KOIN: Mail carriers and postal workers protested in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, saying staffing shortages are hurting the post office’s performance.
The protest took place on Presidents Day, a day the unions of postal office workers pushed the federal government to recognize in the 70s. It comes as neighborhoods in Washington, Minnesota and Texas reported several days without mail.
Workers say they want the post office to be a place where people want to work again. The post office has announced delays for first-class mail, but workers demonstrating Monday say neighborhood delays are the result of overstretched workers.
Read more: Portland postal workers protest staff shortages, mail delays
And here’s more about the rally from Community and Postal Workers United:
Postal Rally for Good Service, Good Jobs, Good Contract
County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal joined dozens of postal workers, union officials, and community leaders today to protest understaffing, overwork and delay of mail. The rally speakers called for the postal service to raise wages and benefits to attract and retain postal workers.
“We have seen letter carriers out delivering in the dark, working ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day, out as late as 9, 10, 11 even midnight, six and seven days a week,” said Jamie Partridge, an organizer with Communities and Postal Workers United. “Senior carriers are retiring early and new recruits aren’t sticking around. It’s a vicious cycle of understaffing, overwork and delay of mail.”
“There are some people who recognize how essential postal workers are to our democracy and for that very reason they want to drive the public postal service out of existence, they want to privatize the postal service,” said Commissioner Shusheela Jayapal. “We’re not going to let that happen. The postal service is not a business, it is an essential public service.”
The theme of the rally was Good Jobs, Good Service, Good Contract. The National Association of Letter Carriers is in contract negotiations as their agreement expires in May.
Speakers representing the American Postal Workers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers, Starbucks Workers United, Portland Indivisible, the Democratic Socialists of America, and Jobs with Justice addressed the crowd. The Raging Grannies and James Cook performed. Signs called for “Essential Wages for Essential Workers”, “Mail Delay, Not Okay” and “Save Our Postal Service.”
Sponsor: Communities and Postal Workers United
Endorsed by: American Postal Workers Union, local 128; National Association of Letter Carriers, branch 82, Portland Jobs with Justice, Portland Democratic Socialists of America.
- Raging Grannies– song
- Daniel Cortez, American Postal Workers Union – emcee, intro remarks:
- Jamie Partridge — Communities and Postal Workers United
- Joe Cogan – APWU
- Father Jack Mosbrucker- Jobs w Justice Faith/Labor
- Susheela Jayapal, County Commissioner
- Teresa Oller – APWU
- Rogue Robertson – NALC 82
- Lunette Wimberly – Starbucks Workers United
- Lisa Stiller – Indivisible
- Hunter Buen – Jobs with Justice
- Josh Culmer – Portland DSA & IBT 162 (UPS)
- James Cook, NALC 82 – song “Solidarity Forever”