Postal workers rally against proposed privatization
by Benjamin Fang
Oct 10, 2018 | 1202 views | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dozens of postal workers and union leaders rallied on Monday to send this message to President Donald Trump: U.S. Mail is not for sale.

As part of a nationwide day of action, the letter carriers expressed their ardent opposition to the president’s proposal to privatize the postal agency. They were joined by Congresswoman Grace Meng, who rallied with them outside her Flushing office.

“Selling the postal service to private corporations would be a disaster for our country,” Meng said.

In April, Trump issued an executive order creating a task force to look into the Postal Service’s operations and finances. Meng noted that two months later, the administration put forth a proposal to privatize the agency in a government reorganization plan.

Meng said not only would that small businesses, who rely on the postal service, but also the workers, who could lose their jobs in the shuffle.

“If the agency were to be privatized, we all stand to be socked with higher delivery costs and a reduction of services,” she said, “especially in areas where it’s not profitable for private companies to make deliveries, like rural areas throughout our country.”

She added that Queens residents won’t accept rising prices and a decrease in service. Even when there are rumors of possible closure of a neighborhood post office, residents make it clear they need their facility open.

The congresswoman is a co-sponsor of a resolution in the House that seeks to block the privatization of the agency. The bipartisan resolution has 223 co-sponsors, and is currently in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

A similar measure in the Senate has 42 co-sponsors, and has been referred to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“It would be unacceptable for corporate profits to be made on the backs of the millions of Americans who depend on the services of the postal service,” Meng said. “We are taking this privatization plan, putting a ‘return to sender’ and sending it back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said often in rural communities, there is only a school and a post office. The post office is relied upon to be the “communication link between them and everyone else,” she said.

“It is what binds urban, suburban and rural. It is what has bound us since the earliest days of our America,” she said. “So how dare Donald Trump and the Republicans try to make a buck off the American people?”

George Mangold, president of the New York State Association of Letter Carriers, said that the postal service is in the United States Constitution and shouldn’t be privatized. Tony Paolillo, president of the local Flushing branch of the union, said they deliver to 157 million delivery points, and add one million every year.

Paolillo said the Trump administration seems to have a “foregone conclusion” that the service should be dismantled. He warned that that action would have catastrophic effects.

“Privatizing this postal service will be absolutely disastrous,” he said.
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