The Impacts of Hostile Work Environments on Employees Can Be Significant
May 24, 2023
Hostile work environment abounds in the Postal Service and it will only get worse as Postmaster General (PMG) De Joy continues to push his 10-year plan on postal workers and the communities of America. His plans do not provide prompt, affordable and efficient service. They include slowing down first class and flat mail service, and charging even higher fees. This causes customer complaints, less business, and employees are overloaded with dissatisfaction because of disrespect both on and outside the job.
The best service we gave to our communities was when we had 2012 Service Standards. The Postal Regulatory Commission recently completed their report (H. Rep. No. 117-79) dated April 7, 2023 on what it would take for the USPS to bring back 2012 Service Standards. Instead of spending money building regional sites and reconstructing mail processing facilities to consolidate carriers, the USPS could bring back the AFCSs, DBCSs, and parcel sorters to the plants that were part of a successful mail processing network for over 30 years. It provided overnight service and did it with less transportation costs. It’s important for postal managers to learn from their history.
The 10-year plan does not provide postal workers with a working environment free from hostility. It just continues to provide more short staffing, which affects employees emotionally and physically. The promise of a clean workplace is so far from the truth when you don’t plan to properly staff the workplace to keep the building clean. Workers can only take so much.
The billions of dollars that the PMG has spent in the last three years has brought depressed services, and a more hostile work environment. In fact, the Office of Inspector General discovered that for over seven years there had been inadequate attempts to document and monitor sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, or even provide proper threat assessments. Can you imagine how many harassers walk around free to bully and harass?
Discrimination is another issue that contributes to a hostile work environment. Discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly because of their race, sex, age, religion, or other protected characteristics. Discrimination takes many forms, including the denial of training opportunities. There is a cultural discriminatory environment with no real programs to provide a civil or respectful workplace. A good program is not just a 10-minute standup talk, if you even get them anymore!
The impacts of hostile work environments on employees can be significant. Employees who are subjected to harassment, bullying, or discrimination may experience stress, anxiety, and depression. They may also suffer from physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach problems. In addition to the impact on employee health, a hostile work environment can also lead to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism. Employees who feel unsafe or unwelcome in the workplace may choose to take time off or leave the organization altogether. We still have very high turnover. Most new employees leave after 91 days on the job. There is no mentoring. Orientation that used to be at least four days, has recently been brought down to just one. That is how important new employees are to the USPS.
The PMG’s next step is to excess, consolidate, and squeeze more blood, while getting closer to his privatization dream. Our day of action on April 28, 2023 was just a first step; the fight continues. If you are feeling any of the above, please make your voice heard. Help organize a local APWU event. Remember invite your friends, family, co-workers, NALC, Mail Handlers, Rural Carriers. Please make sure you complete the APWU Workplace Environment Survey and talk to your co-workers to make sure they submit their surveys. Your voices will count. Let the world know how you have suffered. We need this survey to be successful. Our numbers show our POWER!