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‘Enough is enough:’ Milwaukee USPS workers hold rally Sunday for claims of hostile work environments, wage thefts

By Ellie Nakamoto-White

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    MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (WDJT) — A hostile work environment, wage thefts, and unfair disciplinary actions are just some of the working conditions that Milwaukee USPS workers claimed on Sunday they’ve faced for years.

Dozens joined forces outside of the post office on W. St. Paul Ave. in downtown Milwaukee for a rally Nov. 5, with many holding signs and chanting.

“Basically, we’re asking to be treated with basic human dignity,” said letter carrier Travis Albert, who co-hosted the event. “I’m a union steward — carriers come to me daily, red-faced and shaking, often on the verge of tears or in tears; I’ve been in disciplinary hearings where carriers have expressed suicidal thoughts out loud all in regard to the workplace conditions.”

Albert told CBS 58 the goal of the rally was to shed light on what workers have been forced to deal with, adding that “enough is enough.”

“We’ve had numerous assaults out on the street, and we feel like those have not been taken seriously,” Albert said. “We even have a hard time getting management to answer the phones whenever there’s an emergency situation.”

That, plus claims of wage thefts of employees.

“Things like us having to combat why our wages are being altered, why we’re not getting paid in its entirety for what we worked,” said Darius Holmes, an MBA representative for Branch 2. “This is just a steppingstone for something bigger, and what’s bigger is gonna be essentially the safety of all of us as a whole inside and outside the post office.”

Multiple city leaders also came out to show support at the rally.

“Every person at work is entitled to and should get safety on the job,” said Supervisor Ryan Clancy of Milwaukee’s 4th District.

Pam Fendt, the president of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, agreed, noting that “the issues you are facing are very serious and they need to be brought to light.”

Albert said the turnout Sunday should showcase the solidarity of the employees.

“It’s a testament to how serious things are,” Albert said.

Workers said they hope that management can collaborate with the union to find viable solutions and “means to both mitigate the crime and respond appropriately” when they themselves are victims of it.

And when asked what the community could help do in the meantime?

Simple things like turning the lights on outside, especially as it continues to get darker earlier on in the day, and reporting crimes/assaults to authorities if you see them happening.

CBS 58 reached out to the USPS for a response to the claims at the rally but didn’t hear back before deadline.

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