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Documentary Film Gone Postal Investigates Dark Corners of the Postal Service and Envisions a New Way Forward


POSTED ON DECEMBER 9, 2019 BY POSTTRUTH
Screening at the Historic Rosendale Theatre – Tuesday, Dec 10th, 7:15 pm

ROSENDALE, NY — In Gone Postal, Jay Galione, son of a postal worker, investigates the dark corners of the US Postal Service. Across the country, brave employees stand up to injustice on the job and fight to Save the People’s Post Office. “I was inspired to begin work on the film,” says Jay, “after hearing my father’s stories of abusive and retaliatory treatment, and recalling the violent images on TV during the Going Postal phenomenon. I had no idea it would be such a huge undertaking.”

The cross-country film production spanned a decade, beginning in Maplewood, New Jersey and took filmmakers to San Diego, California; Gastonia, North Carolina; Washington D.C.; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona and covers the movement to save the post office centered right here in the Hudson Valley. A moving indictment of the toxic culture and push to downsize, the eye-opening documentary allows viewers to hear from experts and advocates including Ralph Nader and Richard Wolff, and directly from the selfless and courageous people hidden behind the scenes, long suffering and ignored.

Rosendale-based filmmakers Jay Galione and Sheila Dvorak are kicking off distribution of their independent documentary, Gone Postal, with a screening at The Rosendale Theater on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:15 p.m. Gone Postal premiered in October at the East Northeast Film Festival with screenings at Story Screen Cinemas in Beacon, N.Y. and the Downing Film Center in Newburgh, N.Y.

The filmmakers bring the Ulster County debut screening to the Rosendale Theater where they participated in the Artists New Work Forum in 2016, showing a portion of the completed film as a work in progress. That first public viewing allowed the film’s director, Jay Galione to hear reactions from the audience that encouraged him to continue investigating the economic and societal significance of the post office and complete the film. “It feels incredible to have the film ready to show the world,” says producer Sheila Dvorak.

Director Jay Galione edited feature film Mi America for HBO and produced and edited documentary content for other television networks. This is Jay’s directorial debut. Producer Sheila Dvorak’s previous film credits include independent feature films Children of Invention and Armless which premiered at the Sundance film Festival, and the documentary See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainer’s Documentary which premiered at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles.

Photos and interviews are available.


Postal Views Podcast from Gone Postal Contributor & Mail Handler Ron Williams


POSTED ON JUNE 23, 2015 BY POSTTRUTH

Mail handler and contributor to the documentary, Ron Williams, has created a podcast for postal workers called Postal Views. Listen in for the latest postal news and insight about the job. In this episode Ron reviews Philip Rubio’s book “There’s Always Work at the Post Office.”

Gone Postal filmmakers Jay Galione and Sheila Dvorak first met Ron Williams in 2009, after reading his book Deep Inside LiteBlue. Ron continues his advocacy and support of the US Postal Service in his new podcast, Postal Views.


Gone Postal Thanks our Supporters


POSTED ON DECEMBER 8, 2014 BY POSTTRUTH

We are very thankful to have the support of the following people to create this film. We could not do it without you.

