Postal Workers Unite Nationwide Against Trump’s Privatization Plan
Above Photo: Postal workers and their supporters at a rally in Chicago. (Teresa Crawford / AP)
Note: Popular Resistance has been a consistent supporter of the Post Office. We have been reporting on efforts to privatize the Post Office which has occurred in Democratic administrations as well as Republican. We have joined in protests to support the Post Office.
Popular Resistance has reported on how Senator Diane Feinstein’s husband profited from the sale of historic Post Office buildings and how people have been fighting to save the Post Office all across the country. We stand with Postal workers and stand for keeping the Post Office a public good and out of the hands of privatizing profiteers who will suck the resources out of the Post Office while decreasing our service.
The article below implies that this is a problem created by Donald Trump. In fact, it is a bi-partisan problem. It is one more effect of neoliberal policies that privatize services so corporations can profit from public goods while reducing service to people. Don’t blame Donald Trump –alone — this is a problem caused by corrupt corporatism and neoliberal economic greed for the wealthy. It is one more example of how we need to transform the system.
You can see our articles on the Post Office here. KZ
We Stand With Postal Workers and the Post Office Remaining a Public Service, Not a Profit Center for Private Corporations
As the United States Postal Service (USPS) closed on Monday for a national holiday celebrated by many municipalities as Indigenous Peoples Day, workers across the country held a day of action to protest President Donald Trump’s proposal to privatize the postal service.
— Rachel Rekowski ✊? (@RachelReko) October 8, 2018
Under the proposal—unveiled in June as part of a 32-point plan (pdf) to significantly reorganize the federal government—USPS would “transition to a model of private management and private or shared ownership.” The White House argued that “freeing USPS to more fully negotiate pay and benefits rather than prescribing participation in costly federal personnel benefit programs, and allowing it to follow private sector practices in compensation and labor relations, could further reduce costs.”
Critics warn that such a transition would not only negatively impact service but also bring awful consequences for postal workers, who demonstrated on their day off in cities across the United States on Monday to tell the president that USPS is #NotForSale.
— Natasha Patterson (@tatonka00) October 8, 2018
— Yolanda Bejarano (@yolitorosentado) October 8, 2018
They’re chanting “US mail is not for sale!” Protests like this are happening across the country today pic.twitter.com/NKpCe1MtRS
— Renata Di Gregorio (@renatawzdx) October 8, 2018
“Postal workers are rallying to urge lawmakers to stop the selling off of the public postal service for private profit—and to remind everyone the Postal Service is yours,” Julie Bates, a 22-year postal worker, wrote last week.
Pointing to similar moves by other countries—including the United Kingdom—as cautionary tales, Bates warned that if USPS is sold off to private interests, the public should anticipate “higher prices, slower delivery, and an end to universal, uniform, and affordable service to every corner of the country.”
While recognizing that the national mail service has faced problems in recent years, as Bates explained:
The truth is that the USPS’s problems were largely created by Congress.
A bipartisan 2006 law, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, mandated that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years into the future. That means we have to fund retirement benefits for postal employees who haven’t even been born yet.
It’s a crushing burden that no other agency or company—public or private—is required to meet, or could even survive.
Some Democratic members of Congress—including Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.) as well as Reps. Grace Meng (N.Y.) and Dwight Evans (Penn.)—joined demonstrations in their states:
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) October 8, 2018
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) October 9, 2018
Hell No our Post Office is #NotForSale! Rallying for the women and men of all the unions that represent post office workers in front of the very first one in the history of our country. #1U #UnionStrong @AFLCIO @PAAFL_CIO @NALC @APWUNational pic.twitter.com/Rwy58yZ7DD
— Dwight Evans (@DwightEvansPA) October 8, 2018
“Our postal system is older than the country itself. It was a vital component of our country’s public good then. It still is today,” Bates concluded. “And along the way, one fundamental fact has always been true: Our postal system has never belonged to any president, any political party, or any company. It’s belonged to the people of this country.”