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PART 1 12-8-11
I've been one of your biggest supporters every since you arrived on the political scene. But I must admit, my support of you has become far from unwavering and much less enthusiastic than it was at this time during your 2008 campaign. The primary reason for that is I've found it literally impossible to reconcile your claim of full support for the poor and middle class while at the same time you're completely ignoring the horrendous abuse that your very own United States Postal Service is perpetrating against its employees.
PART 2 12-15-11
CONTINUED FROM 12-8-11
But instead of thanking Ms. Snow for her dedication, the new breed of postal managers felt that "we've got a fool here," and began to load her down with additional responsibilities, to the point, in fact, that she would still be in the post office when the morning shift arrived (she comes in at 12 noon)--and they expected, in fact, DEMANDED, that she do it for free! As a result, instead of going home, she had to check into a motel across the street from the post office. At that point she had no alternative but to start hitting the clock to be compensated for the time she was being forced to work. That's when her problems began--Tyrone Williams (her new area manager) called her while she was in the motel--after she'd worked a double shift--and demanded to know why she hit the clock!
According to Ms. Snow, when she told Mr. Williams that she was being loaded down with so many additional responsibilities that she couldn't get them all accomplished in a reasonable time, Mr. Williams told her that she sounded like one of the carriers. She was told that she simply wasn't managing her time wisely, and if she couldn't do any better she'd be returned to delivering mail--this, to a woman over fifty, with twenty-one years of dedicated service as a supervisor.
Thereafter, her manager, Ms. Luna, stayed with her to assist her with her responsibilities, but even with Luna's assistance it still took them nearly twelve hours to complete the additional responsibilities that had been placed on Ms. Snow. Ms. Luna finally left about midnight, leaving Ms. Snow there alone. Thus, they were demanding that Ms. Snow do in eight hours what both she, and her manager, couldn't accomplish in twelve. So Ms. Snow stuck to her guns, and just as Mr. Williams threatened, on Monday, April 12, 2010 she was scheduled to be "retrained" to carry mail. So she was demoted from a job she held for twenty-one years--before her manager even hired into the post office--for refusing to work for free.
Several managers who were familiar with Ms. Snow's work ethic and competence as a supervisor offered to bring her aboard their operations as a supervisor, but Mr. Williams refused to release her out of his jurisdiction. Allegedly, he claimed that retraining her to carry mail would help him hold down his overtime.
18 U.S.C. § 1001 reads, "Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully--(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both."
In spite of the above law, the postal service left no stone unturned to protected both Tyrone Williams and Marci Luna for allegedly conspiring to falsify Ms. Snow's time records. Among other things, they allegedly falsified the records to reflect three-hour lunch breaks that Ms. Snow never took. In response, not only did the agency fail to hold these managers accountable for their criminal conduct, but allegedly, the agency gave Mr. Williams an award, and promoted both managers. Do our laws mean anything, or are they now just window dressing to give us the allusion of justice?
The postal service's labor relations manager, Steve Marney offered to pay Ms. Snow several thousand dollars to drop her claim against the agency, but with the proviso that she also drop her demand that Area Manager Williams and Manager Marci Luna be fired. When she refused, they circumvented her by getting the NALC to agree to it without Ms. Snow.
In anticipation of this action, Ms. Snow wrote Larry Brown, president of branch 24 and national trustee of the NALC. In her letter she specifically demanded that the union not settle her case without the removal of both managers who falsified her time.
PART 3 FOR 12-22-11
In anticipation of this action, Ms. Snow wrote Larry Brown, president of branch 24 and national trustee of the NALC. In her letter she specifically demanded that the union not settle her case without the removal of both managers who falsified her time. The letter reads in part,
"April 30, 2010
President Larry Brown:
"I spoke to Ray Espana today, and he told me that he was meeting with Marci Luna and the postal service next Friday to get me paid for their falsifying my clock rings. I told him at that time that I didn't just want to be paid. I want the people responsible for falsifying my time removed from the postal service. In response, Ray told me that he couldn't do that. That's what EEOs are for. That's a bunch of crap! Ray has been Executive Vice President of Branch 24 for over 15 years. You'd think that he'd know that the EEO procedure is for discrimination, not simple theft . . .
