Mail carriers with the National Association of Letter Carriers Local 92 will be holding a rally to demand improvements to hiring practices, workplace safety and mail delivery Sunday, Dec. 18 at the U.S. Postal Service building on 125 Forest Avenue in Portland. NALC 92 mail carriers claim they have long struggled with understaffing and poor management decisions that have delayed mail delivery and created an unsafe working environment.

According to the NALC 92, mail carriers in Maine have been working up to 16-hour days, 7 days per week, to ensure parcels are delivered on time and they often work long into the evening, which is raising concerns about workplace safety. Mail carriers face a number of hazards including robberies and vehicle accidents. Last week, a mail carrier in Milwaukee was murdered while delivering mail in the evening.

“The USPS is a critical lifeline for thousands of Mainers. Veterans, the elderly, people with disabilities and others rely on the postal service for important mail like checks and lifesaving medicines. They need a postal service that ensures mail deliveries come on time,” said Mark Seitz, president of NALC Local 92. “Unfortunately, due to poor management decisions, antiquated hiring practices and understaffing postal workers are being forced to work longer than ever with no choice to opt out of mandatory overtime and are falling further and further behind on deliveries through no fault of their own.”

NALC 92 members say part of the problem is because USPS continues to prioritize Amazon parcels over first class mail, which takes much longer and is causing longer delays for standard mail deliveries.

“We want the mail delivered, but management needs to cease prioritizing parcels like Amazon packages over first-class mail,” Seitz added. “We can each deliver 4,000 pieces of mail or 150 parcels a day. It doesn’t make any sense to deliver one-twentieth of what we can normally deliver by piece. Morale among mail carriers is at an all-time low and many are quitting because they’re simply burned out. The status is no longer tenable. We demand change.”

NALC 92 is demanding that the USPS:

Stop prioritizing Amazon parcels for bonuses. Treat first class mail like first class mail and fourth-class mail like fourth class mail.

Fix staffing problems by reforming antiquated hiring practices.

End forced overtime and change start times back to keep mail carriers safe.

NALC 92 represents 640 mail carriers in Augusta/Hallowell; Bath; Biddeford/Saco/Old Orchard Beach; Boothbay Harbor; Bridgton; Brunswick/Topsham; Camden; Eliot; Freeport; Fryeburg; Gorham; Kennebunk; Kittery; Lincoln; Madison; Mechanic Falls; Mexico; Norway/ South Paris; Oakland; Portland; Richmond; Rockland/Thomaston; Rumford; Skowhegan; South Berwick; Waterville/Fairfield; Windham, Winthrop; Yarmouth and York.