Bronx, N.Y., workers, community fight to save postal jobs
Published May 27, 2011 11:49 AM
Members of the South Bronx Community Congress joined postal workers on the
steps of the Bronx General Post Office at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse
on May 23 to demand that officials of the United States Postal Service suspend
plans to move Bronx mail-processing services to Manhattan.
Maxi Rivera, right, of South Bronx Community
Congress with postal workers.
WW photo: Dee Knight
“Once again the post office is trying to reduce services in our
community,” said Maxi Rivera, a retired postal worker and an SBCC leader.
“We stopped them before and we will stop them again. To permit this would
result in the displacement of hundreds of workers and a reduction in vital
Rivera said the U.S. Postal Service scheduled and held a community feedback
hearing earlier this month without proper community notification. “It was
like a secret meeting,” he said. “They were surprised when some of
us showed up. We are demanding that the post office provide widespread
community notification before a second hearing is held.”
Workers World spoke with several members of the Amalgamated Postal Workers
Union, N.Y. Metro Local, who work at the Bronx General Post Office, including
Luz Mendez, Mayra Colon and Josefina Rivera. “We’re fighting for
our jobs,” said Rivera. She questioned the USPS argument that it would be
“cost effective” to move the Bronx mail processing to Manhattan.
“Our efficiency is higher,” she said, pointing to a 98 percent rate
of next-day delivery, compared with about 72 percent in Manhattan.
Ramon Jimenez, another SBCC leader, said the fight for postal services and
local jobs is part of the bigger battle against austerity budgets at city,
state and federal levels. “The storm we predicted has arrived,”
Jimenez declared. “It seems all levels of government have decided to make
the poor and working class pay for the bankers’ crisis. We won’t
Jimenez detailed plans for an Action Assembly on June 4 at Hostos College
— directly across 149th Street from the post office. This will be the
first borough-level Action Assembly of four planned for early June. They plan
to map out a fightback plan against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-banker
budget, which is under debate in the City Council and is to be voted on in late
“We are committed to forcing a rejection of this budget or stopping it in
its tracks. We need a People’s Budget,” Jimenez said.
“A People’s Budget would put people’s needs first before the
banks,” Jimenez explained. “It would save rent control and Section
8 housing subsidies to protect people’s right to a place to live. It
would stop the drive to shut schools and cut 6,000 teachers’ jobs.
Instead of raising City University tuition, it would eliminate tuition fees,
because we have already paid for them with our taxes, which must not go first
to the banks.
“A People’s Budget would also guarantee that all fire houses remain
open with full service to protect against fires,” Jimenez said. “We
remember too well a generation ago when half of the South Bronx was allowed to
burn to the ground.”
A planning committee for the June 4 Action Assembly met at Hostos College
immediately after the press conference at the GPO. In addition to South Bronx
Community Congress members, it included representatives of the Freedom Party,
Service Workers Local 32BJ Schools Division, AFSCME District Council 37, Bail
Out the People Movement, Picture the Homeless, the Coalition for Public
Education, the People’s Power Movement, Students United CUNY and the CUNY
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