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Postal service workers protest in Tampa, nationwide

Union members said factors like understaffing and mismanagement are leading to missed or delayed mail.

CARROLLWOOD, Fla. — On this Workers' Memorial Day, U.S. Postal Service workers held a protest in Tampa and across the country.

Members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) said long lines at the post office and missed or delayed mail are due to working conditions from USPS.

The union states it's demanding solutions to staffing shortages, along with an end to toxic work environments and poor training of new employees.

"That's why the lines are so long all over the country," Don Barron of APWU's southern region said. "All of this has a ripple effect on the public."

Union members in Florida protested outside the Carrollwood post office and said the working conditions have lasted years.

Non-career hires had a turnover rate of 58.9% in 2022, according to an audit report from the USPS Office of Inspector General.

"The sad part is what's behind scenes," Denise Scarlett explained, who said she's worked with the post office since 1986. "The customers don't see that."

Scarlett said she feels for the new employees who are often undertrained and face fear from hostile supervisors.

The issues have a trickling effect on the ability to deliver mail to people's homes at a time when demand for package service has increased in recent years, the union said.

In a news release from APWU, members cited Americans view of the USPS dropped from 91% in 2020 to 77% in the latest poll, according to the Pew Research Center. 

"We need the American public to know that we are going to demand dignity and respect no matter what," Doris Orr-Richardson of the union said. 

Postal workers also held protests in cities like Washington D.C., Philadelphia, San Antonio and Charlotte.

The APWU states it represents 200,000 employees of USPS.

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