APWU Members and Allies Continue Push to Save the Post Office

November 19, 2020

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San Francisco ProtestorsOn November 17, APWU members and community allies came together in virtual and in-person events across the country to reaffirm our demands for $25 billion in immediate COVID-19 financial relief from Congress and a permanent reversal of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s delays. 

During the election, postal workers processed a record number of mail-in ballots, moving “heaven and earth” to make sure all 65 million reached their location in time to be processed. This success would not have been possible without the work of APWU members on local election task forces, who made sure no ballot was left behind. 

However, though the election is behind us, the threats facing the Postal Service remain very much a reality. The USPS remains in a financial crisis and faces the upcoming reinstatement of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s harmful policy changes.

“This year has underscored how valuable the Postal Service is to the people of our country…As proud, dedicated public servants and frontline heroes, postal workers have carried out the postal mission of connecting us all during a tragic and deadly pandemic,” said President Dimondstein said during the APWU National’s press conference. 

“Despite our success on election mail, and the role of the postal service in the pandemic, the Postal Service remains under threat,” President Dimondstein continued. “Simply put, we defended democracy, and now, we the people, must defend the public Postal Service.”

At over 30 events across the country, with hundreds participating, we showed our commitment to #SavethePostOffice will not be thwarted. Additionally, over 5,000 calls were made to Congress to demand $25 billion for the Postal Service and a permanent reversal of DeJoy’s cuts to service. Many of the events held press conferences for local outlets. 

The press events organized across the country were anchored by a national press call with reporters from more than 20 national outlets. That call featured President Dimondstein, Atlanta Metro Area Local Assistant Clerk Craft Director Chantriss Flanagan, and Hilary Shelton, Director of the Washington (D.C.) Bureau of the NAACP. 

During the press conference, Flanagan spoke about her work on her local’s election task force committee and answered questions about what she experienced now with mail delays and concerns about the rising COVID-19 numbers. 

“A lot of employees are willing and ready to let the Post Office shine and show that we are essential employees,” Flanagan said. “I’ve enjoyed working on the task force because it does get more employees involved; and they are out here trying to find that political mail and make it move, because that’s what we do – make the mail move and get it where it’s supposed to go.”

In his remarks, Shelton spoke on the importance of the public Postal Service in the last election.

 “This was the largest participation of any election in the history of the United States, and certainly the largest number of mail-in ballots were managed by the United States Postal Service throughout this process, to make sure that even in a coronavirus pandemic, Americans were able to have their voices heard and their votes counted,” Shelton said. “It was extraordinary to see the American Postal Workers Union step up as it did, to make sure that all of these ballots were cast.” 

The Day of Action was successful in attracting local and national media coverage in cities including Honolulu, HI; Boston, MA; Davenport, IA; Bakersfield, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Columbus, MS; Portland, ME; Washington, DC; Burlington, VT; Detroit, MI; Ben Franklin and US Mail Not For Sale SupportGrand Rapids, MI; Reno, NV; and Phoenix, AZ. 

Many labor and community allies – including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, NNU, Our Revolution, Common Cause, Public Citizen, LCLAA, Take on Wall Street and League of Women Voters – posted their support for people’s Post Office, encouraging their members/followers to also make calls. In addition, the events gained wide support from public figures, including U.S. Women’s Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who shared the Day of Action with her 910,000 followers.

APWU members who attended a Day of Action event are encouraged to send photos to communications@apwu.org. More information on future events to Save the Post Office will be shared in future News Service Bulletins and on apwu.org.

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