Mail Handlers Local 323

Representing Mail Handlers and MHAs working for the United States Postal Service

Local President's Page

January 2024 Update

Peak season is in the rearview mirror, and we’ve begun looking at some of the results. Predictably, one of the usual results is that many Mail Handlers have been receiving payments for management performing our work. The Officers and Representatives in the Branch offices worked particularly hard to enforce our contract during this chaotic time. They deserve the thanks of all Mail Handlers for their efforts.


In a news release dated January 5, 2024, the Postal Service stated, “… as anticipated, we experienced a significant growth in package volume throughout the nation during this peak season time period.” I’m not sure what the Postal Service considers to be “significant growth” in package volume. I guess I’d like to read about a more precise measurement such as a percentage increase or specific volume number comparisons. I’m also not sure what is meant by “this peak season time period.” Is that limited to the time management is allowed to hire unlimited MHAs, or does that refer to the entire fiscal quarter? Moreover, is this “significant growth” sustained growth, or will the Postal Service report that mail volume continues to decline at the end of the fiscal year? All right, I should probably give it a rest. It’s possible that I’ve become too skeptical regarding any claim made by the Postal Service. In any case, peak season seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Or did I miss something?


It has been widely reported in local media and on the internet that members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation requested an investigation into mail delays in the State of Minnesota. Specifically, on December 19, 2023, Senators Klobuchar and Smith sent a letter to the office of the USPS Inspector General, which stated in part, “We believe it is time for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to investigate the dysfunction of the MN-ND District.” What followed was an OIG investigation which included the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Center. Senator Klobuchar issued a statement following the release of the OIG’s report:


January 24, 2024


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement in response to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General's report that uncovered operational problems at the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Center and regional post offices in Eagan, New Brighton, and Apple Valley. The Inspector General is now expanding to other areas of the state as requested by Senators Klobuchar and Smith in December.


"Minnesotans rely on the Postal Service to receive their paychecks, prescriptions, and more, but I have gotten reports about delays and issues with mail delivery across the state," said Klobuchar. "The findings of this audit are deeply concerning, but not surprising, and I am glad the Inspector General is now expanding its investigation to the whole state as I requested. We need answers so we can find solutions that work."


Oh, and so our Members in North Dakota don’t feel left out, the OIG has expanded its investigation to facilities located in North Dakota. It appears that management in the MN – ND District doesn’t have any friends in Congress.


Meanwhile, management in the metro area plants were soliciting Mail Handlers for a detail to help process the mail in St. Louis. While that seems to be on hold for the time being (probably due to the investigations), you really can’t make this stuff up. You don’t shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk until after you shovel your own.


Did you know that the USPS has established an anti-harassment info line? The number is (877) 521-4272. According to the Postal Service, “Harassment is unwelcome behavior that an individual finds offensive and harmful, and that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.” Considering the behavior demonstrated by certain supervisors and managers over recent months, that phone may be ringing off the hook. Regardless, further information is available at the link to the news release below.


USPS has established an anti-harassment info line


Lastly, we are watching for developments as the Postmaster General’s 10-Year Plan continues to be rolled out across the country. It doesn’t appear to be going smoothly.