Anonymous (12)
Patrick Baker
Peter Basler
Janet Bayliss
Christopher Beall
Evelyn Benton
Jehoiada Bernard
Gary Bischoff
Ralph Bolger
Alexandra Bradbury
Mary Brown
Dan Burkhardt
James Cancialosi
Joshua Carlon
Frank & Terry Casciola
Natalie Casciola & Allen Scazafabo Jr.
Nicole Casciola
Maria Martina Castro
Richard Castro
Toby & Chuck Cederbaum
Melisande Charles
Tze Chun
Harold Cohen
Edward Conway
Donna Cooke
Allison Crow & Kim Abrams
Audrey Davis
Dana Davis
Barbara Dechristopher
Maxine Destefano
Robert Dibias
John Drexler
Jane Duggan
Edith Englund
Jeannie Erickson
Virginia Evans
Joshua Feldman & Julie Binder
Jerry Fields
Thomas Fiore
Peter Fiorentino
Tiffany Foster
Raymond Fratella
Ellen & Robert Galione
James Galione
Neal Gerstein
Daniel Glick
Felicia Gluhareff
Lee Goldberg
Fred Goldman
J E Hawkins
Stephanie Head
Janet Hicks
Rich & Rene Hines
David Humphries
Christopher Irr
Kyle Jarrow
Shana Kingsley
Raymond Klass
Alison Kunkel
Marva L. Laday
Tony Litterio
David Long
Antonio Lorusso
Francis Marquette
Shawn Mceachern
Julia Meinwald
Nora Mendez
Margarita Meyendorff
Laura Miller
Raamla Mohamed
Gary Namie
Michael Nodine
Pauline Paraboschi
John S Pearson
T R C Perez-Barbuzano
Joseph Piette
Margo Polikoff
Michael Ponte
Joe Principe
Michael & Mary Principe
Samuel Pullen
Michael Regish
Sarah Robinson
David Rocke
Sharon Rothbart
Michael Saenz
Jill Santopolo
Hilari Scarl
Karen Schmieder & Pat Vidas
Devon Schneider
Nancy Schniedewind
Francis Sheehy
Joan Slish
Jonathan Smith
Chris Stevenson
Karen Taber
Tamara Teague
Heather Thomason
Robert Tremarche
Two Sigma Investments LLC
Tomas Uhliarik
Herman Vasquez
Eric Zickefoose
Charles Zlatakin
Ellen Zoref


Union Edge Labor’s Talk Radio features Sheila Dvorak and Jay Galione


POSTED ON OCTOBER 18, 2014 BY POSTTRUTH

SoundCloud Audio - Click Here

Host Charles Showalter of Union Edge Labor’s Talk Radio interviews Producer Sheila Dvorak and Director Jay Galione of Gone Postal:The Documentary to Save The People’s Post Office.


Kingston Community Radio – WGHQ – Interview with Jay Galione


POSTED ON OCTOBER 12, 2014 BY POSTTRUTH

SoundCloud Audio - Click Here

Kingston Community Radio hosts Gary Bishoff and Chris Acosta interview Director Jay Galione about Gone Postal:The Documentary. Contribute Today!


Film subject Mary Burkhard fights for democratic elections at NAPS Convention in San Diego


POSTED ON AUGUST 27, 2014

Mary Burkhard, Female Candidate for National Office fights for “One Member, One Vote” to break up the “Boys Club” in leadership the National Association of Postal Supervisors

San Diego, CA; August 23-29, 2014

The system that elects the national officers of NAPS (National Association of Postal Supervisors) is based on rules that may have made sense when the organization was founded in 1908, but are outdated and undemocratic for 2014. When the largest NAPS branches across the country control blocks of votes, it is reminiscent of machine politics where the outcome of the election is pre-determined. The undemocratic process has been a barrier to women being represented in the organizations’ leadership.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) 40 percent of employees in the United States Postal Service are women, but in the 105 year history of NAPS, only one woman, Margarete A. Grant of San Francisco, has held a leadership position from 1986 -1996. In the past 20 years, no other woman has been elected to serve NAPS in Washington D.C. and there has never been a woman elected President of NAPS. Mary Burkhard, NAPS Branch 244 President from Santa Clarita, California is running for NAPS National Secretary/Treasurer at the convention taking place at the Towne and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Burkhard supports a resolution that would change the election system to be more democratic, giving every member of NAPS one vote.

The NAPS organization is controlled by Congress through Title 39, US Code, Section 1004. Mary Burkhard has been lobbying Congress on behalf of NAPS members to have Congress change this code to reflect the need for more transparency and democratic elections.

