Maintenance Community Toolbox Sabotage

I tried to send the following comment to the APWU email address given on the website, but it was rejected:

I have many serious concerns about the Community Toolbox program that I believe is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the USPS from within.

I have been a maintenance craft employee at the Atlanta P&DC since 1989 and an Electronics Technician since 1991.

In those 30-some years, I have been assigned to various in-house construction projects that included fabricating the first Scan Where You Band (SWYB) stations, Linear Induction Parcel Sorter (LIPS) machines, bulk mail belt systems, and a number of work platforms, safety guards and rails around numerous operations. I have participated in several major modifications to the Lockheed Tray Management System that allowed my plant to use it to great efficiency since the 2000, far beyond its design life and far beyond many of the TMS systems installed in other plants during that era.

Before I began my Postal career in 1989, I was a high rise construction worker, certified welder, machinist, and electronics technician. I have never hesitated to use all of my broad skill set, well beyond the minimum requirements of my job, to help make my plant and the USPS at large successful. Over those many years of in-house project assignments, my own personal contributions have saved tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in project costs that did not have to be contracted out.

During my long career, I have amassed a considerable volume of specialty tools issued to me for those many in-house projects. I continue to maintain those specialty tools in good working order so that they are available when they might be needed for future projects and emergency equipment repairs.

Contrast the specialty tools issues to me to all of the specialty tools that used to be in our maintenance shop. All of our common use specialty tools have been destroyed over the years by employees who lacked the training and experience to use them properly. Shop equipment such as drill presses, band saws, bench grinders, welders, and even vices, are all broken and inoperable now.

This begs the question: How do you break a heavy cast iron vice?
Answer: You allow unqualified personnel who have no idea how to properly use shop tools to destroy it.

Understand, like all maintenance craft employees, I am paid by the hour whether I can actually repair and maintain Postal equipment or not. But I am a “company man” in the sense that I like to feel good at the end of shift by knowing I earned my pay by having made maintenance contributions to the success of the USPS that few other employees could or would have even attempted to make.

If I am instructed to turn in all of my specialty equipment for it to be destroyed by others who don’t know how to use it, or to be auctioned off for pennies on the dollar, I will follow my instructions and laugh at the incompetence of headquarters management for reducing me to an LCD (lowest common denominator) employee who is unable to perform anything but the simplest routine tasks.

The saddest thing is that when the Common Toolbox scam fails, and it will fail, and is a scam because someone is going to get a kickback from it, the USPS will not have the budget to restore the tools that it confiscated from its more senior and more qualified maintenance employees.

This Common Toolbox joke reminds me of the backpack vacuum cleaners the USPS spent millions of dollars equipping our custodians with a few years ago. Where are those hunks of junk now, and who still uses them? Someone at headquarters must have really padded their nest with that wasteful fiasco, and now they are going to do it again with the Community Toolbox scam.

If I could tell PMG/CEO Louis DeJoy anything, I would caution him that I believe this Community Toolbox program is just another effort to sabotage him the same way VP David Williams sabotaged him by scrapping a large number of our long paid for DBCS fleet that are still needed.

The unjustifiable destruction of those couple of hundred or so DBCS machines has robbed our facilities of adequate maintenance window time to perform our preventative maintenance, resulting in the remaining fleet of DBCS’s incurring ever increasing in downtime due to parts failures during their mail processing windows. It is no different than never changing the oil or performing routine maintenance on your car and then driving it until it breaks and having it repaired on the side of the road each time a failure that could have been prevented occurs.

Well PMG DeJoy, they are going to do it to you again with this Community Toolbox scam.

In Union Solidarity,
-Mike Nodine, ET and Director of Research and Education, APWU Atlanta Metro Area Local 32

PS You have my permission to use my comment, including my name, in any way that might benefit the USPS.

First Name: Michael
Last Name: Nodine
Union/Local: APWU – Atlanta Metro Area Local 32
Office held if any: Dir. Research and Education

Related: APWU: USPS plans to implement Community Toolbox Pod initiative

One thought on “Maintenance Community Toolbox Sabotage

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Boise, ID Local 650
    Office held, if any
    not a chance
    Email Address

    Its their rules, we just play in their sandbox. Just be happy the APWU is diverting all their resources to line H.

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