Trump Seeks To Privatize The Post Office
Above Photo: From Afge.org
Administration unveils roadmap to decimate, politicize public-sector programs
WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s government reorganization plan:
“This administration has displayed nothing but contempt for the 2 million federal workers who serve the public each and every day. Instead of improving health care access to veterans who deserve our very best, administration officials have used the new authorities Congress provided them at the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire thousands of rank-and-file workers like nursing assistants and housekeepers.
“Instead of working with employee representatives to make the workplace safer and more inclusive, this administration has violated labor contracts at the Department of Education, Social Security, HUD, and elsewhere to deny employees the representation they are entitled to under the law.
“Instead of fostering modern workplaces where employees can balance their work and family and minimize the environmental impact of commuting, this administration is cancelling telework agreements and trying to cut employees’ retirement benefits.
“There’s little reason to believe this reorganization plan is anything more than a scheme to eliminate essential programs and public-service jobs, reward or punish political appointees depending on their allegiance to the White House, and privatize government programs to reward political donors. We are particularly alarmed over proposals to privatize both the U.S. Postal Service and our federal air traffic control system.
“Most of this so-called reorganization plan, as reported in the media, targets domestic programs that have long been unpopular with anti-government ideologues: merging the Education and Labor departments, removing the food stamp and school meal programs from USDA, and breaking up the personnel agency that administers federal employee background investigations, retirement claims and benefits, and employment policies.
“The proposal to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management, particularly the plan to allow the Executive Office of the President to take over federal personnel policy, is a straightforward attempt to politicize the civil service.
“These proposals are out of touch and demonstrative of a president who not only does not respect the hard work of federal employees, but does not understand their expertise, service, or value. For-profit corporations are not just unequipped to provide government services – their boardroom-driven decisions make them unable to provide the support and funds that the American public deserves and their taxes pay for.
“President Trump issued three executive orders last month that strip all agencies of their ability to bargain terms and conditions of employment and enforce a political scheme to fire employees without due process. Left unchallenged, these directives will deprive 2 million workers of their rights to work with agency management to address and resolve workplace issues such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation against whistleblowers, improving workplace health and safety, enforcing reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, and so much more.
“Taken together with his directives targeting federal workers, the reorganization plans being pushed through by President Trump are an unprecedented power grab and have nothing to do with improving the efficiency or effectiveness of government.”
NALC’s Statement On OMB’s Proposal To Privatize The Postal Service
NALC President Fredric Rolando criticized the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service, which was released today.
“This report takes direct aim at numerous agencies including USPS under the guise of reforming and restructuring for the 21st century,” President Rolando said. “The White House is making very clear that privatization of the Postal Service is its goal, despite the fact that the stakeholder meetings with the White House Postal Task Force are ongoing.
“NALC has long been committed to working with all of the stakeholders and not one has floated the idea of privatization except private shippers, who would love nothing more than to see the Postal Service dismantled.
“NALC had high hopes in engaging with this administration and its Postal Task Force to address the underlying issues facing the Postal Service, which stem from the 2006 mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. The NALC along with the other postal employee unions provided recommendations to the Task Force. We were hopeful that this administration was seeking real solutions to stabilize this agency with an 88 percent public approval rating where veterans make up almost 25 percent of its workforce.
“Now that we know that this administration and its Task Force will make recommendations on reforms to achieve OMB’s privatization goals, NALC will work tirelessly with other stakeholders and Congress to oppose this faulty privatization plan every step of the way to preserve this public institution, which is based in the Constitution.”
White House Plan to Privatize the Postal Service
06/21/2018 – The White House proposal on restructuring the federal government released today, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered nothing but misinformation and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at an affordable cost to 157 million addresses every day. Furthermore, the White House plan is an attack on many federal agencies and the public services they provide.
The White House’s plan states, “Like many European nations the United States could privatize its postal operator…” What’s left unsaid is European nations charge substantially more for mail services delivered in a much smaller area. They also regularly raise the cost of delivery. For example, the cost of sending a letter in the United Kingdom has increased 80 percent over the past decade. By comparison, the U.S. has the lowest postage rates in the industrialized world.
Eliminating the universal service obligation, as the plan suggests, would hurt business and individuals alike, and would be a dagger aimed at the heart of rural America and undermine e-commerce.
The draconian plan uses “burdening the taxpayers” as justification to promote the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service when the truth is USPS is self-supporting and receives no tax dollars for postal operations.
And, while letter mail volumes are lower, package delivery is up substantially. No institution is better suited for the e-commerce revolution than USPS. The public postal service serves each and every person and belongs to the people of this country. According to recent surveys by Gallup and the Pew Research Center, it enjoys the highest level of satisfaction and trust of any government service or agency, rating the highest among young people.
Privatizing the Postal Service is not in the public interest or the interest of postal workers and would be nothing more than a raid by corporate pirates on a national treasure.
This outrageous White House plan should be a wake-up call to every postal worker and APWU member. The threats of postal privatization, the threats to decent union jobs, the threats to good services, are real.
The American Postal Workers Union stands with the people of the country and our many allies in the ongoing fight to ensure a vibrant public Postal Service for generations to come.
More information and calls for action will be forthcoming.