Postal Service:

Employee-Management Relations at the Evansville, Indiana, Post Office

GGD-87-23: Published: Dec 24, 1986. Publicly Released: Dec 24, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on labor-management relations problems at the Evansville, Indiana, Post Office, specifically the validity of employee allegations that: (1) postal management discriminated against veterans in managing the hiring register; (2) there was inconsistent and insensitive treatment of new hires, including veterans, during the probationary period; and (3) certain promotion practices were questionable and fostered employee distrust of management decisions.

GAO noted that labor-management relations at the post office have been hostile for several years. GAO found that: (1) although the work environment has improved since 1980, both labor and management were to blame for continued strained relations; (2) management contributed to the problem by firing 3 employees without properly documenting their performance, firing 2 employees who could not perform their jobs due to on-the-job injuries, failing to notify 3 veterans of their appeal rights and to timely test 20 others, failing to maintain adequate financial controls, and holding craft employees responsible for shortages; (3) employees often failed to give management a chance to correct errors and make amends; and (4) there was no evidence to show that management deliberately discriminated against veterans either in the hiring process or in post-hiring treatment. GAO believes that, although management has implemented the Employee Involvement/Quality of Work Life Program to improve labor-management relations, the problems at the post office will continue unless past attitudes and actions improve.

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