Informational Picket to Call for Return of APWU Union President and Return of Mail Operations to Olympia
For Immediate Release 12/2/08 Contact Louie Mackey, Organizer (360) 357-6231
The Olympia Local of the American Postal Workers Union will be holding an informational picket on Monday, January 12, 2009 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Olympia Downtown Post Office located at 900 Jefferson Street in Olympia, Washington. The informational picket is to call for the Postal Service to bring fired Union President Clint Burelson back to work and to bring the outgoing mail operations back to Olympia. The community is invited to join us in our efforts.
The Postal Service recently fired Local Union President Clint Burelson for his union activities and major role as a whistleblower in exposing the fact that mail consolidations would reduce service and not save money. The Postal Service’s plans for over 150 consolidations all across the country have been stopped once communities learned the truth about mail consolidation.
Clint is a strong advocate for workers in the Post Office and Management is firing Clint for performing his duties as a union representative. Despite many grievance settlements signed by the Postal Service in which they agreed to cease and desist in discriminating against Clint for his union activities, management continues to discriminate against Clint. The Postal Service needs to stop the discrimination and bring Clint back to work.
The Postal Service recently admitted in a required review of the consolidation that they have lost $1.5 million dollars in 6 months as a result of the transfer of outgoing mail operations from Olympia to Tacoma. The Postal Service had previously claimed that the transfer of the mail to Tacoma would save the Postal Service $1.2 million. The Postal Service therefore made at least a $2.7 million mistake in judgment. After the last picket held by the union, a Postal Service spokesperson told the media covering the picket that the Post Office saved money by the consolidation. However, despite information requests from the union, the Post Office has not provided any documentation in support of their spokesperson’s claims of savings. As it stands, the official documentation provided by the Post Office shows the consolidation to be a financial mistake.
The Post Office has said that they would bring the mail back to Olympia if the move were not cost effective. The reduction in mail service, the loss of the Olympia postmark, and the financial costs of processing local mail in Tacoma is clear evidence that it is now time to bring the mail back to Olympia.