The Campaign for Better Staffing, Better Service

January 30, 2024

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The APWU Staffing Task Force Committee, made up of various local and state leaders, is ramping up its Better Staffing, Better Service campaign in the year ahead. Postal workers are at the forefront of the country’s oldest and most trusted public service. However, years of management “cost cutting” and short staffing has undermined our ability to carry out our mission to the public. It undermines service, increases workplace stress, and drives business and revenue away from the USPS.

This year, we will continue to mobilize and unite with the public to demand staffing levels that keep retail lines short, post offices open, and create safer workplaces. The public deserves it, and so do postal workers.

Every union member, from every craft, has a stake in a strong and vibrant Postal Service. We can all play a role. Be prepared to mobilize in 2024; below are some strategies to use as we ramp up our campaign.

This is a fight that the APWU must lead. If we all get involved, organize, and mobilize, it’s a fight we can win!

A winning strategy to secure better service and better staffing will vary from area to area. Focus your efforts on insisting that management do the right thing! Below are some tactics for building a winning coalition and to exercise our union power:

  • Petitions – write a petition with our demands and talk to coworkers and members of the community, urging them to sign.
  • Informational pickets – talk to your coworkers and allies, make signs or banners, and hit the streets.
  • Leaflet customers – let postal customers know we could do better. Hand out leaflets outside of post offices with our concerns. Give them an action to take – sign a petition, call a congressperson, etc.
  • Winning local leaders – ask for meetings with city councilors, mayors, county commissioners, etc. Tell them about our campaign and ask them to join us in the streets, or in writing to local management.
  • Town Hall meetings – organize a meeting in your community to share our concerns and invite community members to share how service issues have affected them.
  • March on the boss – gather coworkers and march on the manager's office. Present your petition or list of demands and demand they take action!
  • Media work – write op-eds, hold a press conference, or invite the media to your picket. Sharing our story is an important way to win allies and increase leverage.
  • Document poor service – Send “test letters” and note any delays. Develop logs of long lines at post offices. Document unfilled vacancies. Incorporate these into your campaign literature.

For more information on the campaign and downloadable resources, visit

Grievances are important, but not enough! Winning better service will require putting more pressure on management than grievances alone can do. Building a community coalition, organizing members to take workplace action, and making public demands are essential to winning.

Engage your coworkers! APWU members of all crafts are proud to provide a vital public service. Talk to your coworkers about the issues of understaffing in your local areas and ask them to join you in improving your workplace. Don’t forget to include coworkers or the carrier and mail handler crafts.

Involve the public! Our communities depend on the “prompt, reliable, and efficient” service promised by law. Contact local organizations and officeholders to educate them and bring them into the campaign for better staffing/better service.

Build the Case! Management won’t admit to understaffing or poor service. Make records of vacant positions, long wait times for customers, and box and delivery issues related to understaffing.

Local strategy, national priority! The conditions and people involved in your local area will require a specific strategic approach to winning your demands. But the issues you’re facing aren’t uncommon.

Demand Better Postal Staffing!

Sign the petition to get involved!

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