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Trenton Metro Area Local

American Postal Workers Union









Current Status of Trenton Distribution Center

Joe Sautello reported that good progress is being made on the building construction.  There is a chance that South River employees will be in the building by the last week of September.  Joe emphasized, however, that October 14, 2002 is still our official move date.

The restrooms will be completed by September 21st.  The curb on one side of the building has been moved to make way for 50 additional parking spots - that project will also be completed this month.   In addition, the Township will be given the opportunity to conduct plumbing and electrical inspections inside the building.  This is not expected to slow down the completion schedule of the construction work.

Joe mentioned again that his recent visit to the Brentwood Facility made him more aware of why we won’t have access to the Trenton P & DC grounds.  Once our building is cleaned, it will take four to six weeks to refurbish it.  Hopefully, we will reoccupy the building by mid-summer 2003.

Machine Installation

·         The electrical contractor has advised that the SPBS area on the workfloor will be available to the USPS by Thursday, September 19.   Transportation will move the SPBS (currently stored on eight trailers at the Trenton P&DC) to the new Monroe facility this weekend.  The installation of the SPBS will begin on September 19th. 

·         Our Maintenance employees will be working around the clock until the installation is complete.  They will have access to the port-a-johns that the contractor has on the outside of the building and we will make provisions for them to have outside lighting.  Our employees will also have access to the telephone in the building and Joe Sautello advised Maintenance supervisors to make bottled water and soda available for them as well.  Mary Carey also asked that a First Aid Cabinet be installed.  Presently, there is no running water on site and Bill Lewis asked that this be provided for the employees for wash-up purposes.  Tom Szombaty will look into these items.  If the lighting and rest room issues cannot be resolved by September 19, the SPBS installation schedule may be adjusted.

·         MLOCR – the machine is being disassembled today in Queens.  Transportation will pick it up on Friday and transport it to Trenton for storage until it can be installed in Monroe.

·         Installation of the FSM 1000 will follow the SPBS.  Dates for the other equipment will be established as the electrical contractor completes the overhead electrical work.

Trenton P & DC Issues

Joe Sautello reported that Greg Lackey is working on tentative plans to relocate the trailers containing the Post Office Boxes and Retail Unit to a building in the Mercerville Shopping Center.  For added customer convenience, Joe is looking to extend the hours of operation for both operations from 7 AM to 7 PM.  This building would be in addition to the services offered by the Mercerville Branch.   The proposed date for this move is around Thanksgiving.  Joe also noted that Marketing will publicize this move.

Joe reported that he, Steve Roman, Bob Towler, and Greg Lackey would look at some lots today on Route 130.  This lot would be used for our Transportation operations since there is insufficient room at the Monroe facility to park empty trailers.  Jim Sherman suggested that they look at the parking lot at the closed American Standard building off Sloan Avenue in Hamilton Township.  Joe stated he would pass the information on to Greg Lackey.

Progress Reports from Committees

Furniture:  The office layout has been finalized.  Bob Fritsche gave a copy to Information Systems for their use in hooking up the phone and computer lines.  We have the computers on site from Raleigh but Maintenance has not yet made a return trip to pick up additional furniture, etc.

In-Plant Support:  Jim Soo and Jim Reives will review the building layout with Arnie DeBlank so that the Hardy Scales can be installed and power requirements satisfied.  Jim Soo will check with Finance to see if a 7381 is needed for the scale purchase.  Jim Soo is also working on the signage for the new facility.  Jim Soo gave the contractors a tour of the building and showed them the locations of air and power drops.

(All air and power drop locations have been marked on the floor).   In-Plant Support will ensure that all racks are moved in prior to the end of the month.  Joe Sautello advised Jim Rosciano to prepare an Operating Plan for flats since all flats will not be processed in the building.

Finance:  Joe Sautello suggested that Finance be contacted regarding the account number needed to charge the air compressors we purchased six months ago.  They may need to be charged to another account – not the one currently being used for postalization of the new facility.

Maintenance:  The contractor has advised that he is almost ready to hook up the air compressors.  Tom Szombaty will make the arrangements to deliver the compressors to Monroe on September 19. 

