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Postal Union files labor complaint regarding processing center


SEPTEMBER 2012, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Postal Union files labor complaint regarding processing center


REGION, August 12th- The National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local Branch 308 in Scranton, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging the United States Postal Service (USPS) violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct). The Union believes the USPS is acting improperly by moving the mail processing center operations from Stafford Avenue in Scranton to a facility in the Lehigh Valley.

The Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge was filed on behalf of the NPMHU Local Branch 308 by Robert Glycenfer, Scranton Local Branch 308 President.

The USPS announced in May it would consolidate 48 mail processing centers throughout the nation including moving the operations of one in Scranton to the Lehigh Valley. The agency stated consolidating the mail processing centers would save nearly $1.2 billion a year. Approximately 5,000 workers will be immediately affected by the consolidation including around 300 in Scranton, which will be offered jobs at the Processing Center in the Lehigh Valley. There are currently around 487 mail processing centers in the United States.

The USPS stated it plans to close about 250 processing centers after their downsizing plan is fully implemented in 2014, which the unions are attempting to stop. Many of the the jobs affected are American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and NPMHU members.

The reason for the cutbacks is because of the declining mail volume caused by the recession and customers no longer using the mail service.

The jobs that will be most effected by the Scranton mail processing center operations being moved to the Lehigh Valley are members of Local Branch 308 and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 in Scranton. Local 268 repressents APWU members at the Lehigh Valley processing center.

APWU Local 268 President Bernie Ogozalek previously told the newspaper he disagrees with the USPS decision to close the Scranton facility. Mr. Ogozalek stated the APWU does not want any mail processing centers closed.

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the American Postal Workers Union represent the majority of USPS workers with a combined membership of nearly 410,000 workers.

The major reason the USPS loses money is because of legislation that was passed in 2006 that forces the agency, which is not funded through any government program but only through postage income, to fund pensions for workers that have not even been born. The pensions for the future workers must be funded 75 years in advance.

According to the ULP, which was discovered by the newspaper while reviewing petitions and ULP’s filed at the NLRB office, NPMHU Local Branch 308 alleges the USPS will not supply information pertaining to the study that was used to justify the removel and consolidation of the mail processing center to the Lehigh Valley. The NPMHU Local 308 represents workers both at the Scranton and the Lehigh Valley processing centers.

The complaint alleges NPMHU requests for the information was given to the plant manager and the USPS Labor Relations Manager in Harrisburg, but the information was not received.

“Without this information the USPS has in it’s possession the Union is “blinded” to the truth and cannot property seek justice through the grievance arbitration process over the decision to consolidate mail processing without having the full facts of the case,” states the ULP.

The ULP states the employer representative to be contacted is Sean Kesler, identified as the Plant Manager.

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