More than 150 members of the Long Island Area Local and their supporters rallied for Good Postal Service! Good Jobs! Good Contract! at a demonstration in front of the Mid-Island general mail facility in Melville, NY, on Nov. 1.
Protesters informed the public about the fight for a good contract, called for the reversal ofdegraded service standards that went into effect on Jan. 5, and demanded an end to the shady deal between the Postal Service and Staples.
A Postal Service proposal to create a lower tier category of workers is the primary hurdle, union members told the media. Management’s proposal would lower the starting wage to between $14 and $15 and reduce benefits cost-of-living adjustments and annual and sick leave.
"We can work out something to stop this race to the bottom," Northeast Regional Coordinator John Dirzius told Newsday, adding that the Postal Service should focus on improving and expanding services, rather than cutting.
"We want to eliminate long lines at the post office," he said. "Mobilizing over 150 postal workers on a Sunday morning clearly sent an important message to both the public and postal management that APWU demands a Contract Now resulting in a Good Postal Service and Good living wage jobs for our communities. And its clear the American public are eager to Stand With Postal Workers!"
Pete Furgiuele, president of the Long Island Area Local, slammed the Staples deal in a speech to members. "We demand that our work not get subcontracted,” he said.
More than 200 supporters signed postcards bearing the message "I Stand with Postal Workers."