Postal workers rally at City Hall to oppose privatization

Sign Up For Our FREE Daily eNews!

Photo/Laura Aronson

MANCHESTER, NH — Local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) rallied in front of Manchester City Hall on October 8 to oppose privatization of the US Postal Service (USPS), as part of a national day of action sponsored by APWU under the slogan, “The U.S. Mail – Not for Sale!”

Majority of House Members Oppose Postal Privatization

Before members of the House of Representatives left for the October recess, a majority of them, including New Hampshire Representatives Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster, signed on as cosponsors of H. Res. 993, which expresses the need to keep the United States Postal Service an independent establishment of the federal government and should not be subject to privatization. Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who originally introduced the language, commented, “It is more than clear that the delivery of essential government services should not be subject to privatization and is best performed by our experienced federal workforce.”

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and Representative Carol Shea Porter with demonstrators. Photo/Laura Aronson

The Senate has also introduced companion language with S. Res. 633, which currently has 41 cosponsors, including New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

In June, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget published a report, Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century, that would “restructure the U.S. Postal Service” and “prepare it for future conversion from a government agency into a privately-held corporation.”

Postal Union critiques White House proposal

In its response, the APWU charges that the report “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.” It retorts, “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.”

Photo/Laura Aronson

Union members say the USPS’s problems were largely created by Congress through the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that mandated the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years into the future, at a cost of $5.5 billion a year.

Local officials show support for union

Speakers at the rally included other union leaders and public officials.

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, State Senator Kevin Cavanaugh, and AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett. Photo/Laura Aronson

Speakers pointed out that Post Offices were established in the Constitution, Article I, Section 8 and said that privatization would not only cast out union-members in favor of lower-paid, poorly trained workers, but would result in the sale of USPS real estate, the loss of local post offices, and cut-backs to mail delivery.


About this Author