By Chenue Her – August 11, 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The Eugene Area Local Postal Workers Union is planning a protest Thursday so one military member can keep his job when he’s no longer on active duty.
The union president says this man, who they are keeping anonymous for safety reasons, was employed at the Springfield Post Office on Gateway 10 years ago, but was called to active-duty after a couple of years.
Braden Pelky is the union president in the Eugene area and he says because of the specific skillset this man has, the military has had him on active-duty for the past seven and a half years so he hasn’t been at the post office.
Federal laws only protect those away from their jobs for military obligations for five years.
Pelky says this servicemember’s graveyard shift at the post office doesn’t harm the postal service’s payroll while he’s on leave, so there’s no reason to not keep his job open until he’s back.
“The employee that is on active duty right now is not drawing any leave from the postal service, nor money, nor retirement. It is just holding a seat for him when he comes back,” he said.
Pelky says this service member is no longer on the payroll. and it’s unclear how much longer he’ll be gone. It’s all based on how much longer the military needs his services.
KEZI 9 News did reach out to a human resources department based in Portland referred by Pelky but we did not heard back.
The protest will be at the Gateway Post Office this Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.