NAPS leaders have taken steps to make the organization less transparent by banning video recordings at the convention, and blocking filmmaker Jay Galione of “Gone Postal: The Documentary” access to the convention hall to film the debate on the resolution to give each member one vote, as well as the campaign speeches and events leading up to the election. Galione and filmmaking partner Sheila Dvorak were allowed access to the convention in 2010 when Mary Burkhard first began fighting for a more democratic election procedure and to represent her NAPS members as their Secretary/Treasurer. The story of Mary’s determination and passion for the Postal Service will be chronicled in the film “Gone Postal: The Documentary”, coming in 2015. The trailer is available now at The Great Postal Heist Trailer


Voices at Work on KPFT Houston 90.1 – Interview with Jay Galione


POSTED ON JULY 2, 2014

On Friday June 27th Jay Galione was a guest on Voices At Work on KPFT Houston 90.1 Pacifica Radio. Guest host and former Letter Carrier Gordon Anderson interviews Jay Galione about Gone Postal: The Documentary. If you missed it live, listen to the interview here. It begins with an introduction, the 4 minute trailer, followed by the interview with Jay.


Director Jay visits Post Offices across the country


POSTED ON JULY 15, 2014

Interviewing subjects for the documentary film has taken director Jay Galione and Producer Sheila Dvorak to post offices across the nation. Here are some of our favorite stops along the way.


Listen to Jay Galione on WVKR 91.3 FM Activist Radio July 17 2014


SoundCloud Audio - Click Here


Blue Stone Press – Gone Postal: documentary lens on USPS POSTED ON JULY 22, 2014


It’s no exaggeration to say that the U.S. Postal Service is under attack. A Google News search for “post office closing” returns over 53,000 results: hours being cut, branches being shuttered, irate residents protesting closure plans or wringing their hands over the loss of their local PO. Post offices are community centers of sorts, where you can pick up the latest news and gossip along with your mail and see a friendly face or three. Post offices, along with libraries, are a place where we are treated not just as consumers, but as citizens. The U.S. Postal Service was established in the Constitution.

Useful and beloved as they may be, post offices are dropping like flies: in Mumford, Texas, on Starlight Lake Road in Pennsylvania, on Rt. 7 near Albany. Locally, the closing of the mail-processing center in Newburgh added a day or two to delivery times, as mail now needs to be routed through Albany. A privatization deal struck to allow office supply mega-mart Staples to carry out many postal functions means mail being handled by $8 an hour employees rather than sworn civil servants in 1,500 locations; although Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe swears no jobs will be cut and no post offices closed as a result of the pilot program, it doesn’t seem to be holding true on the ground.

How to fight back? Rosendale filmmaker Jay Galione, whose father was a postal clerk for 30 years, has teamed up with fellow filmmaker Sheila Dvorak to make Gone Postal, a feature-length documentary and work of unabashed advocacy that exposes the untold stories, from what might have made a postal worker snap to how Congressional manipulation has set the USPS up for failure and privatization. The BlueStone Press spoke to the filmmakers about their project.

BSP: Beyond Jay’s dad, how did you locate former postal employees who would speak out? Were current ones afraid or forbidden to do so? In your trailer, I see one interviewee with his face blurred; I’m guessing that might be someone who still works there?

SD & JG: You’re right; it wasn’t easy finding workers who were willing to talk to us. Most postal workers fear their jobs are at stake if they speak out. We started our search online, finding workers who had written books and articles and were not afraid of talking publicly about the problems inside. Once we found these activists, they connected us with other workers across the country who trusted us with their stories. In North Carolina, when mail carrier Steve Spencer killed himself at the post office, his friends and coworkers felt it was too important to keep quiet and gave candid, emotional interviews.

BSP: Did any theory emerge about where things went wrong? I mean, I have loved the mail deliverers and counter people I’ve met in every place I have ever lived, but apparently management is another story…why the disconnect? Do they not promote from within?

SD & JG: Most people start a postal career looking for a secure honest living. The problem lies in the leadership. There are good managers at the post office, but they don’t have much influence. Someone a thousand miles away is watching everything that happens in a local post office. Every post office and postal worker operates in a real world situation. No two post offices are the same, but the goals they have to meet are. The USPS tracks, monitors and counts everything, measuring to death the delivery of mail. Managers spend much of their day recording and reporting data to their bosses who are harassing them to meet goals. There are so many layers of management that the pressure compounds and the work environment is fraught with hostility.

