APWU Members Take it to the Streets
Protest Barre, VT Post Office Management
Members of the Barre Local [VT] were joined by their APWU brothers and sisters from across New England – including National President Mark Dimondstein and Northeast Regional Coordinator John H. Dirzius – for an informational picket outside the South Main Street post office on Friday, April 28.
Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Jill Charboneau joined the picket with other Vermont State Labor Council leaders. Local representatives of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) as well as members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), the Vermont Workers Center, the surrounding faith communities also participated.
The group of about 100 workers protested working conditions at the post office. According to Dirzius, the post office has had problems for nearly two years, including grievances that get settled but are never implemented, as well as significant service issues. Since retail windows are not staffed properly, customers wait in lines that go out the door. On top of that, managers criticize window clerks in front of customers.
“Management in this office is guilty of refusing to bargain in good faith, targeting local union officers for enforcing the contract, retaliating against employees injured on the job, embarrassing employees in front of customers and unprofessional behavior,” Dirzius said.
Workers at the post office brought up the issues with management at both the district and regional levels, to no avail. So, they decided to make the matter public.
Dirzius stressed that workers had to “get the message out that enough is enough.
“Special recognition to Barre Local President Nancy Rowell and Montpelier Local President Paul Montague for their courage and hard work,” Dirzius continued. “It was a job well done!”