Labor Relations:

Employee-Management Relations at the Alhambra, California, Post Office

GGD-86-40: Published: Apr 7, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 1986.

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James G. Mitchell
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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed labor-management relations problems at the Alhambra Post Office to: (1) determine their nature, extent, and status; (2) identify possible solutions to any existing problems; and (3) determine how the management at the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) Sequoia District Office and Alhambra Management Sectional Center (MSC) could detect potential labor-management relations problems early so that actions could be taken to resolve them.

GAO found that a strained working relationship between Alhambra Post Office employees and management had existed for almost 2 years when about 100 employees submitted a petition to their congressman, complaining of an extremely stressful working relationship with management and asking for changes in the work environment. Subsequent to the petition: (1) management took actions to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of both employees and management; (2) employees perceived improvement in their working conditions and their relationship with management; and (3) management, which had been concerned about unfavorable trends in the Alhambra Post Office performance, such as high overtime and sick leave rates, also perceived improvements.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on the draft report, USPS stated that the Sequoia District and the Alhambra MSC established the monitoring system recommended. It added that a broad array of indicators of labor-management relations will be watched and necessary actions taken to ensure that there is no recurrence of the 1983 to 1984 problems.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General should direct the Regional Postmaster General, Western Region, to require the Sequoia District Manager and the Alhambra Postmaster/MSC Manager, who reports to the District Manager, to: (1) monitor and evaluate data on performance, disciplinary activity, grievance activity, and employee concerns and complaints as contained in the minutes of labor-management meetings to identify existing or potential labor-management problems; and (2) follow up with facilities, as necessary, to resolve actual or potential labor-management problems identified using these sources.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service


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