"I am formally requesting that you have someone handle my case who is both knowledgeable, and has some modicum of integrity. And DO NOT RESOLVE THIS CASE WITHOUT THE PEOPLE WHO PERPETRATED THIS CRIME, AT THE VERY LEAST, BEING REMOVED FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE. Nothing else is acceptable."
Almost exactly one year later Ms. Snow received the following letter from the NALC:
"Dear Mr. Jackson:
"Calvin Brookins and I discussed the above captioned grievance on at least two occasions, the last being April 15, 2011.
"After a full review of the information, contentions, and arguments, both parties have reached the pre-arbitration settlement. In reviewing TACS records and the other information contained in the file it was agreed that the grievant is entitled to compensation.
"The Grievant will receive a lump-sum payment of $7,866.26 as compensation.
"This agreement is entered without prejudice to the position of the parties and constitutes full settlement of the issues pertaining to this grievance.
Manager Labor Relations
With that, the postal service swept three federal crimes against one of its employees under the rug--conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and falsifying government documents.
I've sent you the following statement several times, but I'm sending it again, because it amazes me how you can claim to be standing up for the middle class and continue to ignore it. Dr. Stephen Musacco, an organizational psychologist, a therapist with thirty years experience in the postal service, and the author of "Beyond Going Postal," says the following:
"Prior to my retirement from the USPS, at a former district I worked for, there were three suicides within a two year period that I concluded were contributed to in significant part by how these employees were treated in the workplace. The third employee, a city letter carrier, fatally shot himself in a postal jeep and left a letter stating that he could no longer take the job. The night before he committed suicide he told his wife he did not know if he would be able to handle his job anymore. How do I know? His wife told me this one day after his suicide. He was one of the best employees in the office. The District Manager and I interviewed his coworkers after his death, and they stated he would urinate in a bottle while on delivery route for fear he would not meet an artificial deadline set by postal management. During the interviews, one of the postal supervisors told the District Manager and me that the day before the suicide she gave a letter to all the city letter carriers in the station, noting that any future over time used for their routes would be considered unacceptable performance. The suicide at the Gastonia postal facility was the second since December 2005.
"Many people have asked: Why is there so much stress and workplace tragedies in the U.S. Postal Service? The answer to these questions is because the postal culture embraces and reflects core values that center on achieving bottom-line results with little or no regard for employee participation, respect, dignity, or fairness. Additionally, there is little or no accountability for the actions of top management in the Postal Service. Many postal facilities consequently have toxic work environments, and they can be a catalyst or trigger for serious acts of workplace violence, including homicide and suicide. The associated rewards system for behavior consistent with the postal culture core values, moreover, enables systemic organizational and individual bullying of employees at all levels of the organization."
Mr. President, I've written over twenty-five articles relating to the criminally abusive practices within the U. S. Postal Service, and I've sent most of them to the White House. So I'm sorry, Sir, but considering your lack of response to what's going on in your own government agency, your solemn pledge of support for middle-class workers hits my ear like a bad note. We'd like to hear a lot less political rhetoric, and see a lot more action.
While you continue to claim you're in full support of fairness and justice for veterans, the poor, and the middle class, your United States Postal Service is the second largest employer of veterans and middle class workers in this country, yet it is routinely committing federal crimes against them on a daily basis. You don't need congress to address this issue, so you cannot continue to claim support for middle-class justice while allowing this situation to exist. Thus, it's going to be very interesting to see what you do about it, or extremely instructive if you choose to do nothing.
And by the way, Ms. Snow's son is a career non-commissioned officer in the military. So while he's away fighting for the just treatment of others, his very own government is at home treating his mother like soiled toilet tissue. This situation is absolutely unconscionable, and it speaks directly to your credibility, so I sincerely suggest that you get in front of this issue before the election season heats up.
Eric L. Wattree