Twin Cities postal workers rally alleging hostile working conditions, USPS denies claims
Dozens of Twin Cities postal workers rallied at the Eagan postal service as part of a two-day, nationwide demonstration to sound the alarm about staffing shortages and poor working conditions. Members of the American Postal Workers Union are calling for the public’s support in demanding more postal workers and better service.
“It’s unacceptable to make our rural carriers, inner city carriers work 12 plus hours a day. That’s unacceptable,” said Kimberly Maurer, Vice President of Twin Cities PDC Local 7019. “The toxic work environment that our brothers and sisters out in the plant are dealing with is astronomical.”
Maurer told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that for a year and a half the Eagan postal service has been down 21 positions. Long days are made harder by a lack of staffing which, they argue, is causing turnover and delays in mail delivery.
According to USPS, postal workers across the country had a turnover rate of 58.9% last year and the number of counter clerks declined by 10,000 since 2006. At the same time, union members say more work is piling on with package volumes and delivery sites on the rise. Members say today USPS delivers to 165.9 delivery sites, an increase of 18.7 million from 2006.
“So, they come in the door, they get burnt out within a month or two. They quit and we start over at square one again and these are good government paying jobs,” said Dave Cook, President of St. Paul Local American Postal Workers Union.
In a statement USPS said, “The position being presented here by the leadership of the American Postal Workers Union is absent of anything based in reality.” They add that 98% of the nation’s population receives mail and packages in less than three days and that 125,000 pre-career workers have converted to full time since 2020.
Even with that efficiency at stake, postal workers are asking for change.
“We take pride in our work, and we want every customer across the country getting their mail on a daily basis. That’s why we’re out here,” said Cook.
USPS full statement:
“The position being presented here by the leadership of the APWU is absent of anything based in reality. The facts are… that over the past two years, we have worked diligently with our union and management associations to address our shared goals of employee recruitment and retention, workplace safety, and career training and advancement. We have focused steadily on stabilizing our workforce resulting in employee availability and overtime requirements being at the most favorable levels in many years. We have converted 125,000 pre-career workers to full-time career employees since October 2020, including 50,000 conversions between April 2022 and March 2023. We have already reversed years of declining service reliability and now 98 percent of the nation’s population receives their mail and packages in less than three days, and we are working hard to correct service-related issues in the other limited areas.
By developing the high-performing operation envisioned by our Delivering for America 10-year plan, we will create the safest and healthiest environment possible for our employees. For additional details on our progress, please see our Delivering for America.”
Click here to see the second-year progress report released this week.