In a monthly column in the Oak Park-River Forest post office union’s newsletter, T. McCraney, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 608, starts by posing a question: “What did you think about the recent articles that were in the Wednesday Journal?”

He quickly answers his own query: “I must admit, I was pretty disappointed,” McCraney wrote, referring to a July 15 story detailing a shake-up of local letter carrier routes. The post office consolidated routes recently to save money in the face of declining mail volume and dwindling revenues.

In the article, two carriers anonymously bashed the post office for switching their routes, saying the change would create “horrible service” and that “morale is at an all-time low.” But postal carriers signed an agreement that they would not speak negatively of their company in the press, McCraney wrote in the newsletter.

“I find it hard to believe that these carriers would resort to attacking the postal service in the press,” he wrote. “The smartest thing that those anonymous cowards did was to remain anonymous because they would be out of a job right now and not just dealing with their routes being adjusted.”

He goes on to say that the union is not seeing any layoffs, and it “pisses me off” when members criticize the organization.

“Our leaders know what’s best and have our best interest at heart,” he wrote. “I trust them and encourage all of you to do the same and dispel the negativity.”

Reached last week, a veteran carrier, who had commented anonymously to Wednesday Journal last month, stood by his comments. Firing a mailman for speaking his mind would violate his First Amendment rights, the carrier added.

He disagrees that shaking up mail routes will save jobs.

“You want to sell a product, your best salesman is your regular mailman,” he said. “And then they pull all the mailmen off their regular routes. I think they’re going to hasten the company’s demise.”

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