Your mail may be a little slow in coming days, as drivers are on strike at the major trucking contractor that hauls mail for the US Postal Service in this region. Lance Coles (coalz) is president of American Postal Workers Union Local 44 in Des Moines. Those drivers are employed by Mail Contractors of America, probably the largest contractor that hires drivers to haul mail across the country. But Coles says for a long time now the drivers have been lacking a current contract with that contractor.There are a couple thousand drivers nationwide, close to 200 represented by the union in the Des Moines and Kansas City area. He says the last contract expired back in September of 2003 for workers in the Des Moines area, but drivers in Kansas City haven’t had a contract at all. The union was negotiating for both those groups up till September of last year, when he says the contractor put a “take it or leave it” offer on the table and walked away. Coles calls it hard line, saying “They didn’t want to have to pay anything for health insurance, they wanted the drivers to give up personal vacation days, they wanted to take away some short-term disability and take away their paid breaks.” Drivers climbed out of their truck cabs and walked off the job Tuesday night at 7 PM, but Coles says this doesn’t bring the nation’s mail to a complete halt. You’ll get mail, and the company as well as the post office have some contingency plans, he says. Some mail won’t get where it’s going as fast, but it’ll get there. The drivers for this country haul mail from New York to San Francisco, handing it off in relays, and he figures the striking workers handle about ten-percent of the postal service’s mail. Coles says the union’s asked for mediation and asked to resume contract talks but Mail Contractors of America just doesn’t seem interested. The Central Region union office serves APWU members in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
You are here: / / Mail-truck drivers on strike