Postal workers in the U.S. will hold protests around the nation on May 14, a week before their contract with the USPS expires on May 20th. In a press release from the APWU (American Postal Workers Union), the union says it is demanding improved postal services and calling for the protection of good, living-wage jobs.
Postal workers will urge customers to sign postcards to the Postmaster General declaring, “I Stand with Postal Workers” and in support of improved postal services.
In its press release, APWU President Mark Dimondstein said, “Postal workers are fighting for a vibrant, public Postal Service that expands hours, offers new services, and gives quality service to people across the country – no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they have.” The union said:
During contract negotiations, the APWU has made the unprecedented move of bringing consumer issues to the bargaining table, insisting that quality service is crucial to maintaining a strong public Postal Service.
In addition to proposals that would protect good, stable jobs, postal workers are demanding extended hours at post offices to shorten customers’ wait time in line, an end to the closure of mail sorting centers, restoration of prompt mail delivery, and the addition of postal banking.
The union has objected to the USPS deal with Staples, alleging that the goal of the program was to replace the living-wage jobs held by USPS employees with low-wage jobs in the private sector. The Postal Service has also shifted to hiring more non-career employees in the form of City Carrier Assistants – a blog called the DeadTreeEdition has been critical of the strategy.
On its website, the union says, “Top-level postal bosses are using the ginned-up financial crisis to justify their vision: Cut service, privatize operations, and convert living-wage, union jobs into low-wage, non-union jobs. And many in Congress and on Wall Street are eager to dismantle the Postal Service so they can turn over the profitable pieces to their cronies in private industry.”
Members of the American Postal Workers Union will rally in more than 85 cities in 36 states across the country during a National Day of Action on May 14. More information is available on the union website.