State Letter Carriers gear up to defend door-to-door delivery


Eugene delegate Steve Devereaux, Portland delegate Kevin Card, and Corvallis delegate Ron Watson. (All photos by Vicki Piotter)

About 150 delegates representing two dozen locals came together in Bend April 21-23 for a convention of the Oregon State Association of Letter Carriers.

Ron Watson, NALC National Director of Retirees

They heard from national officers, took part in workshops on stress management and on how to contend with automation and a new “performance enhancement tool” (speed-up) being implemented by postal management. But more than anything else, they focused on national legislation pending in Congress.

“As federal employees, we’re pretty vulnerable,” said state association vice president Willie Groshell. “Everything we’ve got can be taken away with a stroke of the pen by Congress.”

House Resolution 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on March 16. The bill includes a number of union-supported measures to shore up the finances of the Postal Service, but it also phases out door-to-door mail delivery, replacing it with centralized or cluster mailbox delivery. That could eliminate 80,000 letter carrier jobs, and make the mail much less convenient for the public.

Postal unions are rallying behind a non-binding counter-measure, House Resolution 28, which urges the Postal Service to take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of door delivery for all business and residential customers. That bill has 223 co-sponsors — more than half of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; sponsors include all four Oregon Democrats, and Southwest Washington Republican Jaime Herrera-Beutler, but not Oregon Republican Greg Walden.

Portland delegate Jim Falvey casts a vote for union officers at Oregon State Convention

Convention delegates approved a resolution calling on each local to appeal to city councils and other local governments to pass resolutions calling for preservation of door to door delivery.

Delegates also elected officers, including:

  • Ricky Horton, president
  • Willie Groshell, vice president
  • Richard Strahm, secretary-treasurer
  • Kollin Luman, assistant secretary-treasurer
  • Mary Hackbart, director of retirees
Myra Warren installs newly elected officers of the Oregon State Association of Letter Carriers (OSALC): Ricky Horton, Richard Strahm, Willie Groshell, and Mary Hackbart


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