Director of Education's Report
Michigan State Association of Letter Carriers
A s I write this article we are in the midst of a global pandemic, I hope all of you are doing your best to stay safe during these difficult times and the even more difficult times that are no doubt to follow. I find myself reminded of a similar time almost 20 years ago when the United States was under attack from both outside as well as within during the Fall of 2001.
Just weeks after the attacks of 9/11 the Postal Service was forced to deal with the challenges of the Anthrax virus. As always Michigan’s Letter Carriers were up to meeting the challenge. Sadly, Postal Managements response this time around has been wanting. Twenty years ago the Service immediately acquired large stores of gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment. Re-ports from the field this time around seem to indicate a lack of a cohesive response and a near col-lapse of the processing system in metro Detroit. Issues from Covid-19 at the Pontiac Metroplex have reduced the inbound and outbound flow of mail to near nothing. Personally, I mailed 100 packages in late March and most did not leave metro Detroit for ten days meanwhile the Postal Services “service alert” website showed no problems and local management initially told the Free Press there were no issues. After a week they began trucking parcels to Grand Rapids and Pitts-burgh to be processed (clearly evident on the parcels I was tracking). A note to USPS Management going forward, Letter Carriers, like all Americans will deal with the issues, the delay and the dangers, but you HAVE TO BE HONEST with us. Sending CCA’s to help at an office and not telling them until they arrive that people tested positive there for this virus is wrong. So many things have been wrong. Stop. Postal Management in this State is blessed with the best work force in the entire country, treat them with dignity and respect. They’ve earned it.
As the nation takes extreme measures to try to stop this pandemic, at the national level the Postal Service is on the verge of financial collapse. The entire economy is quite frankly on the verge of collapse. Wall Street which for years has told all of us we should have a 6-12 month emergency fund obviously feels this rule does not apply to themselves. Airlines, Small Business, Large Businesses, the Oil Industry, the Hotel and Restaurant industry have all run to the Government asking or demanding a tax payer funded bailout after only two weeks. Where is their emergency fund? They squandered it on stock buybacks, private jets and other excesses and now expect us to foot the bill for their problems. But the Postal Service? Go pound sand. Are you paying attention yet? You will get $1200. They will get Trillions.
For years Republicans have tried to cut unemployment (which they only extended on OUR backs by cutting our pensions ten years ago), Social Security, Medicare, Health insurance, any program that might benefit you. They said “we can’t afford it”. Reparations—sorry too expensive, National Health insurance – too much money, Social Security? The system is bankrupt, cut it. The Postal Service? Cut wages, it’s too expensive. These are all luxury items the country cannot afford. But business has to shut down? After two weeks they managed to find over TEN TRILLION dollars between the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government – and its not a loan – it’s a grant.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has proposed legislation for hazardous duty pay for people such as Letter Carriers and medical personnel forced to work on the front lines during this pandemic. Watch this bill closely and see if it goes through or who tries to block it. Follow the money brothers and sisters and you’ll see who is looking out for your best interests in Washington. Get mad and this November, get even and vote for the guy or gal who’s looking out for you. Stay Safe.
-- John Serwach
Director of Education