Rally shows support for postal service

                                                                                                                      Photo by Steve Metsch
Ed Maurer (from left) and Bill Beaulieu hold signs protesting recent changes to the postal service.
 
By Steve Metsch
Charline McGrath does not want the U.S. Postal Service to stop being a reliable and dependable government entity.
“ We are highly dependent on our post office. My postal worker is great. She’s on time, all the time. If there’s a problem, she takes it back with her,” said McGrath, of Chicago’s West Beverly community.
McGrath and about 25 others — most of them postal employees — gathered last week for informational picketing outside the Moraine Valley Post Office, 7401 W. 100th Place, Bridgeview.
“ I’ve lived in rural areas in Wisconsin — and if they didn’t have mail delivery — those folks are busy on their farms and have a hard time getting into town,” McGrath noted.
Urban dwellers in the Chicago area, of course, are also very dependent on the postal service.
That’s why the informational picketing was scheduled for Aug. 27, said Charles E. Maurer Jr., of Chicago Ridge, the president of Local 6266 of the American Postal Workers Union.
Maurer, a 40-year employee of the postal service, works in maintenance at the Moraine Valley office.
Much of protest was focused on removing new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Appointed by President Donald Trump, DeJoy orchestrated removal of nearly 700 high-speed sorting machines nationwide and has been reluctant to pay overtime to busy employees, Maurer noted.
“ It’s affected every post office nationally, including ours and any of the offices we represent. We’re out here to protest those changes… to make the public more aware of what they’re doing behind the scenes,” Maurer said.
Several passing motorists sounded their horns in support.
“ We’re asking that Postmaster DeJoy be replaced. It’s just terrible,” Maurer said.
Maurer was joined by other longtime employees and by Marie Newman, the Democratic candidate in the 3rd Congressional District.
Newman said it’s imperative for Congress to approve $25 billion in emergency pandemic relief to the postal service.
“ If you’re not willing to take the help, that says you are clearly lying about the problem,” Newman said.
Trump, she said, “is unscrupulous” and more interested in “postal service competitors making lots of money.”
“ Ninety-one percent of America loves, not likes, loves the post office,” Newman added.
“ Once, hopefully, we win the Presidency, the Senate and make the House stronger with more Democrats, we can start working on this,” she said of future funding concerns.
Speaking to those gathered, Newman said, “This is not over. … You all do the hard work so we can have better lives…. Protect these workers like they’re your loved ones, because they are.”
About DeJoy she said: “I have not seen a bigger fibber in my life, oh, maybe the President.”
Newman added that, “Two of my loved ones receive medication through the mail. … A personal ‘thank you’ to all of you.”
Bill Beaulieu, 68, of Oak Lawn, who carried letters for 37 years before he retired, said “The overtime is tremendous, and absenteeism of 20 percent is not uncommon.”
That’s because of COVID-19 concerns, he said.
“ Say you have 100 routes here. If you have 800 hours of work and 20 people don’t show up, that’s going to require overtime. Somebody has to sort the mail, divide the mail and the carrier has to carry it,” Beaulieu said. “The Post Office has never had issues like this.”
DeJoy recently said no more sorting machines will be removed and no more hours will be cut, but the impact has been made and folks are still leery, Maurer said.
Some critics see that Trump’s goal is to make the office less reliable and to slow the mail-in votes for the presidential election.
“ All these delays and changes in the mail are meant to discourage people from voting (by mail),” Maurer said.
“ It’s always been the highest-rated government agency for years running. If you effect the reliability of the post office, they want to make our rating go down and tarnish our image to the public so there’s not as much reliance on vote by mail,” Maurer said.
Bruce Myles, 41, of Plano, said he has enjoyed his 22 years with the postal service. A clerk at the Fox Valley office in Aurora, he said, “The changes are bad because they’re not letting us get the mail out like we need to.”
Beaulieu added “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this is the No 1. (postal) service in the world.”
Fliers distributed to post officer customers urged them to call Congress at 833-924-0085 to urge support of the relief plan.

