Rumbles of a fight against USPS privatisation

Unions are protesting President Trump’s plan to privatise the US Postal Service. The American Postal Workers Union held over 100 rallies around the country on tax day (15 April).

APWU President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement: “Our message to the public is quite simple. ‘USPS keep it. It’s yours.’ Don’t sell this national treasure to private interests that will charge more for less service. A public postal service is important, especially in this era of e-commerce. We cannot leave rural communities and inner-cities isolated, senior citizens stranded and many businesses without a reliable means of reaching their customers.”

“The public also should be wary of this franchising concept. Right now, only you and your letter carrier have access to your mailbox. Letting others in to your mailbox also allows third parties an opportunity to take things away. This could be a threat to the security of vote-by-mail, and the privacy and security needed for government correspondence, medical bills, financial documents and other important mail,” he added.

To explain the threat, the U.S. Mail Not for Sale campaign, a project of APWU and the National Association of Letter Carriers , states:

“On June 21, 2018, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a restructuring proposal for the federal government. The proposal, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered misinformation without ever consulting the United States Postal Service (USPS) and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at one affordable price, delivered to all 157 million addresses six days a week—regardless of geographic location. The OMB proposal takes direct aim at the USPS under the guise of reforming and structuring for the 21st century.”

The White House USPS Task Force Report, released on 4 December 2018 , outlines the first step of the OMB’s privatisation proposal.

Rejecting the task force report, Dimondstein wrote: “ Recommendations like shuttering post offices, reducing delivery days, and relinquishing the sanctity of the mail that mailers and household have come to trust and rely upon are unlikely to be the commercial panacea the task force suggests they may be.”

“Indeed, rising costs and worsening service would hasten the public’s retreat from the Postal Service, leaving higher costs for those left behind. It’s a classic death spiral scenario and should be rejected by everyone—mailers, organisations, and regular household users—that relies on the Postal Service’s affordable, nationwide network to market, exchange goods and information and conduct their affairs. It should be especially concerning to the most vulnerable across the country, especially those in rural and remote areas, the poor and underserved and veterans who especially rely on postal delivery of life-saving medicines.”


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