Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Letter carriers’ union struggle sharpens as bargaining continues

By staff

Milwaukee, WI – The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) began bargaining their national agreement with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in February 2023. Then union members heard no status update after May 21 – the date the current agreement expired. The current agreement remains in effect until a new negotiated date, but it is now July and members are worried.

Carriers are hoping for a strong contract this time, as arbitrators forced a host of bad provisions in the current agreement. There needs to be more protections against harassment in the workplace. Also, the USPS needs to get rid of the City Carrier Assistant position that forces new employees to practically live at the post office. As well, the rate at which employees take to get to top pay needs to be reduced.

Many are hoping a new contract helps better protect carriers from excessive overtime that’s plagued the post office since the pandemic. The current agreement allows management to force their employees to work six days a week, 12 hours a day, with some employees exceeding the 60-hour weekly limits.

Management has resorted to harassment and intimidation to force their short-staffed offices to go above and beyond to get the mail out. This work culture has resulted in a more than 50% turnover rate and cannot continue indefinitely.

In this period of attack on the letter carrier craft the NALC needs leaders willing to stand up and fight back.

Will Schroeder, a letter carrier says, “National President Brian Renfroe has forgotten about his duties and is busy supporting white supremacists on Twitter, calling women NALC members disgusting and profane insults, and crashing company cars while driving drunk. The NALC has filed Article 10 charges for Neglect of Duty against President Renfroe, which is good as it’s important to stand up against racism and sexism within the organization and these charges make it known that the NALC will not tolerate this behavior from anyone regardless of rank.”

Shroeder continued, “Between the union president’s outrageous behavior and multiple heat-related deaths in recent weeks, membership is demanding answers. Through this struggle more militancy has been seen in many shops across the country. The letter carriers deserve a strong contract so all eyes will be on the bargaining team to see if they can succeed despite the setbacks, as well as the possible strike at UPS and the impacts it could have on the entire industry.”

#MilwaukeeWI #PeoplesStruggles #NALC