Promotions are not based on showing leadership skills like the ability to motivate people and adapt to changing environments. Once you become a manager, your worth depends on how much you are willing to falsify data and pressure employees to work faster. Pressure means harassing workers, yelling at them in front of coworkers, canceling their vacations, and looking for other ways to provoke them. The others learn not to be the target by shutting up and working faster. This is a toxic workplace. The manager most willing to compromise ethics is most likely to succeed. The system demands a concentration of bullies and liars at the top.

BSP: What’s your favorite moment in the film?

SD & JG: We follow several workers involved in cases against the Postal Service. They’re fighting against retaliation. They’re fighting for their jobs and for stolen wages. Not everyone wins, but some of them do. Our favorite parts of the film are their moments of vindication.

BSP: What’s something that was surprising to find out?

SD & JG: We were really surprised to find out how many postal workers have been sounding the alarm to change their toxic workplaces. But they haven’t been able to make any progress. Across the country we met workers who organized pickets, circulated petitions, alerted their congress people, and confronted managers to stop the abuse. It was hard seeing that nothing came of their efforts. We want our film to raise the profile of this issue so it can’t be ignored, not only for postal workers but all workers fighting for dignity on the job.

BSP: What reforms do we need? And what do you think of Liz Warren’s idea of post offices doing lending/banking?

SD & JG: First we need to demand accountability from the federal government that acquired billions of dollars from the USPS in overpayments and pre-funding of worker health and retirement benefits. Adding that money back to the USPS budget will give us a true picture of the health of the Postal Service.

We also need a change in the governance of the USPS. Workers need a powerful voice on the Board of Governors. Unions and their members are coming up with ways to innovate and expand services, but they’re excluded from the process. Citizens and mail customers need a voice on the local level about how their communication needs can be better met by their post office, giving the Postal Service new avenues of revenue. Anything that makes the local post office more relevant to its community should be considered.

Postal Banking is a great idea to pursue. We’re glad Senator Warren is raising its profile. The USPS Inspector General estimates it could generate nine billion dollars a year for the Postal Service. It would serve the working poor in communities where there are no banks. It’s expensive to be poor in a country where 68 million people are spending an average of 10 percent of their income just to access their own money through predatory check cashing outlets.

Plus it would offer an alternative for many of us who’d rather take our money out of the big banks and support a robust public option. Postal banking was successful in the US throughout the mid 20th century and it’s successful right now in many postal services worldwide.

Fractured Atlas, the filmmakers are running a $50,000 crowd-funding campaign to raise finishing costs and get the film done while we still have a post office left to save. The Indiegogo project runs through Aug. 19; you’ll find more information and a film trailer at The Great Postal Heist Trailer


Gone Postal captures NALC Convention Highlights in New Video


POSTED ON JULY 29, 2014

Director Jay Galione and Producer Sheila Dvorak traveled to Philadelphia last week and captured the action at the NALC letter carrier convention in Philadelphia. They were on site to meet letter carriers and galvanize support for Gone Postal:The Documentary. That didn’t stop Jay from taking out his camera to cover the Stop Staples March and Rally on July 23rd, and the Solidarity Rally on July 24th where Letter Carriers joined the protesting Metropolitan Carpenter’s Union, which has been locked out of work taking place at the convention center. Check out the highlights in this new video, and contribute today by visiting our IndieGoGo campaign page at IndieGoGo - The Great Postal Heist.


Fractured Atlas ~ Our Fiscal Sponsor


POSTED ON MAY 21, 2014

Gone Postal has partnered with Fractured Atlas to raise the funds needed to complete our documentary film.

Fractured Atlas empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.

For supporters of Gone Postal that means that your donation is tax-deductible, and we have resources at our fingertips. We thank Fractured Atlas for their sponsorship of Gone Postal: The Documentary.


THE MEDIA DEFAULT: Postal Coverage Falls Short


POSTED ON AUGUST 6, 2012

I sifted through the barrage of news stories on the Postal “default” last week hoping to find some real journalism. Sadly, I didn’t. Instead, I came across the same tired citations from official sources like the Postmaster General, the National Union heads, and the players in Congress.

Here’s the skinny: Wracked with a financial burden imposed by the Bush administration* the Postal Service defaults on a multibillion dollar annual payment, following the greatest recession since The Great Depression.

