“We Deliver for Amazon”: The Postal Service’s New Priority

File photograph of Amazon.com package(March 15, 2015) A former postal worker in Greensboro, North Carolina, named Paul Barbot has written two excellent articles for Alternet about his experiences dealing with Amazon deliveries as a City Carrier Assistant (CCA). The first of them — “The Horrific New Marriage Between Your Post Office and Amazon Sunday” — was published in February, when Barbot still worked for the Postal Service. The second, “The Real Cost of ‘Amazon Sunday,’” came out a few days ago, not long after Barbot left the post office.

Barbot describes what it’s like serving as an overworked, underpaid non-career employee and how the deal to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays is causing all sorts of problems.  The problems got so bad, in fact, that Barbot had to quit.

Apparently, the high turnover of CCAs is becoming a serious issue.

In its 2014 Annual Report to Congress, the Postal Service noted that while the target for Deliveries per Hour in in FY2014 was 42.9, the actual result was 42.0. The Postal Service offered several explanations for why the target was not met, including the overrun of an aggressive work hour plan and additional hours used to avoid delaying mail during the Christmas season.

The Postal Service also pointed to three other explanations, all of which have to do with delivering for Amazon: the additional workload from Sunday package delivery, the hiring and training of many new non-career employees, and a high turnover rate — in excess of 40 percent — for CCAs.

As part of the Annual Compliance review being conducted by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Postal Service was asked about the turnover rate in a Chairman’s Information Request.

VOE_No!_2The PRC noted that in FY 2014 the Postal Service extended the Voice of the Employee Survey to all employees. “Based on the Voice of the Employee Survey results,” asked the Chairman, “what insights were gained about the high turnover rate for city carrier assistants?”

In its response, the Postal Service observed that the FY 2014 VOE index score for non-career employees was actually thirteen points higher than for career employees.  The Postal Service then went on to say the following:

“A review of the FY 2014 exit data indicates ‘Personal Reasons’ as the top cause of CCA resignation. Comments associated with the ‘Personal Reasons’ selection cited life situations that could not be accommodated with the job requirements, for example, dependent care, a desire to finish school, and work schedules.”

The Postal Service thus makes it seem as if CCAs are resigning simply for “personal reasons” that have nothing to do with how they are being treated or how the Amazon deal is causing problems.  Barbot’s Alternet pieces tell a much different story.

Read more:  Save the Post Office | Closures, Consolidations, Suspensions: Stories, Analysis, Opinion.

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