Des Moines Area Local and BMC Protest for a Viable Postal Service!
On Nov. 8, APWU Des Moines Area Local and the Des Moines BMC Local (Iowa) held an informational picket in front of the downtown processing and distribution center to send a resounding message to postal management: Postal Workers Want First-Class Service for the People!
The protest was in response to postal management eliminating 36 positions at the main Des Moines post office – with plans to cut another 34 positions. This is a cut to about 20 percent of the staff.
As they slash full-time career positions, management also recently announced they would be hiring seasonal temporary jobs to help alleviate the holiday rush – temporary positions with fewer benefits, no health coverage and much lower wages.
“Nationwide, postal management is cutting jobs and realigning the workforce, which is causing disruptions to workers' lives and postal operations," said Des Moines Area Local President Mike Bates. “Our message was very clear. We want to provide first-class service 24/7, 365 days a year.
“We want to educate the public that it’s the peoples’ post office and it operates on ZERO tax payer dollars,” he continued. “Give service back to the people!”
The protesters included members from the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union as well as activists from the Teamsters, Communication Workers of America, the Iowa Federation of Labor and Citizens for Community Improvement. Iowa State Representative Bruce Hunter and Iowa Secretary of State candidate Jim Mowrer also joined the protest.
For more on the fight for good service and good jobs in Des Moines, check out President Dimondstein’s and President Bates' op-ed in the Des Moines Register, Des Moines’ Postal Services Should be Expanded, not Cut!