There’s no mail service on Monday due to the Columbus Day holiday, but postal workers will be showing up at postal facilities and at local Congressional offices around the country to rally against a proposal to privatize the US Postal Service. The APWU is supporting the October 8th day of action.
Press release follows:
U.S. Postal Service employees, joined by community supporters who oppose selling off the U.S. Postal Service to a private corporation, will rally at 140 sites across the nation on Mon., Oct 8. Among them are rallies scheduled for Chicago and Philadelphia that will include several members of Congress and a Washington, D.C. rally on Freedom Plaza, two blocks from the White House. Click here for a list of rallies.
Participants in Monday’s event, who will be carrying signs reading, “the U.S. mail is not for sale,” are sounding an alarm against a proposal – announced in June by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – to privatize the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The White House’s blueprint to “reform” government services claims – with no evidence – that the USPS “can no longer support” the current universal service requirement that requires daily mail delivery, six days a week, to 157 million U.S. addresses. Additionally, the report previewed likely recommendations from a presidential task force that would include selling off the USPS. The task force report that was due on the president’s desk August 10 has not yet been released.
Left unsaid is that any selloff would lead to both higher prices and service cutbacks for customers. When the United Kingdom privatized postal services for example, rates rose 80 percent and many post office branches were closed.
“We’re not waiting to see the task force report. The administration has already indicated where they’re headed,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. “Private companies are going to raid the precious resources of the people’s Postal Service, which has only grown more valuable due to the growth of ecommerce. Then these companies are going to raise prices, cut service and leave rural communities isolated, senior citizens stranded and many businesses without a reliable means of reaching their customers.”
According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted earlier this year, the Post Office gets the highest ratings of any major government agency, with 88 percent of Americans expressing satisfaction.
Opposition is mounting in Congress to selling off a service that has such strong public support across party lines. A majority of the House of Representatives, 219 members from both sides of the aisle, are co-sponsoring a resolution calling for the USPS to remain “an independent establishment of the Federal Government… not subject to privatization.” Every day more members are adding their names to the resolution.
“We’re grateful for the strong support for a vital, public U.S. Postal Service,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We’re going to ask all candidates for the House and Senate – incumbent or challenger, Republican, Democrat or Independent – where they stand on this issue. Are you with the people, standing up for quality service, strong communities and good jobs? Or are you with the privatizers, who will raise prices, cut service and hurt residents and communities across the country?”
The Postal Service, which is based in the Constitution, delivers 40 percent of the world’s mail without receiving a dime in taxpayer dollars.
See the APWU website for more information on the day of action.