It’s been awhile since I wrote an article but I’m back and I’ve got lots to say.  First I’d like to thank the members for the opportunity to attend the national conferences.  It was quite overwhelming at first but as the days progressed I learned how MVS and VMF crafts across the country are in the same situations with management being the number one reason for failure.  Staffing at rates so bad that jobs can’t get completed on time, equipment that’s falling apart, tools that are needed and not being purchased, etc.

I’d like to thank the mechanics at our VMF.  Our fleet is falling apart due to its age and without you guys we’d be completely screwed so thank you for your hard work.  I’ve decided at this time not to pursue a Tour 1 staffing as it’s being negotiated in the new contract so we’ll see how it turns out when the new contract is final.  I’d like to make one point if I may which is mail transportation is 24 hours a day 7 days a week and Tour 1 and Tour 3 are the busiest times when the mail is moved, on Tour 1 if we brake down VMF management has decided to sub-contract towing which is our VMF work… Do we want to lose any work?..Hell NO !!!

Staffing for MVS at the plant is at a ridiculous all time low.  We’re short 8 drivers at this time and even though postings are are up, nobody is applying.  It might be reasons like for example .. there’s a nationwide shortage of semi drivers, we offer the least pay, it takes months after finishing an application to get your interview, the most drama any job could have, and then you have management’s decisions that alone scare off any new employees.

Speaking of management’s decisions…check this one out.  Our plant manager gets a bright idea that he wants to get 80% of the stations closing mail thru the plant by 8:00pm. Here’s where the problems start after not talking with the union and after advisement not to do it..he contracts Postal Fleet Services to pick up early prelims which is MVS work. The stations don’t send back any more mail than usual so sub-contracting the work was a total waste of time and not to mention Postal Fleet Services charged $4.12 a mile which over 8 days was $4500.00 then I filed a grievance for $1600.00 which had a total of $6100.00 just to see if this made a difference in plant numbers…and guess what…it didn’t.  Here’s how to fix the plants numbers. Start by getting the mail done and out on time during the 5:30am dispatch everyday, that will get the carriers on and off the street in time for station closings. Contact station managers telling them to be ready at the scheduled time and stick to it… then REPEAT.

Management contracted out the Rochester and LaCrosse route to a company named McRae Trucking. This company doesn’t have enough people to cover the runs so every night MVS has to cover anywhere from 1-3 trips which takes MVS drivers off their bid routes which causes a domino effect on the rest of the drivers.  While this is a major inconvenience to MVS drivers and dispatch we’re getting sick of covering their work when their contract should be canceled and the work given to MVS since we’re cheaper and obviously more reliable. At this time we’re not going to grieve the runs we cover because there’s a bigger plan in the making which will hopefully bring more work back to MVS but as in life nothing is guaranteed but 3 things…..Death, Taxes, Postal Management making the worst decisions.

At the present time I’ve got grievances at Step 2 which are the following….

Management doing bargaining unit work

Overtime Bypass

Getting Pallet Jacks which are narrower in width for pickups

Sub-Contracting work without contacting the union.

I’ve helped a few of our members when some unfortunate incidents happened and the end result was a lot better than what could have happened.  I will continue to do whatever I can to help our members even when it’s just answering a question or listening to a problem they’re having then trying to figure out a solution that works for everyone involved…..

Remember that Information comes with Representation so if your not a member now is a great time to sign up as the new contract is being negotiated.

Again…. thanks to the MVS drivers and the VMF mechanics for doing such a awesome job.

Fighting For You, Fighting For Us, Fighting To Win……….

Adam Godes

MVS Steward / Craft Trustee