A Donkey, a Snowmobile and 15.5 Billion Deliveries

The USPS, a union operation, is really busy right now

By Michael Messina

Monday, December 14 was expected to be the busiest delivery day of the year for the United States Postal Service with an estimated 612 million pieces of mail delivered. This is only one day during the hectic holiday season when 15.5 billion cards, packages and more will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It takes a lot of union hands to keep an operation like that clicking.

Fred Wolfmeyer is the president of the St. Louis Gateway District Area American Postal Workers Union Local 8 and he said the USPS, which is about 85 percent unionized in his area, will literally go that extra mile to get people their mail this time of year.

“We deliver some packages for UPS and FedEx, we go the last mile. We deliver to not only businesses, but 153 million households,” said Wolfmeyer. “There’s a place in the Grand Canyon where the only way in and out is on donkey and we take that mail in and out. Snowmobile in Alaska. We run 24 hours a day, seven days a week this time of year.”

He recognizes that this can be a rough time of year for some employees, and that’s where the union steps in.

“There’s a lot of overtime. The union gets reports of supervisor abuse and worker abuse. We try to keep everybody feeling like they’re relevant, and in the holiday mood,” Wolfmeyer said. “You hear about open door policies, but I truly do have one. We try to encourage the workers to stay positive through the whole year, but particularly through the Christmas season.”

Time’s running out, but if you have to get those gifts out for Christmas, go with the union USPS. They’re the best at what they do.

Wolfmeyer sums it up best: “It’s a marvel.”

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