APWU Concerns:  Bill Lewis raised several concerns for the Maintenance employees who will be assembling the machines and working around the clock in the new building.  These concerns include the availability of rest rooms facilities with running water, operational interior and exterior lighting, swing rooms and security.  Of particular concern to him were the open doors. Joe Sautello informed him that he would discuss that issue with the contractor at next Tuesday’s meeting and arrange for the doors to be locked while the employees are working inside.  We will also follow up with the contractors to determine the dates of availability of the other items that Bill brought up.   Tom Szombaty stated that the toolboxes would be locked in trailers at the end of each shift.  Thirty toolboxes have been purchased.

Bill wanted to know where the VMF employees would be housed once they are moved off site.  Joe advised him that, as far as he knew, they would be moved to either the Lakewood or Kilmer VMFs.  Joe advised Bill to speak with Dave DiSomma regarding the specifics of the move.

NPMH Concerns:  Steve Bahrle wanted to know the numbers of lockers that would be available. Tom Szombaty didn’t have the exact number but said that there will be one per person and he’ll get back to Steve with that number.

Steve had several South River Facility concerns - one about the cleanliness of the bathrooms and one about Aeropostale’s forklift drivers.  One of his custodians reported to him an incident of human waste found all over the toilet and walls in one of the bathrooms.  Steve also voiced concerns about the manner and speed that Aeropostale’s employees drive the forklifts and the safety hazards he feels they pose.  Steve wants a supervisor presence to monitor both the bathrooms and the forklift drivers.   Steve stated that some of his members want him to go to OSHA and the Health Department but that he’s refrained from doing so out of respect for Joe.  Bill Lewis also voiced concerns about employee safety at South River.

Butch Moore reported that, once these issues were brought to his attention, he discussed them with Aeropostale’s management.  Joe Sautello said he’s also spoken with Aeropostale’s management about the bathroom incident and was asked, “how do we know it’s their employees?” 

Joe asked each MDO to designate a supervisor, or themselves, to patrol the building.  Joe also requested that Maintenance clean the bathrooms hourly.  Joe advised us that we’ll have to co-exist for a couple more weeks and asked for feedback from all present on ways to deal with these issues.  Mary Carey suggested that locks be installed on the bathrooms and a key made available for our employees.  Steve Bahrle didn’t feel this idea would work because employees would have to locate a supervisor before bathroom visits.

Steve discussed the issue of excessing employees to Kilmer.  He stated that Mr. Phillips, MH President, would present a written proposal to management next week.  He further stated that the MHs are in a positive mood about following their bids to Kilmer and that Local 300 needs to agree.

Jim Sherman asked whether we had an Emergency Evaluation Plan for the new building.  He was advised that Jim Soo has the facility layout on the computer.  He will work with the layout to create an evacuation diagram to post in the building prior to the move-in date.  He will submit it to Mary Carey for review and approval before it is posted in the facility.  Mary inquired if First Aid kits have been ordered for the new building.  Kits from the South River MDC will be moved over to Monroe.  Additional kits will be ordered for Monroe.  Jim Sherman also wanted to know the status of the intercom system.  Bob Fritsche said it would be added after we’re in the building – pay phones will also be installed.

Other Issues:

·         Buses – no bus service will be provided from Trenton to the new facility.

·         Once all our people (except those designated T-3 employees who will remain in Kilmer) are moved to the new facility, there will be no more bus service from Trenton to Kilmer.  Employees will be responsible for their own transportation to work but they will still be paid mileage.

·         Joe Sautello stated that, until the Trenton P & DC lot closes, he may try to keep the buses running from Kilmer to Trenton.  After the lot closes, there will be nowhere for employees to park or a location for the bus to pick up employees.  He asked MDOs and Union Officials to find out how many people would need bus transportation in case something could be worked out.

·         Next Friday, Steve Nelson, MH Representative, Butch Moore, and Jim Rosciano will meet in the VMF to discuss jobs and duties of the employees who’ll be domiciled in Kilmer.  Steve Bahrle stated that there might be some differences in job duties/assignments since Kilmer’s job titles are different from Trenton.  Steve is also concerned about the status of MH light and limited duty employees.  Those issues will also be discussed at that time.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17th at 1 PM at the Kilmer P & DC.

Robert T. Fritsche

POAC Coordinator

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