So SERPOST, the Peruvian USPS, has been on strike for the past month. At first, this didn’t seem like THAT big of a deal. I heard about it in passing a month ago, and thought, oh, that’s annoying. But lets be honest, almost everyone here goes on “strike” for for some reason or another at some point, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I figured it’d be over within the week. Then, when I didn’t hear anything else about it I assumed it has indeed ended. I was wrong. Those suckers haven’t received or distributed any mail for a MONTH. CRAP. The workers have been protesting peacefully, without violence. So far at least. “People” have however, begun to set tires on fire outside one of the main centers, which is the photo below.
Turns out they aren’t even asking for very much (in my opinion anyway). From what I gather, SERPOST received a pot of money from the government that was supposed to be designated to be broken up for each of the workers to get a “bonus”. Shockingly, the workers never saw a sol of that money. All they’re asking for is to get that bonus. Not a pay raise, not better working conditions, not shorter hours or more holiday time. They just want the money they know was meant for them. Fair enough in my mind.
Apparently it is more complex than that, because this has also effected Peru’s exports which according to a Peruvian news source has cost the country 21 million soles of revenue in the past month alone. That is around $7,300,000 USD. Damn.
The kicker, is that today marks the one month mark of their strike and it is just now on major news sources radar. It hasn’t really been reported on, and half of the people in my office had no idea it was even going on. Granted, the average Peruvian doesn’t ever send or receive mail in their entire life, but I imagine the hit to Peurvian’s export economy will get everyones attention.
Moral of the story is, don’t send me anything in the mail for a while. Even when the smoke from this clears and the workers resume their mail sorting and delivery duties, they have a whole month of backlog to deal with. I mean, just look at this photo at one of the sites.
If you’re interested in reading the actual account in spanish, feel free to check out the article here.
P.S. TO MY FAMILY. Don’t worry. That scary photo of the burning tires is VERY FAR AWAY FROM ME. It is a peaceful protest and I AM SAFE. Just thought I’d make that very clear. Love to all.