Seven “postal protectors” were arrested Dec. 16 — the busiest postal day of the year — at the Springfield Gateway mail processing plant in Springfield, Oregon, where about 40 people were rallying to keep the plant open.
The facility is scheduled for closure in February, eliminating 200 jobs.
“Save the mail or go to jail,” was the chant from the crowd, which included Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and State Rep. John Lively, along with letters of support from U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio.
Following the rally, seven protesters — “postal protectors” climbed onto the plant dock, unfurled banners reading “No Closures! No Cuts!,” “No Delay of the Mail,” and “Save Family Wage Union Jobs,” and demanded that the plant manager suspend the closure and allow Congress to fix postal finances.
When the seven refused to leave until postal management agreed to keep the plant open, they were arrested for blocking the loading dock, a federal misdemeanor charge.
Among those arrested were employed and retired postal workers, senior and rural activists, veterans, a small businessman, and a minister.
When the plant closes, mail will be shipped to Portland for processing.