Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stop the postal service from contracting out our jobs

Okay, folks. It was bad enough when the President wanted to open your mail without a warrant - now he wants to contract out your letter carrier so he can get some independent contractor to get a hold of your mail. I don't trust these neocons as far as I can throw em.

Senator Tom Harkin has introduced a bill that would stop this practice now. It's called Senate Bill 1457, and it would block any further privatization of letter carrier deliveries. Check out the full post over at my personal blog, The Tahoma Activist.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Washington Letter Carriers defy Presidential authority to open mail without warrant

Alright! Looks like our activism finally paid off. After passing the initial resolution in Tacoma's NALC Branch 130, the resolution was approved and passed at Convention in SeaTac this past May 20th. This means that all union officers in the State are encouraged strongly to speak with their elected representatives about this issue, which is more than we could have anticipated a few short months ago.

What it all means

This means that both the Pierce County Central Labor Council (a local branch of the AFL-CIO) and the WSALC have come out against this practice. With just a little publicity, and the passage of a similar resolution at the State AFL-CIO Convention this summer, this could really make an impact back in the other Washington. I would urge anyone who cares about this issue to contact us here and to spread the word about this to anyone you know who has a relationship with members of Congress or who is an active postal worker. We need folks to help us with this movement.

Contracting Out

On a related note, the opening of mail without a warrant isn't the only thing postal workers need to be concerned about. There is also a very real threat to our jobs in the form of Contract Delivery Services. If you haven't yet heard, the Postal Board of Governors has signed off on a pilot program of contracting out letter carrier routes to independent contractors. Though this program is starting small, it has the potential to strip jobs and benefit protections away from thousands of letter carriers nationwide. Look into this issue, because it affects not only our jobs but also the safety and the security of the mail. Next time you talk to a member of Congress or their staff, please encourage them to co-sponsor HR 282, which will stop this practice and protect us from further privatization.

Toll-free number for Congress: 1-800-862-5530

Friday, May 25, 2007

Full text of resolution passed at WSALC Convention 2007

Here's the full text of the resolution we passed at the Washington State Association of Letter Carriers Convention May 20th, 2007.

Oppose Searches of US Mail in Postal Custody Without a Warrant The President of the United States has attached a signing statement to HR 6407 "The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" and

It has been a long-standing practice that first class mail is protected from unreasonable search and seizure when in postal custody and

Allowing unauthorized and/or unreasonable searches and seizures of mail could threaten the integrity of those entrusted to deliver mail to our customers and

Allowing the President to engage in this practice threatens the ability of workers and organizers to operate without fear of being punished for their actions, and

Whereas: The high esteem of America's postal workers could be threatened if our customers believe we might be opening their mail, therefore be it

Resolved: That we oppose any interpretation of the President's signing statement that extends the power of the executive branch to open mail in the custody of the postal service beyond what is authorized, and be it further resolved

Resolved: That the Washington State Association of Letter Carriers in Convention assembled on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of May, 2007 in SeaTac, Washington, urge our local, state and national officers to meet with their elected representatives to encourage them to stand with us to protect the sanctity of the mail.

Submitted by Branch 130 Tacoma, Washington
Passed at a Regular Branch Meeting on March 1st, 2007
Passed at WSALC Convention in SeaTac on May 20th, 2007