It appears that the United States Postal Service has come under unwarranted attack in recent months. When I saw a photo of mailboxes that had been removed from public use and put into remote storage, I knew that I had to say something about this threat to one of the most necessary and vital public institutions in our country. While this unfortunate circumstance seems to have been reversed somewhat, I would like to provide testimony based on my interactions with numerous postal employees as a mediator for the REDRESS program within the Post Office.

For the past 25 years I have traveled from towns in western North Dakota and throughout northern Minnesota south as far as Brainerd, to assist in resolving workplace disputes for Post Offices in this region. Invariably, wherever I went, I found a cadre of amazingly dedicated and loyal workers and managers who were committed to their jobs and the public they served. Rather than let misunderstandings between postal workers cause undue harm, a process was in place to call for a mediator to help them work through their issues, and I was in bustling workplaces all hours of the day and night since these mediations took place on the shift of the worker involved. In the vast majority of cases, in a facilitated discussion which usually took no more than a couple of hours, we came away with a plan for a resolution to these issues.

Through this process, over varied geographies and in post offices large and small, I came to appreciate and understand the dedication and commitment of postal employees. I heard the personal stories of dedicated people, in the post offices and transfer stations, and also came to understand the critical role and patron appreciation for carriers on rural routes. I usually went away with warm and appreciative handshakes as the parties had achieved mutual understanding after they uncovered the underlying issues that had been a source of contention.

While this is not my primary occupation, I consider it to have been the most rewarding work of my professional career. When you think about the U.S. Postal Service, I hope you will not let recent political propaganda taint your image.

Instead, please take into account my experienced judgment that this is a most valuable and vital public institution, full of employees dedicated to the service of the public.