Postal Workers Open Bargaining for New Contract with USPS

WASHINGTON—With new leadership sitting in the chairs at both the Postal Workers and the Postal Service, the two sides opened bargaining for a new contract on February 19 — and got an unexpected extra demand from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.


The federation chief challenged new Postmaster General Megan Brennan to let the USPS lead the way towards better wages and working conditions nationwide.


“I am here in an unusual capacity, speaking today as a representative of more than 12 million working people, because your bargaining session is that important to the United States and to working families everywhere,” Trumka declared.


“What happens right here will send a powerful signal.  Your work together can show America the way toward a raising wages economy.  You can point toward progress based on mutual respect and collective action,” he urged.


That’s not the USPS’ route under Brennan’s predecessor.  He schemed to fire 100,000 full-time workers, let another 100,000 go by attrition, end Saturday service and convert well-paid full-time USPS union jobs into part-time low-paid non-union jobs, often at Staples stores.


At a rally the day before the talks began, APWU President Mark Dimondstein contrasted the union’s plans for expanding USPS services with the cuts the prior PMG touted and implemented.  Those included closing 82 distribution centers nationwide starting on January 6.


Postal unions, the agency’s own Inspector General and pro-worker lawmakers have all advanced plans to expand USPS into profitable business lines, including re-establishing financial services within the nation’s 31,000 post offices.  Those services basically ended in 1967.  The former PMG was cool to the idea, at best.


Source: PAI