Communities and Postal Workers United (CPWU) press release: Postal workers and customers rallied today at the Main Post Office in Portland to protest job cuts that are causing reductions in service to the public, including longer lines and phone calls unanswered at retail locations, and delay of mail delivery.
Postal management has so far cut dozens of jobs of retail and mail processing clerks in the Portland area this year. Dozens more are targeted as part of announced cuts that would reduce staffing by 12,000 nationwide.
A letter from APWU President Mark Dimondstein and National Postal Mail Handlers Union President Paul Hogrogian to Postmaster General Megan Brennan explained, “The cutting of an already skeletal workforce will not only cause massive disruption to the workforce but will cause further degradation of postal services for the American people throughout the country.”
While the Postal Service has experienced a decline in letter mail, the Postal Service has emerged as the mainstay of parcel delivery, as consumers move much of their retail purchases to online providers. The Postal Service has announced financial losses due to advance funding of retiree benefits that were mandated by Congress in 2006, but has been breaking even or making a profit on operations for the last five years.
July 26, also known as Postal Heritage Day, was chosen to kick off this campaign because it is the birthday of the U.S. Postal Service, which was chartered by the Continental Congress on July 26, 1775. Rally participants were served birthday cake with the words “Happy 242nd, USPS, Cut Cake Not Jobs” and the nation’s first postmaster general, Benjamin Franklin (played by retired letter carrier, David Medford), share words of wisdom:
“We need a revolutionary Postmaster General who will fight for the postal service, against the tyranny of the privatizers, against the oppression of the union busters. We need revolutionary postal workers who will spread the alarm to every corner of this nation. We need a revolutionary Congress that will fight the tyranny of the 1%, that will fight the oppression of the corporate profiteers. We need a revolutionized postal service that will deliver on-time, 6 days a week, door-to-door. We need same day pickup and delivery. We need post offices that are open at night. We need post offices that provide banking services, one-stop government services, and internet access. We need a postal service which will bind the nation together. We, the people, have a Constitutionally mandated post office which we must defend and revolutionize for our children and our children’s children.”