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The PJ Tatler

by
Stephen Kruiser

Bio

April 24, 2014 - 5:39 pm

Toto is about to pull back the curtain.

U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers’ grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service lay claim to be fighting for the same cause: safeguarding the long-term future of one of the largest employers in the country.

The sharp disagreement comes over how to go about it.

Speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., postal union President Mark Dimondstein says it’s fine that the Postal Service wants to open counters in retail outlets, as it began to last year in Staples stores. The problem, he says, are the terms.

“Our demand on the question of the USPS-Staples deal was to put postal employees in those postal units,” Dimondstein says.

Instead, the counters are staffed by Staples employees. And the Postal Service has made clear it hopes to keep expanding within the Staples chain and with other similar partners.

They should be upset-it’s not going to be pretty for them when Americans find out that they can pay someone half the money to do twice the work. (I am not saying that all postal workers are deserving of complaints; the ones by my place are actually pretty good.)

Honestly, these hybrid public/private sector ventures might be what saves the USPS from itself by breathing new life into a system that has been a financial sink hole for decades.

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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Many years ago, when I was a federal employee, I remember getting my first salary adjustment--1%. I remarked to my boss that I almost felt guilty, as this meant that I was receiving the same increase as every employee in genuinely hazardous jobs--the military, FBI, DEA, etc. He corrected me--everyone but the Postal Service: they automatically got twice the increase of the rest of the Federal Government. I was appalled then and I remain so today.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do we know this isnt just a federal bail-out for Staples: http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/06/news/companies/staples-store-closing/
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's the problem with pretending that "waste" is something that can be easily dispensed with. ALL money ends up in someone's hands, including "waste". If you work on cutting waste, you can be sure the people who receive that money will object vociferously. And the less capable they are, the more they'll object, since they know they can't make those sorts of earnings in the real world.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"That's the GOP congress of course, ordering the Postal Service to prefund retiree benefits way, way beyond the requirement of any other pension system, public or private."

This is an odd complaint: that one's pension fund be properly funded. Better to hide the deficit until it becomes so large that it leads either to default on payments or thrashing around to find out vulnerable parties to hit up for a bailout, or both? That's a Crystal Gayle attitude towards unfunded obligations: "Tell me no secrets, tell me some lies
Give me no reasons, give me alibis
Tell me you love me and don't let me cry
Say anything but don't say goodbye."
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The workers at the PO near me (those behind the counter, which is what this article is about) are pretty friendly and competent. However, the line can get backed up pretty quickly. Maybe Staples can help figure out how to address that (though if you have several stores in the local area that can do it you may not have the backups).
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Get rid of the union and the postal service will be solvent again.

By the way, folks, are you aware that, even with the problems the union brings, even with all the jokes and stereotypes, we have the best postal system in the world? Look at the amount of mail they move, and the fantastically low error rate they have. Nobody else comes close.

Oh, and they do it more cheaply than anybody else, without using any tax money.


21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, and they do it more cheaply than anybody else, without using any tax money.

You can't possibly be saying that no tax money is used to pay for the buildings, vehicles, employees, uniforms, etc. etc. used by the USPS. If you are, can you please identify which supremely generous individual or organization IS paying the expenses of the USPS?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, that's what I'm saying. The USPS hasn't taken a dime of taxpayer money in decades. They have been self-supporting.

If it were not for Congress messing with the pension issue, and the ridiculousness of the benefits (because of the union), they would be solidly in the black.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
If those workers want their pensions to continue to be funded decades in advance, the postal service must have more money.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
maybe if they went from an open ended pension to a 401k, that problem would solve itself. I suspect the union goons that leach off the pension fund won't be happy about it, but there will be less opportunity for graft, and more reason for the individual workers to scrutinize what's going on.

Naah, Union members can't see that far ahead. I seem to recall a Teamsters strike with UPS over this very thing. The union core wouldn't even let it come to a vote. Sucks when the people supposedly on your side have more of an interest in screwing you over than the employer you're striking against.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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