Members in Action
(This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
PORTLAND, CINCINNATI LOCALS RALLY AGAINST CUTBACKS IN JOBS AND SERVICE
In June, as the APWU bargaining team prepared for contract talks with the U.S. Postal Service, union members in Portland, Oregon and Cincinnati, Ohio rallied with supporters to protest job and service cuts that have led to long lines and delays in mail service.
On June 18, members of the Portland Oregon Area APWU Local Union were joined by Letter Carriers, Jobs with Justice and the Oregon AFL-CIO
in downtown Portland. With signs calling to “Save the People’s Postal Service” and “Portland needs MORE Postal Clerks,” the spirited crowd protested the reduction of almost 300 clerk craft jobs, which has led to severe delays in service.
On June 25 members of Greater Cincinnati Ohio Area APWU Local Union marched at the city’s main Post Office. More than 50 open clerk positions have not been filled in the Cincinnati area since April 2017. The highly visible event drew attention from local television stations, radio broadcasts and newspapers.
“In low income neighborhoods, they’re claiming not enough revenue as an excuse to close small offices, or severely reduce service hours,” said Cincinnati Local President Mike Smith. “APWU members find that totally unacceptable, because we are pledged to deliver universal service to everyone, regardless of where you live or how much money you make.”
“We’re going to raise these issues when we meet with USPS management,” said Smith. “Our members believe that delivering quality service to our customers and keeping our nation connected are among the most important issues facing the Postal Service. So we’re going to give them an earful.”
AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL
When North Carolina teachers and school workers rallied in May in the thousands at the State House, protesting low salaries and underfunded schools, APWU members from the Charlotte Area Local and the Raleigh Cosmopolitan Area Local were on the scene to show solidarity and support.
From left: Charlotte Area Local Clerk Craft Director Tiffany Alexander, Charlotte Area Local Organizing Director Debra Geter, Tanya Hardin, Stephanie Smith, Venus Abaoag-Smith, Raleigh Cosmopolitan Area Local President Peter Gilmartin, Charlotte Area Local and NC State President Anthony (Tony) Wilson.