As postal bosses meet in D.C., unions rally against downsizing

WW photo: Joseph PietteOfficials at the headquarters of the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C., kept an angry, overflow crowd in the lobby during a Postal Board of Governors meeting on Nov. 14.

After chanting “Whose post office? The people’s post office!” and other slogans for over an hour, the boisterous crowd erupted in cheers upon hearing that widely criticized Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe was resigning.

Afterwards, at a rally outside, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein called for the new postal manager, Megan J. Brennan, to “reverse Donahoe’s policies of lowering standards, reducing hours, outsourcing work and diminishing a great American institution.”

Top officials of the other three postal unions — the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Union — also spoke, alongside officials of the American Federation of Government Employees, the Coalition of Labor Union Women and the Amalgamated Transit Union, plus two members of Congress.

The event was one of 150 protests, spread over all 50 states, called to defend the postal service from policies such as shutting down 82 processing centers across 37 states by the end of April. New delivery standards scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 will significantly impact the time of overnight delivery. “The cuts would cause hardships for the public and small businesses, eliminate jobs and destroy the world’s most efficient and affordable delivery network by driving away mail and revenue,” the APWU said in a press release.