NOTews broke on Tuesday as the U.S. Postal Service has widespread problems with salary theft. Many blacks have a family member or friend who has worked for the post. The post office has long been one of those “good government” jobs with solid pay and benefits, creating greater economic opportunities for black workers.
Black postal workers, like Josh Dubose, account for almost 25 percent of the workforce of the Post. Dubose was one of many employees interviewed as part of a collaborative investigation by te Center for Public Integrity, Univision and The Associated Press, to uncover systemic salary theft within the agency.
Digging deep into arbitration files, investigators found that over a nine-year period, about 250 managers in 60 post offices were changing workers’ reported hours so that they were paid less. In some cases, people who never received a paycheck needed one of the three major postal unions to intervene.
“Supervisors who cheated were rarely disciplined – often receiving only a warning or more training. In four cities, arbitration documents show, post office managers continued to change timesheets after promising union leaders that they would arrest, ”the report reads in part.
The survey also found that since 2005, the agency has been cited 1,150 times for this question. In some cases, employees were reimbursed less than what was due to them due to negotiations with the agency.
As the most trusted federal agency in the United States, the news about the Postal Service is disappointing. A survey carried out in 2020 by the Pew Research Center showed that the The postal service had the highest net preference federal agencies.
Despite service delays and rising prices, the postal service enjoyed bipartisan support, with 91% of respondents viewing the quasi-federal agency favorably. Financial difficulties resulting from a combination of political decisions and mismanagement at the top led to the agency.
The post has not made a profit for 15 years. But that’s no excuse to steal the wages and labor of hard-working staff members.
Reports of salary theft and pressure on managers to cut expenses like overtime are part of the problem of forcing the post office to operate as a for-profit business. Salary theft is nothing new. A 2019 study of the National Labor Law Project estimated that low-wage workers in the private sector, who are disproportionately blacks and Latinos, were robbed of $ 12.6 billion in wages that year.
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