Reprinted from Government Executive by Eric Katz on September 3, 2019.
A union representing 200,000 US Postal Service employees is suing the mailing agency over an initiative to change the structure of their jobs, saying it is causing workers physical harm and is in violation of a negotiated contract.
The National Association of Letter Carriers is seeking an injunction in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against a pilot program known as the Consolidated Casing Initiative. The Postal Service is looking to divide letter carriers tasks into two distinct positions, which the union alleged is forcing some employees to do more physical labor and may cause them to quit. NALC asked the court to immediately pause the initiative while it mounts a challenge through the collective bargaining process.
In a normal day, letter carriers spend part of their mornings at a post office sorting mail and conducting other office work before they head out for deliveries. Under the new initiative, the union said, the Postal Service is splitting those responsibilities into two separate jobs: a “caser” carrier who sorts the mail and a “street” carrier who makes the deliveries. …