Some things never change…
I’ve been out of Philadelphia P&DC for almost 4 years now and Dignity and Respect is still non-existent and a hostile work environment still rules the day at the Lindbergh Boulevard Philadelphia P&DC. – RZ
The following letter was sent last week by Presidents of the APWU and NPMHU Locals:
The American Postal Workers Union, Philadelphia, PA Area Local #89 and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 308, are jointly writing this letter with grave concerns regarding physical and verbal confrontations on the work floor.
In the past few months, our members have been physically and verbally assaulted. Manager Derrick Lewis punched a PSE clerk. The PSE clerk was taken to the hospital. Manager Lewis did not lose one minute off the clock. Acting manager Joseph Hinton cursed a group of female Mail Handler Assistants (MHAs), then took a male MHA in a storage room and threatened him. Acting manager Hinton never missed a minute off the clock. We have had our members taken off the clock for carrying a cup of coffee to the swing rooms and various unacceptable reasons.
The Zero Tolerance Policy was written and put in place for all postal employees to adhere to. Management and craft employees are governed by this policy. Past practice has always been when a confrontation exists both parties are put off the clock and put on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted. We have gone through the chain of command at the Philadelphia Metro with these issues and concerns. We were given some disturbing answers.
Our Unions will not except the excuse that the manager was defending himself. We, also, believe this is a serious conflict of interest that violates our members due process – no manager will rule against another manager.
Our union members are experiencing a Power Imbalance on the work floor. The relationship between supervisor and employee is inherently unequal because the craft employee cannot react as though the assault came from an equal, such behaviors constitute threats to an employer. Managers and Supervisors are held at a higher standard of review and supervisor-employee confrontations. When such behavior is the supervisor’s every day management style, there exists the presumption that a hostile work environment exists. Management should always be held at a higher standard of strict liability because the United States Postal Service (USPS) chooses and trains managers and supervisors and has the power to counsel, discipline or remove supervisors who bully and intimidate craft employees. Bullies cannot exist unless the USPS tacitly permits or encourages bullying behavior. The supervisor’s bullying behavior poisoned the well of cooperation on the work floor. There is no substitute for civility in supervision and a mutual regard for the dignity of persons in the craft positions. Where resentment and aggression routinely displace cooperation and communication, violence has occurred.
The USPS has disregarded confrontations on the work floor because the level of violence has not reached the place where armed police officers are needed to disengage the parties.
Why hasn’t management, in Philadelphia, alerted the Threat Assessment Team who are responsible to provide guidance to postal management in responding to and assessing the seriousness of violent and potentially violent situations?
Our Unions are in total agreement that both managers be removed from the work floor immediately. We are willing to sit down with you and discuss the violence on the work floor today.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Nick Casselli, President of the Philadelphia, PA Area Local, APWU #89 at (610) 522-4520 and Mike Rembelinsky, Branch President for Lindbergh Facility, National Postal Mail Handlers Union #308 at (215) 365-5406.
Awaiting your expeditious response.