Local News

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 3.28.02 PM

Burglars hitting Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of burglaries of businesses and garages in Chicago Lawn has prompted the Chicago Police Department to issue a community alert. Crime scenes include: 3300 block…

FBIlogo

New FBI report details scams against the elderly

From staff reports People over age 60 lost nearly $1 billion in online frauds and scams last year, according to a report from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released earlier…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

The garden is green and growing

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 At the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, I just had to share…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Vols turn traffic circles into treasures

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 Greetings, neighbors! There were a lot of terrific activities going on in West Lawn this…



TROPHY – St. Laurence players gather around the third-place trophy Thursday after a 10-6 victory over Washington. It’s the fourth trophy the baseball team brought home in program history. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Quick Turnaround: St. Laurence rebounds after semifinal loss to take third in Class 3A

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Normally, the IHSA state baseball format lasts two days. The semifinals are usually held on Friday, with the championship and third-place games on Saturday. Because of…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Sleepover leads to Gage Park adventures

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park A few more days and we will be into the month of July already. Thank goodness I don’t live in Las Vegas…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush.

Rush hails move to protect black farmers

Wants Ag Dept. transparency  From staff reports Legislation designed to “lift the veil of secrecy regarding the race and gender of farm subsidy recipients and help ensure an end to…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Good to see in-person graduations

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon We bid farewell to June, which is unbelievable the way it flew. There are only six more months until…

Residents at Grace Point Place, a live-in memory care facility located at 5701 W. 101st St. in Oak Lawn decorated kites to be flown by Southwest Chicago Christian School students on May 26. (Photos by Kelly White)

Kids, Grace Point Place residents fly kites

By Kelly White After months of sheltering at home, elementary students and residents at an Oak Lawn memory care community were able to spread their wings recently. Residents residing within…

With Dr. José Torres behind her, Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls her new interim CEO pick a dedicated educator committed to equity.
--Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Mary Hadac

Mayor unveils interim CPS chief

‘Thrilled beyond measure’ with Torres  By Tim Hadac Weeks after the top three Chicago Public Schools leaders announced, separately, they are leaving CPS, Mayor Lori Lightfoot staged a press conference…

Neighbors

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 3.28.02 PM

Burglars hitting Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of burglaries of businesses and garages in Chicago Lawn has prompted the Chicago Police Department to issue a community alert. Crime scenes include: 3300 block…

FBIlogo

New FBI report details scams against the elderly

From staff reports People over age 60 lost nearly $1 billion in online frauds and scams last year, according to a report from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released earlier…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

The garden is green and growing

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 At the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, I just had to share…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Vols turn traffic circles into treasures

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 Greetings, neighbors! There were a lot of terrific activities going on in West Lawn this…



TROPHY – St. Laurence players gather around the third-place trophy Thursday after a 10-6 victory over Washington. It’s the fourth trophy the baseball team brought home in program history. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Quick Turnaround: St. Laurence rebounds after semifinal loss to take third in Class 3A

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Normally, the IHSA state baseball format lasts two days. The semifinals are usually held on Friday, with the championship and third-place games on Saturday. Because of…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Sleepover leads to Gage Park adventures

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park A few more days and we will be into the month of July already. Thank goodness I don’t live in Las Vegas…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush.

Rush hails move to protect black farmers

Wants Ag Dept. transparency  From staff reports Legislation designed to “lift the veil of secrecy regarding the race and gender of farm subsidy recipients and help ensure an end to…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Good to see in-person graduations

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon We bid farewell to June, which is unbelievable the way it flew. There are only six more months until…

Residents at Grace Point Place, a live-in memory care facility located at 5701 W. 101st St. in Oak Lawn decorated kites to be flown by Southwest Chicago Christian School students on May 26. (Photos by Kelly White)

Kids, Grace Point Place residents fly kites

By Kelly White After months of sheltering at home, elementary students and residents at an Oak Lawn memory care community were able to spread their wings recently. Residents residing within…

With Dr. José Torres behind her, Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls her new interim CEO pick a dedicated educator committed to equity.
--Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Mary Hadac

Mayor unveils interim CPS chief

‘Thrilled beyond measure’ with Torres  By Tim Hadac Weeks after the top three Chicago Public Schools leaders announced, separately, they are leaving CPS, Mayor Lori Lightfoot staged a press conference…