Protestors occupy private airport mail facility; five arrested

 
Five protestors, calling themselves "postal protectors", were arrested today in an occupation of a private air cargo facility slated to handle and process US mail.

"Postal mail handlers and mail processing clerks are losing their jobs to profiteering, private corporations," declared Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier who joined the civil disobedience action at the Matheson Flight Extenders facility, just next door to the US Postal Service's Portland Air Cargo Center. "We protest the privatization of the public postal service. We oppose the destruction of family wage, union jobs and the delay of the people's mail. We intend to disrupt this attack on our communities."

Protest organizers, Portland Communities and Postal Workers United, are demanding that Matheson management pull out of negotiations for the subcontracting of postal jobs. PCPWU is also targeting postal operations manager, Lisa Shear (  Lisa.k.shear@usps.gov 503-294-2206 ) demanding that she put a halt to the privatization.

PCPWU has been fighting cuts and closures to the postal service for the past year. In May of 2012, ten activists were arrested occupying Portland's University Station post office, which has since been closed. In April of this year, five protesters went to jail for a civil disobedience action at the Salem mail plant, which is now being dismantled with mail processing machines moving to Portland. In June, the Portland-area USPS District had the slowest mail delivery in the nation -- 83% overnight first class compared to the 98% goal.

Postal mail handlers and processing clerks are losing their jobs in Salem as the work is being subcontracted to the low-wage, non-postal, non-union Matheson corporation in Portland.

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