Connect with us


Urge against USPS job cuts this Thursday in Burien

BURIEN — The U.S. Postal Service is operating in the black, having posted three straight years of operating profits totaling $3.2 billion since 2013. But you can expect longer lines and service cuts anyway because the agency has plans to eliminate 12,000 clerk jobs in Washington state and across the nation. In the Seattle installation alone, 86 jobs already have been lost and more cuts are planned.

TAKE A STAND! — As part of a nationwide resistance to these job cuts, the Greater Seattle Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union will conduct an informational picket Thursday, Aug. 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Burien Post Office, 609 SW 150th St. All union members and community supporters are invited to join APWU members on Thursday as they ask customers to sign postcards to the Postmaster General urging against these staff reductions at our post offices. For more information, call the APWU’s David Yao at 206-310-1183.

The Greater Seattle APWU conducted a similar action on July 26, the USPS’s 242nd birthday, in front of the University Station Post Office in downtown Seattle. (See photos.) Sixty concerned citizens signed postcards to Postmaster General Megan Brennan saying, “we need more, not fewer qualified postal employees to keep service levels high and avoid long lines at the post office.”

Following strong resistance from the APWU and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), USPS management agreed last month to a five-month delay in implementing forced reassignments and excessing of employees out of their installations, according to the APWU. However, the union calls this a “temporary reprieve” and the USPS plans to proceed targeting 12,000 jobs in a three-pronged assault:

  • First, in most facilities postal management is automatically reverting (i.e. doing away with) vacant positions in violation of the contract. Job reversions reduce the workforce and slow or stop conversion opportunities for Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to career jobs.
  • Second, management is targeting thousands of bid jobs currently occupied by career employees for abolishment.
  • Third, job abolishments can lead to the excessing of career employees out of their facilities and possibly out of their crafts. Furthermore, PSE hours will be significantly reduced if management’s ill-conceived actions are fully implemented.

“Management’s proposed plans will severely disrupt the lives of career and non-career employees alike. We are in a big fight,” said President Dimondstein. “If we stick together and stay united, then I am confident that — just like with the Stop Staples and contract struggles — we will be victorious in stopping these new attacks on the workforce and on customer service.”

USPS Actions are an Attack on Service

These actions by postal management are counter to the Postal Service’s core mandate to “provide prompt, reliable and efficient services to patrons in all areas.”

“The Postal Service’s decisions will reduce employees at offices which are already short-staffed and where customers are experiencing poor service,” said Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson. “Delays in the mail will increase and there will be longer lines at post offices.”

APWU and Mail Handlers Working Together

In response to these attacks on the postal workforce and service, APWU President Mark Dimondstein and NPMHU President Paul Hogrogian sent a joint letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan voicing the unions’ deep concerns. In the letter, the two presidents questioned “why the Postal Service would choose to declare war on its unions and its employees.”

“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,” the letter stated.

Together, the postal unions drew a line in the sand and stood united against Postmaster Brennan’s continuous “cost-saving” shortcuts. The presidents concluded by restating their commitment to work together, “Rest assured that, absent correction, the APWU and the NPMHU will together resist [the] misguided actions and violations of [the Postal Service’s] agreements with, and commitments to, our members.”

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!