I thought the stimulus package was going to create all these awesome new, “busy” jobs for people who might not want to do crossword puzzles all day. While I know the Post Office has been an independent agency of the U.S. government since the 1980s, something doesn’t seem right here.
Hmm, Wall Street had no problem getting some funds to keep them in business, to have people “work” in a manner that continues to cause great damage to our economy. What’s the government’s plan of action for our modern-day Pony Express?
Sarah Hollenbeck reports on NBC-2 TV, Fort Myers:
The United States Postal Service faces a $7-billion deficit this year. Closing local post offices and cutting one day of delivery service have both been suggested to save money, layoffs have not. But a decline in mail volume has led to some paid employees spending entire days doing nothing at all.
Postal Service officials we spoke to say processors now are sorting 17-percent fewer pieces of mail in Southwest Florida alone and 32-billion fewer nationwide. While there is less work to do, the Postal Service still has the same number of employees. The American Postal Workers Union has a no layoff clause in their employee’s contracts which guarantees all employees who have worked for more than six years, 40 paid hours a week — even if there isn’t work to be done.
Postal Service spokesman Gary Sawtelle explained that unionized employees across the nation are being put on what’s called “standby time” — a policy drafted in 1991 by the Postal Service. The guideline is laid out in the Postal Service manual, but is not part of the union contract.
“It’s really not been until recently that we have really applied it,” Sawtelle said. Under standby guidelines, when there’s no mail to process, employees sit in conference rooms until there is work. Sometimes workers will wait for an hour — sometimes they will wait longer.
Read more here.