Let’s say you are an active or retired letter carrier and you, like millions of other American citizens, went out and cast your vote for Donald Trump. And like your fellow citizens you were really hyped as state after state turned bright red on election night. “Hooray!” you shouted, “America is going to be great again!”
Or, maybe, like millions of other Americans, you voted for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and you were shocked and horrified election night when you saw, with tears in your disbelieving eyes, that Donald Trump, the billionaire TV reality star, was going to be the next president of the United States. And you woke up afterwards hoping it was just a really bad dream only to discover that, no, he is actually going to be the most powerful man in the world come January, 2017. For the next four years, at least, you will be living in a totally different kind of world.
Our condolences. We feel your pain.
How will this seismic shift in American politics affect active and retired letter carriers and their families? How will it affect the Postal Service? How will it affect postal customers?
Of course it’s early yet and we don’t have any definitive answers yet to those questions, which were either asked before voting or after voting. But, overall, it doesn’t look too rosy.
Now, for those of you who are reading this who are letter carriers or are in some way employed by the U.S. Postal Service. You are a federal employee. Mr. Trump and the Republican Party think there are way too many of you. Whether you realized it or not, you are one of those people who are in that swamp that needs to be drained.
If Mr. Trump makes good on his promise (and there is no reason he won’t), there will be a hiring freeze within the first 100 days of his presidency. If that freeze extends to the Postal Service, then you should be getting a lot of overtime because they won’t be replacing the folks who quit, retire or die on the job.
Or who get fired. Under the Trump presidency more federal employees will get fired than get fired now. Mr. Trump knows a thing or two about firing people; he did a lot of that on “The Apprentice.” Says the president-elect, “We will cut so much, your head will spin.”
Get ready for his class: “Head-Spinning 101.”
Mr. Trump and the GOP leadership will also be eyeing your “generous retirement benefits.” They believe that the retirement federal workers get is way too much. Seriously. This from a billionaire and a Republican led Congress that knows a thing or two about generous retirement benefits.
In dealing with the federal workforce–which, of course, includes unions like the NALC and the APWU–the new administration will probably look for guidance from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (R) who hammered public employee unions in his state, taking away their collective bargaining rights and forced workers to pay more into their pensions and health care. He despises unions with a purple passion. And if that wasn’t scary enough, there’s talk he could be our next Secretary of Labor.
The vice-president elect, Mike Pence, doesn’t think much of unions either. As Indiana’s governor he fought with public employee unions and approved pay increases for state workers who receive “good performance reviews.” And, as you know if you’re an employee of the U.S. Postal Service, “good performance” is in the eye of the beholder. And the beholder is either your supervisor, postmaster, or station manager. They define good. And in their minds, the opposite of “good” is adherence to your union contract. And in many cases, even adherence to their own rules and regulations is seen as bad.
To say that the next four years is going to be rough for federal employees would be an understatement. It’s going to be a real struggle. It could be, without overstating it too much, hell on earth. Despite what you might think of Hillary Clinton, life would have been so much easier had she been elected. It wouldn’t have been heaven, but it wouldn’t have been hell either.
Yes, the next four years are going to be very interesting. To say the least.
(photo credit: ibtimes.co.uk)