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Denver Area Postal Workers Protest As Postmaster Louis DeJoy Visits Mile High City

DENVER (CBS4) - More than a dozen workers from various post offices in the Denver metro area protested Wednesday as U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy visited the Mile High City to speak with area supervisors. A post office spokesperson says DeJoy gave a progress report on his 10-year plan, a set of goals proposed last year that has been largely opposed by local union postal employees.

The union mail carriers and handlers protesting Wednesday want DeJoy to resign, saying his policies hurt workers and customers alike.

His visit comes just a few weeks after CBS4 Investigates exposed allegations of mistreatment and mismanagement in two area post offices. Workers tell CBS4 since the story ran, there have been several corporate managers visiting those post offices to assess issues there.

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"The working conditions are not good, the new employees work so many hours, and work so hard, that a lot of them just quit," said protester Steve Brown, who has worked for the post office for over 40 years.

Postal workers believe systemic changes need to happen from the top down to remedy problems they are seeing on a regular basis.

"Mr. DeJoy, I certainly hope that you are listening because you are hurting families. All of us are hurting, and this is not okay," said Lucinda Wedgeworth, a mail carrier who's worked for the post office for six years. "We have great relationships with our clients, with our customers, and it's really frustrating to come into work and spend time in a hostile work environment, where we're followed, where we're belittled, where we're talked down to."

DeJoy spoke to more than 100 area managers and administrators at a hotel on Quebec Street in north Denver, postal carriers tell CBS4 he did not visit local post offices while in the Mile High City. Wedgeworth says she's disappointed DeJoy did not take the time Wednesday to speak with union mail carriers and handlers.

"It hurts when upper management, higher up, come here with no intention to meet with the carriers and see what our needs are, see what we're going through on a daily basis," Wedgeworth said.

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Those protesting Wednesday said DeJoy's 10-year plan slows delivery times and shuts down some post offices to cut spending. Those cuts come at a time when boosted e-commerce has put more demands on mail delivery.

"Postal employees are here to do the job. We just need you to make it possible to do that," said protester Muriel Ponder, a mail handler.

Workers tell CBS4 several postal carriers from out of state have been sent to the Denver area within the last couple of weeks to help ease the strain on overworked local carriers. But Wedgeworth says more needs to be done to improve working conditions across the board.

"Any mail carrier that is out there, stay strong," Wedgeworth said. "We are all together, standing in solidarity to fight together."

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service told CBS4 DeJoy would not be available for an interview while in town on Wednesday, saying his schedule was too busy.

In a written statement to CBS4, the USPS spokesperson said:

"We are utilizing every available resource to improve delivery reliability. We have both management and employees who are laser focused on making necessary improvements. We are proud of the efforts of postal employees in the Denver area, as they define essential public service every day."

The spokesperson added DeJoy administered an oath of office to 30 newly appointed postmasters from around the state of Colorado and Wyoming at Wednesday's meeting in Denver.

USPS says it is currently hiring in the Denver metro area for hundreds of carriers. To apply, click here, then search for jobs in Colorado.


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