PITTSBURGH, Penn. — With over 2,000 delegates in the room on August 21st, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein stated that “Now we are facing the battle of our lifetimes.”
“Last month the White House Office of Management and Budget dropped the bombshell proposing to totally sell-off and privatize the public postal service. These troubling and stormy times underscore that those in power mean business and think their time is now to seize the $70 billion of postal public revenue for their private profit!” Dimondstein said.
The Trump administration is planning to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. They claim American postal ssrvices operate at a tremendous loss and is inefficient. This includes stopping services and eliminating union jobs. The Postal Workers (APWU) has launched a major lobbying initiative to derail Trump’s plan. Senator Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., has committed to introducing legislation to stop Trump’s plan. Dozens of U.S. House members, from both parties, support a resolution – which doesn’t have the force of law – against privatizing postal operations.
The APWU, Letter Carriers and the Mail Handlers-Laborers have suggested to the President that USPS should be permitted to enter new lines of business. This would include postal banking. The unions also recommended they get rid of the main cause of the red ink: The $5.6 billion yearly GOP-Congress-mandated Postal Service pre-payment of future retirees’ health care costs. Without that spending, unique to USPS, it runs in the black. With it, it runs in the red and gives Trump the excuse to advocate ending the USPS as a public but independent agency.
“Privatization threats are not new,” said Dimondstein. “But we have never faced outright plans to sell the entire Post Office, destroying the democratic right of the people to universal service, reasonable rates, and aimed at annihilating our union and decent postal jobs. Postal privatization is about the profits of a few at the expense of the many – period. The fat cats always underestimate the power of the 99 percent. Their attacks present a great opportunity to educate and unite with the people, defend this wonderful national treasure and defeat our enemies,” concluded Dimondstein.