BEMIDJI — Used to early mornings, rural mail carriers stood outside of the Bemidji Post Office before sunrise Monday and Tuesday carrying signs and protesting what they describe as unsustainable working conditions and the prioritization of Amazon deliveries over actual mail.
“We’re being forced to work 12-hour days, six days a week. All of our days off have been canceled by the district manager. They’ve even gone so far as to say they will not honor sick leave,” shared Dennis Nelson, who’s worked for the post office for 20 years. “On top of that, we’ve been told Amazon is now our priority, that Amazon packages are the most important thing we do, the mail is secondary.”
The carriers’ picket is a response to the local implementation of the United States Postal Service’s negotiated service agreement with Amazon at the start of November, which has the postal service deliver Amazon packages in addition to traditional mail.