MILWAUKEE — Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers Milwaukee Branch 2 rallied Sunday morning to demand more worker safety measures on the job.
Vice President of the NALC Milwaukee Branch 2 Tom Dahl said times have changed and letter carriers aren’t as safe as they used to be.
“Since last December, with the fatal shooting of Aundre Cross, one of our letter carriers in Milwaukee that led to his death, we’ve had numerous incidents of carriers being assaulted at gunpoint either asking for their keys or packages in their truck,” said Dahl.
He said it’s not only time for management to step up but law enforcement and the community as well.
“It’s not just postal management,” said Dahl. “We want to work together with them and be partners and reach out to local law enforcement, [the] police force, [and] politicians to make [them] aware. We like to show support from the community that our mail carriers are public servants in the community.”
Henry Ortiz has been a mail carrier for eight and a half years. He wants to be treated fairly by both management and the community.
“I don’t know if it’s upper management or what it is but they just have their own quotas they’re trying to meet and sometimes it’s just physically impossible but they really try to intimidate us into running and being unsafe and many people get hurt,” said Ortiz.
Dahl is hopeful things will change if everyone comes together.
“There’s no one quick solution,” said Dahl. “I do believe if management could they would intervene and make things safer but right now it needs to be looked on across the board from everyone to help solve this tragedy of our carriers being in jeopardy while delivering mail.”
While it may not be a quick solution, Dahl said he and his co-workers are ready for change, especially with the busy holiday season upon them.
We reached out to USPS for a response to the Sunday rally and the agency responded with the following statement:
“We respect our employees' rights to express their opinions and participate in informational picketing while off the clock."
The postal service also shared a press release from May of this year when it announced the expansion of its crime prevention initiative in response to a rise in letter carrier robberies nationwide.