*“Thomas M. Davis, a former Republican congressman from Virginia who proposed the law, said the payment requirement was initiated by the administration of President George W. Bush.” (NY Times 7-31-12)

The ensuing “crisis” is being used as a pretext to dismantle the agency as we know it. Postmaster General Donahoe and Republicans in Congress propose setting loose tens of thousands of unemployed, and erasing hundreds of thousands of living wage jobs from an already ravaged economy.

Does the Postal Service need to economize? Sure. It’d be hard argue with that. But where can they find efficiency? Certainly not from the Postmaster General or from the voices in Congress. The people involved in the conversation at a national policy-making level have either never worked in a post office, or they haven’t touched the mail in years.

Want to know where Post Offices can be consolidated? Where redundancies exist? Where money is wasted? Ask a letter carrier in Gastonia, North Carolina. Ask a Postmaster in Gold Run, California or a Mailhandler in Newburgh, New York.

I did that. The result is a four year cross country investigation chronicled in the documentary film (currently in progress), Gone Postal.

Witness a place where efficiency and progress are lost in a sea of grievances, retaliation, and lawsuits. Where unreachable goals are never justified but always enforced. And where employees have no voice.

Solutions to a problem rooted deep in the foundation of the organization won’t be found in a headline or a soundbite.

A service that operates on a local level everywhere in America, meeting different challenges in each market and terrain is now being shattered by the decisions of centralized controllers far removed from the daily operations, who have substantial political and personal interests at stake. Who’s looking out for the Service?

Jay Galione - Director, Gone Postal


ARCHIVED MEDIA COVERAGE


(NOTE: Film formerly title "Gone Postal")

PAST RADIO APPEARANCES

Union Edge Labor's Talk Radio Interviews Host Charles Showalter of interviews Producer Sheila Dvorak and Director Jay Galione
LISTEN


Kingston Community Radio AM920 WGHQ hosts Gary Bishoff and Chris Acosta interview Director Jay Galione
LISTEN


WVKR FM 91.3 Activist Radio - Host Fred Nagel interviews Director Jay Galione about Gone Postal: The Documentary on Class Wars out of Poughkeepsie NY
LISTEN


KPFT Houston 90.1 Pacifica Radio. VOICES AT WORK - Guest host and former Letter Carrier Gordon Anderson interviews Jay Galione about Gone Postal: The Documentary.
LISTEN



NEWSPAPER & ONLINE ARTICLES

Documentary Film "Gone Postal" Investigates Dark Corners of the Postal Service and Envisions a New Way Forward - SaveThePostOffice.com

Excerpt: Rosendale, NY — In Gone Postal, Jay Galione, son of a postal worker, investigates the dark corners of the US Postal Service. Across the country, brave employees stand up to injustice on the job and fight to Save the People’s Post Office. “I was inspired to begin work on the film,” says Jay, “after hearing my father’s stories of abusive and retaliatory treatment and recalling the violent images on TV during the Going Postal phenomenon. I had no idea it would be such a huge undertaking.”
Read More

Gone Postal: A documentary lens on USPS - Q&A with director Jay Galione, written by Anne Pyburn Craig of Blue Stone Press

Excerpt: "It's no exaggeration to say that the U.S. Postal Service is under attack. A Google News search for “post office closing” returns over 53,000 results: hours being cut, branches being shuttered, irate residents protesting closure plans or wringing their hands over the loss of their local PO. Post offices are community centers of sorts, where you can pick up the latest news and gossip along with your mail and see a friendly face or three. Post offices, along with libraries, are a place where we are treated not just as consumers, but as citizens. The U.S. Postal Service was established in the Constitution.”
Read More

Documentary to galvanize the public. Filmmaker needs your support! – Postal Employee Network

Excerpt: Film Director Jay Galione and Producer Sheila Dvorak contacted me, Rick Owens, seeking the help of postal employees and Postal Employee Network readers/viewers...
Read More

Film subject Mary Burkhard fights for democratic elections at NAPS Convention in San Diego

Read More

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