APWU: In the Dog Days of Summer USPS Drivers Want Air

07/25/2016With temperatures soaring, many Motor Vehicle Service Craft employees have complained about management’s failure to maintain functioning air conditioning systems in their trucks – and the APWU has addressed those complaints at the national level, Craft Director Michael O. Foster reports.

“The timely repair of air conditioning has been an issue since the USPS agreed to install air conditioning in the 1998 Collective Bargaining Agreement,” Foster said.

apwudefaultIn response to the union’s recent objections over the Postal Service’s failure to adhere to the contract, management at USPS headquarters issued a letter to the field on July 8 [PDF], instructing the managers of Vehicle Maintenance Facilities, Vehicle Operations and Fleet Operations that:

“Effective immediately, cargo vans, tractors, and spotters purchased with air conditioning must have the air conditioning system maintained as designed. During summer months or times when the temperature is expected to exceed 75 degrees, these vehicles must have the air conditioning system repaired within one week from the date the VMF is notified. In the event parts must be ordered to perform the repair, the vehicle may be placed back in service for a period of up to one week until the parts are received. When the heat index is above 100, the vehicle must be repaired immediately and not delayed for the one week. Parts must be ordered in an express manner when the weather conditions are expected to exceed 75 degrees. Air conditioning repairs may be postponed until the scheduled maintenance occurs when that delay would exceed the one week time frame if temperatures are projected to remain below 75 degrees for the entire time until the next scheduled maintenance.”

“This policy is the latest effort to provide functioning air conditioning in PVS vehicles for the health and welfare of our drivers,” Foster said.

  • Cliff Clavin

    Does this apply to LLVs operated by city letter carriers as well?

  • Bob Meyer

    I don’t feel too bad for them. As a letter carrier we are in the elements much more than they are and we have no air.

  • dd808

    Temperatures in a vehicle can reach 110 degrees or higher!

  • dd808

    It only involves vehicles bought with air conditioning from the factory.

  • Cliff Clavin

    Really. Didja know temperatures in a LLV can reach 115 degrees or higher
    because we don’t get up enough speed between stops to get a good breeze
    going through it? The only vents are at the back. It would have been
    nice if they at least installed a roof vent that blew directly down on
    the carrier or a side vent up front for more air.

    Goes to show, the USPS does not design anything with “human comfort” in mind. No wonder we have several carriers die from the heat every year.

    Has anyone heard of any Motor Vehicle Service Craft employees who died recently from the heat?

    If this decision is for “the health and welfare of our drivers” (MVSC), why shouldn’t it apply to all employees if the decision was based on the safety of people?

  • dd808

    Blame your union. APWU negotiated it for their members.