APWU Local 480-481 Takes Stand Against Hostile Work Environment

‘A Complete Lack of Respect on the Workroom Floor’

apwu_logo07/01/2016APWU members at the Metroplex Mail Processing and Distribution Center in suburban Detroit are taking a stand against an extremely hostile work environment.

“It starts and stops with a complete lack of respect on the workroom floor,” said Roscoe Woods, president of the 480-481 Area Local. “It is by far one of the worst work environments I have ever seen.”

Conditions have deteriorated over the past two years. Managers verbally berate employees, and routinely use profanity when addressing them. They often barge into the union office and treat stewards “like garbage,” Woods said.

Things got uglier after management set up a “Meet and Greet” area late last year, where managers speak with workers at the beginning of their tour to discuss goals and hold service talks. The Meet and Greet was supposed to foster better communication, but it did the exact opposite, Woods said. Managers use it as an opportunity to berate employees and call out individuals for alleged poor performance in front of their co-workers.

“It’s probably turned into the nastiest back-and-forth we have ever had,” Woods said.

He added that employees are often forced to work alone on sorting machines that normally require two people. When workers ask for a steward, they are denied representation.

“Management would berate those employees for not being productive, when they are basically running a 90,000 piece machine by themselves,” Woods pointed out, adding that operating a machine this way jeopardizes safety.

Management’s response to complaints about safety? Workers “are not working hard enough to be unsafe.”

Preying on PSEs

Woods noted that Postal Support Employees (PSEs) and newly-converted full-time regulars are bearing the brunt of the abuse.

“They tell PSEs that they can get fired in a heartbeat,” Woods explained. “They don’t ask you to do anything, they just bark orders. If you question anything, they throw you out of the building.”

When PSEs attend union meetings, many ask that their names be left out of the meeting’s minutes for fear of retaliation.

“It’s a free-for-all around here and we are done with it,” Woods said.

Management’s worst offenders are protected and even promoted, he added.

Taking a Stand

After filing multiple grievances and working his way up the ranks of management to the area vice president – with no results – Woods amped it up a notch.

The local reached out to Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), who attended a recent union meeting and heard workers’ concerns first-hand.

Woods also sent a “climate survey” to every member of the local. Within a week, the union received more than 175 responses – and they painted a “very dismal picture” of work at the facility.

Woods shared the results of the survey with the local TV station, which ran an exclusive story.  “The overwhelming majority call it a ‘toxic work environment’ – circling words like ‘hostile,’ ‘tense,’ and ‘difficult’ when answering questions,” the station reported.

The local also distributed buttons that say simply, “RESPECT,” which managers see throughout the day, beginning with the confrontational “Meet and Greets.”

The next step is taking the issue to the Postmaster General, Woods said.

“I am tired of people talking to me, I want people to do something,” he said. “They are trying to jam our stewards up. They are baiting us and they are going to great lengths.

“I am going to keep riding this until I run out of ideas,” he vowed. “I am not going to let this stand. It’s ridiculous.”

 APWU President Mark Dimondstein commended union members. “Workers have a basic right to dignity and respect at work. We applaud Roscoe Woods and the workers of the 480-481 Local for standing up and fighting back.”

15 thoughts on “APWU Local 480-481 Takes Stand Against Hostile Work Environment

  1. Had the same thing happen in Sioux City, PM was a bully…contacted Western Area VP…she was demoted and transferred back to the Dakotas district. (She should have been fired….getting physical with several employees on the work room floor)

    • someone needs to commend you, and your fellow workers. If everyone
      is too afraid to say what is going on. How can any thing change?. I am
      glad that some one had the courage to do the right thing.

  2. At the Queens,NY P&D.C.,there is a long-time unholy alline between 1960s and 1970s,affirmative-action and the ItalIan Old Boys network,and it is NOT,Queens,NY management. Thanks to such totalcooperation,the Queens,NY P&D.C.,had two downsizings since October 2009. The last one was completed,as of August 1,2015. At least,”Susie Chapstick”,the Mid-Island,NY P&D.C.,has been a”gaining” postal mail-processing plant. You reminded me,of how glad,I am that;I had the means to retire one-year ago.

  3. Thank you Mr. Dimondstein, Mr. President, for the moral support,
    now please get off your lazy asses and go to someone like the
    Postmaster General and have something done about it. You
    have already acknowledged that you are aware that your members
    are being abused. This almost sound like Cliff Goofey all over again.

  4. Postal management has, since 1973, treated the employees like dirt. And when management is forced to admit that they were wrong, the bastards are promoted to higher level and transferred out of town. I saw that in 2012, management paid out 100 million in arbitration awards. When management must be disciplined, their punishment is a bonus, and higher level pay. And they must take prick pills every day to keep their edge over the employee slaves!

  5. Long Island, NY,District and the infamous Mid-Island PD&C operate like out of a scene in the God Father movie………all low IQ thugs and criminals who pretend at mismanagement. it would all be just one big joke if it was not really sad to see the place run into the dirt. survey says? IOD Muffin Megan have another donut!

  6. I am sorry about all the hurt, and pain that these hard working employees are dealing
    with. I hope you have better luck than I had. I am the 6th Postal Employee to deal
    with poison problems. I did work at the Clarksville Post Office for 22,and a half years
    total service. My poison lead to a stroke damaging three fourths of the back the brain.
    My luck was that I found the problem before it killed me. If you are looking someone
    to do the right thing, sadly you are in the wrong place. I didn’t hear sorry , or nothing.
    a dead dog would be treated better than me.

  7. We’d like a climate survey sent to every Union member at the Scranton, Pa P&DF 18505 as well.. You’ll find out about all of managements cover-ups & the way that we’re treated!

  8. Labor charges. EEOs. Grievances. Keep the tools
    and thugs buried in paperwork until they beg for
    mercy. Just smile at them all the time. Look happy.
    It drives the scumbags crazy. Don’t answer any questions
    unless a steward is present. Fire them all

  9. I WOULD LOVE TO WORK AT THIS PLACE! We have ways of “dealing” with scumbag postal management trash. It ain’t pretty, but it works, every time.

  10. WILD CAT STRIKE NATION WIDE…..or are you just fanook cowards! why worry with that Democrat POS in the white house…..for the little guy like Hillary eh? SHUT THIS DUMP DOWN! or flood the system with IOD’s like Muffin Megan did!

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