February 4th, 2010
Michigan Post Office Bullying Allegations
“Postal worker’s bullying allegations draw attention” by John Schneider, Lansing State Journal, Feb. 4, 2010 Read the original article
A postal worker, Ray Miehlke, contacted LSJ columnist Schneider with reports of a “reign of intimidation at the U.S. Postal Service’s Collins Road facility,” and a complaint of a physical assault by his supervisor which was found to have “no merit” by USPS spokesman Jim Mruk. To explain his willingness to speak up while others are intimidated into silence with threats of retaliation, Miehlke said “I’ve lived my life not putting up with bullies.”
Abusive workplaces are not rare at the Post Office. See the following articles posted here:
The Feb. 4 Schneider article:
Postal worker’s bullying allegations draw attention
February 4, 2010
Lansing State Journal
In a recent e-mail to me, electronic technician Steven Ray Miehlke described a reign of intimidation at the U.S. Postal Service’s Collins Road facility.
“We work … in fear,” Miehlke wrote. ” … Threats, verbal abuse and physical assault are everyday occurrence in the work place. These things are … accepted (and) encouraged.” Miehlke, who lives in Mason, cited several supervisory “bullies” at the facility who “attack women employees most often.”
In a subsequent interview, Miehlke, a 15-year veteran of Collins Road, said an angry supervisor struck him with an elbow and pinned him against a conveyor line Jan 22. Miehlke filed a formal complaint, and was instructed to send his statement, along with a list of witnesses, to postal inspectors in Detroit. He did so.
Responding to my questions this week, Postal Service spokesman Jim Mruk said my inquiry had been “forwarded to human resources, the inspection service and the office of the inspector general, who will investigate the matter.”
Mruk responded to my follow-up inquiry by directing me to inspector Andre Brown, in Detroit. Ultimately it was inspector Wylie Christopher who said he couldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation, adding, “Something is being done.”
But late Wednesday Mruk phoned me back to say the investigation on the Jan. 22 incident – as well as an earlier incident – was complete and inspectors found “no merit” to Miehlke’s claims. “There was no assault,” Mruk said.
Earlier, Mruk said: “There are two sides to every story. Anytime we receive information that there is a problem in the work place, it’s taken seriously. We’re confident the matter will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken.
Miehlke said the supervisor he named in his complaint had been transferred from Collins Road immediately following my inquiry. Mruk called it “purely coincidental.”
Mruk agreed to relay my request for an interview to that supervisor, but I didn’t hear from him Wednesday. Absent that interview, I won’t name him here.
In his e-mail Miehlke wrote: “Officially, there is a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards even the mildest forms of intimidation. We have been told, ‘Threats or other types of verbal abuse will not be tolerated. Anyone interfering with you as you work will be removed from the building. Intimidation and bullying will be dealt with harshly. Any physical contact will be considered an assault.’
“Unless the bully is a supervisor.”
Miehlke said he doubted his fellow employees would speak up on the record, for obvious reasons. My attempts to interview two of them confirmed his assumption. So, why is Miehlke willing to speak out?
“I’ve lived my life not putting up with bullies,” he said.
Call John Schneider at (517) 377-1175, send a fax to 377-1298 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This entry was posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2010 at 11:29 am and is filed under Fairness & Social Justice Denied. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.