Fighting Privatization

(This article originally is posted on the APWU National website under: Campaigns)

Many on Wall Street and in Congress are eager to dismantle the Postal Service so they can turn over the profitable pieces to their cronies in private industry. And they are willing to undermine universal service to the American people to make it happen.

Unfortunately, the top leadership of the USPS has aided and abetted the privatization efforts. Examples abound:

  • USPS management has proposed wholesale subcontracting of Motor Vehicle Services;
  • Postal managers continually seek to outsource Maintenance Crafts duties and Support Services functions.
  • The USPS closed 140 mail processing centers in 2012. Although there is a moratorium on consolidations, they end very soon, in April 2017.
  • Postal management lowered service standards in 2012 and 2015 – virtually eliminating overnight delivery of first-class mail and periodicals and slowing down mail delivery on all classes of mail throughout the country.
  • APWU activists and allies put an end to the deal between the Postal Service and Staples, but post offices are still constantly threatened by Approved Shipper Programs, which outsource postal work into private retailers.

Privatization of postal service doesn’t just hurt postal families; it thwarts a constitutional right that is guaranteed for all Americans: A public Postal Service.

The Postal Service justifies many of its service-cutting policies by claiming it is suffering multi-billion-dollar losses.

But the USPS, which doesn’t use a dime of taxpayer money, is profitable. In fiscal years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016; the USPS earned profits from its operations. The red ink stems from Congress, which requires the Postal Service to pre-fund future retiree health benefits – something no other public agency or private firm is required to do. That costs the Postal Service $5.6 billion a year – and that’s the red ink.

The American Postal Workers Union isn’t taking the assault lying down. The union is constantly fighting for a vibrant, public Postal Service for generations to come.

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