife Marie, son Mark, daughters Carol and Sheila, and their families.

A planned future memorial for both John and former President Ray Clarke will be made a part of our present and any future union offices.

Good News:

Due to the efforts of our patrons, our customers and business folk who have flooded Congressional Representatives Sestak and Brady's offices with complaints to not close the Yeadon Retail Branch of Lansdowne and the Bridgeport Retail Branch of Norristown, they remain open. Thanks to our workforce members at these offices to spur action, we prevailed - for now. But daily vigilance must be maintained by up-selling, offering box service and giving a reminder - use it or lose it, once closed and it's gone!

On the other hand, we have the Springfield situation. In our meeting with Congressman Sestak in Bridgeport, it was made known for the first time that the USPS is openly in negotiations to purchase land to build a new post office for Springfield. This admittedly is down the road a bit as the Springfield Branch office building has been put on the market for sale! Behind the scenes, rumor has it that a local businessman is interested in acquiring this site.

At the same time, Representative Sestak announced the Springfield Mall Retail Store is in a 50/50 situation to remain status quo or close. It is possible the store may relocate to the location of the new office.

To sum up this situation, the Media Annex may possibly close when the lease expires, with carriers and clerks to the Main office in downtown Media, and the Springfield and Wallingford carriers and clerks may relocate to the new Springfield location. Stay tuned, anything can happen!

Now the Bad News:

We have been informed by the USPS Labor Relations District Office that there is intent to merge our Wynnewood office with the Havertown (Upper Darby Local) office. This has been an ongoing rumor with ONLY the carriers being affected. Now (but not confirmed), it will only be the carriers; the retail store will stay in Wynnewood. We have notified both Congressman Joe Sestak and APWU Coordinator Mike Gallagher to intercede on this development.

Mark Hennessy