OAKLAND, Calif (KGO) -- A heartfelt plea from postal workers in the East Bay. On Thursday, the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers held a rally to draw attention to the growing dangers they face.
The people at this rally say that since the start of the pandemic, crimes against letter carriers have increased exponentially with one of the biggest rises just being in the past few months.
"We have lost some employees. They have resigned after bring robbed. Some of them are still out and have not come back because of the post traumatic stress of bring robbed," said Edward Fletcher.
Fletcher is the head of the regional NALC.
He says several of the people in his union have reported being assaulted, robbed and threatened while on the job.
That includes Bill Murphy.
"I had finished my route and I was doing another route in West Oakland. And I was at a mailbox and I thought I heard someone asking me a question, and I turned around and there's a man with a shotgun," Murphy said.
These workers are now demanding better protections from local leaders.
They believe having extra police, as well as harsher punishments for those caught are key.
"The prosecution rates for these crimes are alarmingly low. I mean, in the teens," said Brian Renfroe, the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Despite the challenges though, many of these folks say they'll continue to do their job.
Dedicated to the communities they love.
"I'm very devoted to the service aspect of this job. I mean I've got little kids that call my name, I've got senior citizens that are shut ins that depend on the mail. So I don't think about it I guess. I'm hoping it's going to get fixed," Murphy said.
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