NALC rallies in Illinois for bill to protect postal workers

Bill would address violence against letter carriers, improve collection box security

Moline, IL – The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) held a rally June 14, with more than 350 members, other postal service workers and community allies in Moline, Ill., calling for the passage of the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act.

H.R. 7629 is a bipartisan piece of legislation that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 12 but has yet to move out of the Judiciary and Oversight and Accountability committees.

The bill would replace old collection boxes with new ones that require electronic keys to prevent robberies, designate an assistant in all U.S. attorney’s offices to oversee investigations of alleged offenses and amend sentencing guidelines so that any assault or robbery committed against a letter carrier comes with more severe sentence recommendations.

Just two weeks after the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act was introduced, 49-year-old mail carrier Jay Larson was killed in Rockford, Ill., a tragic loss in a larger pattern of attacks and assaults, with more than 600 reported cases of robbery and 400 cases of assault against postal workers in fiscal year 2023.

“[Larson] was cherished in his community. Twenty-five years, never a sick day, everyone was so happy to see him,” said Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Pat Devaney.

“We’re going to continue to mourn his loss and remember the things that were so great about him, but what we must also do is draw upon that; challenge ourselves to work really hard and to convince Congress to pass this important bill.

Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers President Luis Rivas Jr. urged the public to take action.

“Contact your congressman to support the bill and also to address the issues concerning delivery services and the movement of facilities, whether it’s in the Quad Cities or other parts of the country,”  Rivas said. “The more pressure on [Postmaster General Louis] DeJoy, the more action we can take.”

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