“Every carrier I work with has lost thousands of dollars”: Postal workers respond to founding statement of USPS rank-and-file committee

USPS truck [Photo by Flickr/Lisa Brewster / CC BY-SA 4.0]

The founding statement of the USPS Workers Rank-and-File Committee has been read by tens of thousands of postal workers. Dozens of workers have submitted comments to the World Socialist Web Site detailing their work experiences and their thoughts on the state of the USPS in general. We are reproducing a selection of these below.

If you work at USPS, join the conversation! Tell us your thoughts by filling out the form below. All submissions will be kept anonymous.

A mail carrier in Mooresville, Indiana: Every carrier I work with has lost thousands of dollars due to the past two counts. Recently, they somehow messed up our pay so bad that some carriers had zero on their checks. They are also talking about combining many offices and making us go all the way downtown. If this happens, I will quit. I am still a sub and don’t want to worry about working for 20 different offices and delivering mail in dangerous areas that I’m not familiar with. It’s really scary.

A mail carrier in Woodbridge, Virginia: My station has been forcing us to work six-day weeks for the last four months, and then they force us to work overtime on top of that, disregarding city carrier 8 hour list-type rules. Then if we call out because we’re overworked, we’re disciplined. And if our work suffers because of multiple 10 hour days on 6 day weeks, we’re disciplined for that also.

At my station it takes approximately five years of seniority to even be able to successfully bid on a route that is not over eight hours. For example, I have a year of seniority and the best route available to me requires that I skip either lunch or breaks most days, otherwise I’ll be late and get written up for that. The pay is not worth this struggle. I find myself often feeling like I’d rather pay to not work than get overtime and burn myself out.

A rural carrier in Helotes, Texas: RRECS [the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System] has definitely impacted my family’s livelihood. I put in 20-plus years and thought hard work and dedication would pay off. I am open for a new committee to hopefully represent all of my brothers and sisters.

A rural carrier in Blanchard, Oklahoma: There is no union representation in our office right now. We have to go through the Area Representative, and half the time get no replies for our grievances. Tired of working for free! I am a rural carrier with over 26 years of service.

A rural carrier in Glen Allen, Virginia: I’m a carrier that lost $16,000 when RRECS took place because 85 percent of my route is CBUs [cluster box units], and they give me 30 seconds per box. I can’t get my mail unbuckled, park the truck, get out and open the cluster box in 30 seconds!

A mail carrier in Atlanta, Georgia: The work environment is overall toxic. Let’s start with management who overlooks the challenges of splitting routes and delivering the mail in a safe and efficient manner. Carriers are forced to take pieces almost every day, treated disrespectfully, harassed if they take a comfort break due to the extreme hot weather and forced to work in unsanitary conditions.

The office no longer has a janitor, and we are forced to breathe in/touch germs. There is a toilet that has been out of order for years that has started to leak in the last one and a half. Several coworkers have almost fallen due to the fluid leaking from the wall. Management has refused to pay a plumber to repair it.

The morale of the post office overall has taken a dip. We are told to not deliver mail to customers with disabilities who are unable to walk to their mailboxes. What happened to serving our customers?? Also, the trucks are extremely hot. The small fan blows hot air, yet we are confronted by management when we take a comfort break. I truly can’t believe where we are as an organization. I will fight the good fight to reshape the system and make it fair for everyone. We deserve to work in a safe, secure and healthy environment.

A mail carrier in Sun City West, Arizona: I have said to my coworkers for the last two years that national [union] is in bed with management and needs to be voted out. Problem is only 25 percent of carriers vote! That’s why I voted straight ticket against Renfro last elections. I believe we had better start “getting out the vote” to speak amongst ourselves. I’m interested to see if this is the vehicle to do that.

A mail carrier in Texas: Since 2020 at the start of the pandemic it seems weekly mandates were in place to work our scheduled days off. This has actually improved recently, but it has taken years. Management consistently is hostile and provokes carriers into altercations. I have personally been alienated from other carriers after filing complaints against management by creating new policies and telling carriers to blame their coworkers. Often grievances do not get filed, and when they do, and when we win, management ignores the resolution. (Still waiting on admin pay for a winter storm that was settled three months ago).

The local union president refused to believe that we were not entitled to out-of-schedule pay when management temporarily changed our start times from 8am to 9am. Honestly, I feel that I have been fighting management on my own for years without any true help from the union. The majority of my emails and phone calls to our branch president go unanswered. Additionally, I am fearful of pay cuts. I am struggling as it is on $64,000 a year base pay and working OT regularly to the point of complete burnout. There is absolutely no way I can afford a pay cut with the new contract, and I am tired of the constant pressure of new things meant to make us even more efficient, at our own expense and time.

A rural carrier in Pittston, Pennsylvania: I’m a 16-year rural carrier. I’ve been hurt on the job, and they did everything in their power to not compensate me. I’ve been threatened and harassed. With the new RRECS system, I lost the ability to make $9,600 in overtime because I now work Saturdays for free.

A mail carrier in Auburn, Georgia: Moral is at an all-time low. It’s difficult to hire and retain new hires. Now, instead of being counted only once per year, it will happen twice. Knowing that our pay may get drastically cut once a year was bad enough! But now twice? And, God forbid if a regular carrier has to be out for any length of time because the subs are being run ragged and aren’t doing proper scans. So now the regulars pay will be determined based on someone else’s work! How is this even right?!

A city carrier in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio: Ten-year city carrier here who has been personally dealing and struggling with horrible management and an ineffectual and collusive union. I have a little bit of faith restored in reading this article.