November 2014 Update
Recent weeks have seen several events in the Postal world which have the potential to greatly impact the Mail Handlers of Local 323. The first was the data breach, or cyber intrusion, in which files containing employee information were compromised. Next was the announcement of the pending retirement of Postmaster General Donahoe; and most recently, the increasing amount of activity in opposition to the nationwide plan to further consolidate Postal facilities.
The announcement of the data breach indicated the compromise of files containing employee names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, beginning and end dates of employment, and emergency contact information for current employees. In response the Postal Service initiated service talks and provided handouts which informed employees of this situation and described how it would be handled. In addition, by November 20th everyone should have received a letter from the PMG which included an enrollment code for a credit monitoring service that can be utilized free of charge for one year. While the action taken appears to be decisive and timely in this regard, some members of Congress have been highly critical of the Postal Service for not informing employees sooner.
This situation is continuing to be monitored and the National Union has requested that we inform them of any Mail Handler or Mail Handler Assistant who believes they have been the victim of any malicious activity resulting from this data breach.
In mid-November Postmaster General Donahoe announced that he would be retiring next February. It seems the prevailing opinions concerning his tenure with the USPS are not favorable. Mr. Donahoe was the 9th PMG I’ve seen during my career; and while I’m hesitant to add my voice to the chorus of detractors, I will say that he was the first PMG who was blatantly obvious about his lack of concern for the timely delivery of mail. Mr. Donohoe will be succeeded by Megan Brennan who is currently the chief operating officer. Some suggest that Ms. Brennan is cut from the same cloth as Mr. Donohoe; but, we’ll see. Meet the new boss same as the old boss?
As the consolidations slated for 2015 approach, the Postal Unions, members of Congress, and members of the public, have increased their activities to prevent further degradation to service. On November 14th postal workers across the country rallied to tell PMG Donahoe and the Board of Govenors to stop delaying America’s mail. The sole location where such a rally was held where Local 323 Mail Handlers may be impacted was Duluth. I was not able to personally attend this rally; however, the issues facing Duluth as well as all of our other potentially affected facilities remain at the forefront as your Local Executive Board prepares for 2015.