Chicago letter carriers stage protest over unsafe working conditions
CHICAGO - Postal workers say they have had enough and are staging a protest over unsafe working conditions.
The letter carriers usually start their day around 6:30 a.m. Now, in Chicago, they will start two hours later due to concerns over safety.
U.S. Postal Service employees cites the shooting of one of their own last year in broad day light on 91st and Ellis.
She was caught in the crossfire as she delivered mail. She wasn't the target, but was shot five times. She survived the shooting.
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Now, letter carriers in Chicago, Evergreen Park, Cicero, Harwood Heights and Niles will work 12 hours with a later start time.
There are concerns that some areas will see even more delivery delays.
Some communities with more violence may be exempt, but the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Local Branch 11, Mack Julion, said Chicago violence has exploded and no place is considered safe anymore.
"We are subject to everything that goes on in the community," said Julion. "They are passionate about not working at night for a reason."
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USPS did respond to worker’s concerns, providing us with this statement:
"The U.S. Postal Service is a responsible employer that prudently matches our workforce to an evolving workload and adjusts staffing continuously. A later start times does not equate into a later delivery time. Start times are based on availability of mail for processing and delivery. For example, an earlier start time with no mail to process results in wasted employee resources and diminished customer service.
USPS is currently processing and hiring 400 city carrier assistants in Chicago. Customers interested can go to www.usps.com/careers. Click on "Search Now and Apply" and select Illinois to view current openings. As jobs are posted daily and are open for a limited time, it’s a good idea to check frequently on the site. Applications will be accepted online only at www.usps.com/careers. There is also a job fair scheduled for Saturday, September 18 for various positions in the Chicago area. More information will be shared prior to that date.
The Postal Service recognizes the right of our workers to engage in peaceful demonstrations. One of the guiding principles of the Postal Service is that employees are our most valued resource. We are deeply committed to integrating safe work practices into all of our services and we ensure that all employees are trained to work safely and responsibly. Employees are able to report unsafe working conditions at all times without fear of reprisal."