Trenton Metro Area Local

American Postal Workers Union



Can They Be Trusted?

You decide.

During the last meeting on fumigating the Trenton P&DC, Vito Cetta, District Manager informed all in attendance that his plan is not to reopen the Trenton P&DC in its former capacity. He plans on eliminating tour 3 operations.

At the conclusion of that meeting, two labor representatives (managers) presented me a proposal over merging Tour 3.  Management wants our local to agree to some sort of temporary excessing to accommodate management not the Trenton employees.  Management has been telling our political leaders the reason there will be excessing out of Trenton is that the unions would not negotiate.  Tell me how anyone could negotiate when management negotiated under the umbrella of threats.  Management claims they need to move 36 employees, but if the union does not agree with them, they will excess 120 clerks in retaliation.   Why under one scenario they only need 36 clerks and if we do not agree with them, they will excess 120 clerks?

Additionally they are telling our Regional Coordinators that the Trenton outgoing mail will be coming from Monmouth P&DC this weekend, June 15, 2002.  The Trenton outgoing mail has been going to Kilmer since sometime in February.  We currently have approximately 100 clerks on tour 3 in the Kilmer facility working the outgoing operations.  If it was working since February why do we need to change it now?

I have been informed that 085 letters that tour 3 has been working is being shipped to DVD in Kearny, NJ.  Kilmer outgoing mail is being offset to DVD and West Jersey to lighten the load on Kilmer.  We all know Kilmer could not handle their mail on a regular basis when we were open, what would make them ever think they could do it now? 

The following is the proposal from management presented to our local regarding the merging of the outgoing operations from Trenton to Kilmer.  After a careful review of this document, I rejected the proposal in its entirety.  I presented the MOU to Craft Director Sandy Schleher, and Vice President Bob Lauer and they concurred.  We also participated in a teleconference with  both APWU coordinators and the President of Kilmer Local, APWU over this MOU.

Here are some of my reasons why I rejected the proposal.

The MOU has no time frame and was open ended; management could retain a Trenton clerk indefinitely and deny them from working their bid.

Kilmer employees would get the preferred duty hours to the Trenton employees. Trenton employees would get the undesirable duty assignments.     Sounds fair to me!

Trenton employees could be involuntarily reassigned outside their preferred duty assignment with out compensation, i.e. out of schedule premium.

Some employees would be reassigned to other tours for indefinite periods of time.

Kilmerís Local MOU would prevail, Trentonís MOU would be excluded.

Only 36 positions would be created for the Trenton employees.  What happens to all of the other 75 potentially impacted employees?

Employees would not be able to secure a preferred duty assignment either in Kilmer or Trenton. They would only be able to bid on one of the detailed positions.  Agreeing to this clause would deny the employee their rights under article 37 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

The MOU does not provide for mileage for the commute to Kilmer.

Employees would not receive Travel Pay,  (grievance pending).

Employees would not have busing due to the hours being different then the Trenton schedules.

Agreeing to this MOU would deny employees any and all rights they enjoy under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Please take your time and read this proposal and please give your feed back.

Memorandum of Understanding

June 12, 2002

Post 36 temporary details as described herein for Kilmer employees.

Positions vacated by the 36 Kilmer employees will be posted for Trenton employees as temporary details.

Should Kilmer employees not express preference to any of the 36 bids, they will be made available for the Trenton employees for bidding purposes.  All other aspects of this agreement apply.

Should any of the 36 positions and/or the backfill remain after the bidding process, Trenton employees will be assigned the positions by inverse seniority (preference by seniority) and will assume the schedule of the assignment.

Employees seniority will be merged into the respective bid/assigned sections for the purposes such as overtime, holiday scheduling, leave requests (except for prior prime time vacation commitments, which will be honored).

Trenton employees placed into the temporary Kilmer positions will not be permitted to bid on any permanent Kilmer positions.

Should any of the 36 temporary details or bid positions be vacated, the above process will be repeated for filling the vacancy.

All aspects of the Kilmer Local Memorandum of Understanding will be applied to the detailed Trenton employees.

Management will provide a merged seniority listing for the affected employees.

The parties' signatories', and/or their designees, will meet as needed to resolve any issues arising out of this Memorandum of Understanding.

Elizabeth Powell    

Regional Coordinator

James Burke

Regional Coordinator

Vito J. Cetta

District Manager/Executive-in-Charge                 


This agreement has not been signed, and it is anticipated that management will tell everyone this is what the union wants, excessing. This is not what the union wants, management only wants us to give them the green light to violate all of your rights.  If you are excessed you get to bid, you get retreat rights back to Trenton when a vacancy occurs.

I knew this was coming, so when I met on Sunday, June 9, 2002, with Senators Daschle, Torricelli and Corzine we had some discussions over this Tour 3 issue.

Mayor Gilmore and Assembly Women Linda Greenstein were also in attendance. All labor organization was represented, including NAPS. The meeting went well for all the unions; Senator Daschle seems very sincere and concerned about the treatment of us at the hands of the Postal Service.

I also focused on the extra hours we are forced to devote to our jobs, the uncertainty of our employment and the total lack of any concern regarding our livelihood by the Postal Service. The constant diverting of our mail and the continuous threats of losing ours jobs have taken a toll on our families and us.

We also focus on managementís attempts to relocate us north of Trenton when in fact there are buildings located in the Trenton vicinity that could accommodate us. I have attended 12 meetings relating to a new temporary facility.  We could have had one locally and had everyone we need in it by now, but here we sit with no facility our mail being diverted and we face the reality of losing our employment in the Trenton area. 

Brothers and Sisters we can win this battle, but we must continue gathering political allies.  I will be attending a labor reception with Governor Mc Greevey and Senators Torricelli and Corzine.  I will update them of the latest and ask them to continue their fight for us.

I have spoken with Congressman Rush Holtsís District Director and have asked her to join in our attempts to save the Trenton Postmark.  Also Peter A. Inverso has joined us in helping to secure a building in the Trenton Area. (Letter on web page).  

Congressman Smith is still attempting to set up a meeting with Area Vice President David Solomon, we await has second response.  APWU President, Bill Burrus is also awaiting Mr. Solomonís response.  APWU Legislative Director, Roy Braunstein has also been in contact with our senators and congressional leaders.

The Struggle Still Continues

Bill Lewis

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