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Wisconsin State of the State

The Oshkosh facility is close to having their APBS up and running and will begin processing outgoing priority mail from Iron Mountain and the northern part of Wisconsin soon. The installation of this machine and the shifting of the mail from the Milwaukee Annex to Oshkosh has been a long drawn out process that began more than 18 months ago and will probably not be finalized until early 2014. Management plans on adding 20 full time regular mail handler positions along with an additional 4 mail handler assistants. With those newly created positions being posted, the Oshkosh facility will have a total compliment of 33 FTR’s and 5 MHA’s. It is also anticipated that the Oshkosh facility will become an annex to the Green Bay P&DC soon. When/if that happens, the Green Bay/Oshkosh Installation will become their own branch of Local 306 with its own branch president.

The Milwaukee Annex will continue receiving mail from the Chicago International Service Center (ISC) to fill the void left by the loss of the upstate priority mail to Oshkosh. Local management has assured the Union that strong efforts are being made to bring additional volume into the facility as the APPS and 2 APBS’s are too valuable machines to sit idle.

Remember: management will ignore safety only until it’s time to fill out the paperwork by Milwaukee P&DC Steward Nick Lehto: Management has spent the entire year asking Mail Handler's to do more work with less staffing. Now they will be asking yet again as the Holiday season is approaching, for the membership to bail them out. I have seen more and more unsafe work practice's occurring as dispatch windows have become tighter, staffing has become scarcer, and volume has become greater. These unsafe practices occur daily right in front of several members of management and guess what? Not one of these Boss's even gives them a passing thought because they are only focused on getting the mail out on time with as "lean" a work force as possible. It does not even register in management's mind that a mule is towing more than three pieces of equipment or that a Mail Handler is PULLING BY HAND multiple connected APC's. They do not notice that you are working through your break time to achieve successful dispatches. They ignore all of this because they are too busy squeezing us for more production. Then it happens. Then that back muscle gets pulled, that rotator cuff gets torn, that fourth APC swings out and severely injures a co-worker. Now, all of a sudden we have a SERIOUS PROBLEM. Now all the ignorance is gone. Why were you working unsafe? Those will be the first words out of your supervisor’s mouth. You will be the target of an investigation for doing the exact same thing as you were doing the day before. As the process unfolds you may be asked if you are ok but that inquiry is not a guarantee. You will most certainly be disciplined to some degree, and yet only a few days later you will be allowed to perform in the same manner again as long as there are no accidents or injuries. WHY? Because safety is not a priority, it is merely required for management to state that it is. This is not a plea for you to stop working hard or being productive. We are a worker's union and are proud of and will continue to promote the strong efforts made by Mail Handler's to create a successful USPS. However, the NPMHU believes that safety is not something you sacrifice. It is something you fight for. The principle of a fair days work for a fair days pay can be achieved without cutting corners. Management may not take safety seriously but we should. It’s your job at stake. It's your health on the line. Do not let management gain from your pain.

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