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Tampa joins ‘I Stand with Postal Workers’ national day of action

By staff

Tampa APWU members and supporters rally.

Tampa, FL – Over 50 U.S. Postal Service workers and supporters participated in the national day of action here in Tampa, May 14. On May 20, the USPS union members' contract is set to expire. If the contract passes as is, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) members fear it will include more cuts to employee positions and take the only public postal service in the country and hand it to the private corporations.

Reggie Maddox a Tampa resident and USPS worker for over 18 years brought his two sons to the rally. “Our service is here for the people. This is the only postal service that doesn't demand a tax break. My job is threatening to be cut. And I just cannot sit back and accept that.”

According to Don Barron, executive vice president of the Tampa Area Local South Region, “Attacks to USPS are attacks to more than 550,000 employees who are set to be without a job by this Oct. 1. If the contract passes as-is, the APWU will push for arbitration.”

Organizing in two locations, the Tampa Local 259 APWU first rallied outside of the downtown Tampa Postal Office and then, after more than five hours, moved the rally to the Tampa International Postal Office. Workers at the local office joined the rally during their lunch breaks and some even joined before their work shifts.

Joji Wong, a USPS worker for more than 21 years, is a graveyard shift employee and was set to start her shift at 2:00 a.m. Holding a “I stand with postal workers,” sign and talking to USPS customers, Wong said “I'm here because the Postal Service is one of the greatest public services out there. To see the attacks against it and the big efforts to make it private are something I will continue organizing against!”

David Bernstein, president of the APWU Retiree Chapter says, “When you take the services we provide and replace them with a privately-owned service, you end up handing us all over to Wall Street. In the many years I worked with the Postal Services, and the many strikes I have seen and been a part of, I can tell you now that the younger generation needs to fight back against these attacks. Just like I did and just like I still am, even if I am retired.”

Michael Sullivan the South East business agent for APWU; Norwood Orwick, a Verizon worker and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); as well as Sol Márquez, a state of Florida employee and member of the local AFSCME 79 chapter, also in supported the national day of action.

#TampaFL #AntiwarMovement #PeoplesStruggles #unions #PublicSectorUnions #postalWorkers #USPS