The wife and son of US Postal Service Portland District Manager, T. Kim Anderson, were shocked to discover protesters on the front porch of their Damascus home Tuesday evening. “Why did you come to our home?” demanded Cheryl Anderson. Explaining that they had attempted to secure a meeting with Mr. Anderson numerous times over the past ten months, Rev. John Schwiebert presented the Andersons with a petition against postal privatization, signed by over a thousand Portland residents. Although the USPS district manager was apparently unavailable, his family indicated they were aware of the protesters’ grievances. “My dad has no comment,” said Chase Anderson.
“Postal truckers are losing their jobs to a profiteering, private corporation,” declared Jamie Partridge, a retired postal worker with Portland Communities and Postal Workers United and a participant in Tuesday’s action. “We oppose the destruction of family wage, union jobs and the delay of the people’s mail. We protest the waste, fraud and abuse of our beloved postal service.”
PCPWU is demanding that postal management reveal why a padded, no-bid contract was signed with a bankrupt company, which did not have the proper equipment, which had been rejected in the past for “poor performance and equipment deficiencies”, which was recently convicted of major labor law violations, and which is costing the USPS more to move the mail than if the postal service were to use postal employees.
Portland postal truckers are being put on standby while the private, non-postal, non-union Dill Star/ LAPO trucking company takes their work.
“This privatization and union-busting is being carried out in the name of a phony financial emergency,” said Rev. John Schwiebert. “The security, safety, and timely delivery of the mail are all at risk. Rural communities, seniors and the disabled, small businesses and low-income communities are hit the hardest. Postal management needs to stop and reverse these closures, cuts, and subcontracts which are sending our beloved postal service into a death spiral.”
Portland Communities and Postal Workers United (PCPWU) has been fighting cuts and closures to the postal service for the past couple years. In May of 2012, ten activists were arrested occupying Portland’s University Station post office, which has since been closed. In April of last year, five protesters went to jail for a civil disobedience action at the Salem mail plant, which has now been dismantled. The same group has blockaded Dill’s Star Route trucks multiple times, demanding the company stop stealing family wage, union postal jobs. Seven PCPWU protesters were arrested in October, at the Portland Main Post Office, for refusing to leave when the district manager would not meet with them to discuss privatization.
See attached: letter to USPS District Manager, T. Kim Anderson