WASHINGTON — 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 to demand improved postal services and to protect good, living-wage jobs.
“U.S. Postal Service executives and the agency’s Board of Governors are using a manufactured financial crisis to justify their strategy of reducing service, delaying mail delivery, and dismantling a great national treasure,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
“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,” Dimondstein said.
The nationwide protests will take place one week before the APWU contract with the U.S. Postal Service expires (on May 20) — and amid new reports of severe delays in mail delivery. 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.
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.
According to an April 27 Washington Post article titled, “It’s not just you: Letters really are taking longer to get delivered:”
· A decision by the Postal Service this past January to abandon overnight mail delivery is causing severe delays in mail delivery.
· “Preliminary internal data shows that the Postal Service did not meet even its lower targets for first-class mail during the first seven weeks of 2015, with letters that are supposed to take three days … arriving on time just 54 percent to 63 percent of the time.”
The Washington Post also reported on May 11 about outrageous delays for residents of rural communities in an article entitled, “Senators Press New Postmaster General on Troubled Rural Mail Service.”
The Postal Service, which isn’t funded by taxpayers, earned an operating profit in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 and is on track to earn a substantial operating profit again in 2015. Although revenue from first-class mail has been declining, package volume — largely due to the growth of e-commerce – has been rapidly expanding.
In Oklahoma City rallies will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4025 W. Reno at the corner of Tulsa; and from 3:30-6 p.m. at the Center City Station, 305 N.W. Fifth Street.
For a list of protests at U.S. Post Offices on May 14, visit www.apwu.org/may-14-national-day-action.
For additional background on the threats to a strong, public Postal Service, visit www.apwu.org/sites/apwu/files/resource-files/In-Depth%20BrochureV2.pdf.