(This article first appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By President Mark Dimondstein
“We won’t let the postal eagle be replaced by the vulture.” What a great response by Legislative Grassroots Coordinator Janice Kelble to the White House of Office Management and Budget (OMB) proposal to sell-off the Postal Service to corporations for private profit. The eagle symbolizes that the public Postal Service belongs to, and serves, all the people. The vulture represents those who want to pick the public good apart and devour it for private Wall Street greed.
Terrific rallies were held on Oct. 8 in over 150 cities. APWU members joined with the other postal unions and allies, mobilizing to proclaim “The U.S. Mail is Not For Sale.” The bipartisan majority support for House Resolution 993 (“sense of the House”) opposing postal privatization is also a very positive step in the right direction. A salute to all of you who engaged in these and other efforts. We must be “all hands on deck” in this serious and crucial fight for the public Postal Service, our jobs and our union.
The people want a PUBLIC Postal Service
Preparing for a long-run struggle, the APWU is increasing our capacity for research, media relations, advertising, digital communications, legislative efforts and our public outreach as we confront the privatizer vultures on the battlefield. We plan to win!
In this light, the APWU recently commissioned Hart Research to conduct a country-wide poll to best understand the views of the people. The poll included over 1,000 respondents from every region, a cross-section of urban, rural and suburban dwellers, varying ages, nationalities, political views and affiliations. Results include:
• A stunning 96% rated mail service as important to them.
• 88% rated the job performed by the Postal Service as either excellent or good.
• 80% of respondents had positive views of the U.S. Postal Service.
• 78% have a positive view of postal workers. Only 5% had a negative view.
• A large majority of respondents believe only minor changes, not a major overhaul, are needed to fix any problems.
• By an over two-to-one margin (59% to 24%), respondents were against selling the Postal Service to private corporations.
• 70% believe that the White House’s postal proposals would raise the cost of letters and packages.
• 78% of respondents wanted to hear from postal workers regarding postal issues – the highest rated group! 68% said they wanted to hear the union’s views.
There you have it! Not only is the public extremely supportive of the public Postal Service but your friends, neighbors, community, faith-based, veteran and civil rights groups are waiting to hear from you – the ones they trust the most!
We have a great opportunity to speak up for the truth: If the Postal Service is privatized and sold-off to private corporations, the result will be higher costs and less service.
Universal service that obligates the USPS to deliver to every address in the country (157 million!) will disappear.
Veterans and seniors who rely most on medicines sent through the mail will suffer. The exchange of ideas and information from magazines and periodicals will be diminished. Ecommerce will not work for everyone if packages are delivered only where profit can be extracted. Good union jobs, which sustain stronger communities and nourish families, will be destroyed. A few will gain at the expense of the many.
As we did with the successful Stop Staples fight, let the message resound that “The U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale.”
The Postal Service belongs to all the people – and it should be protected, expanded and remain vibrant for generations to come. The people are with us, and the APWU is with the people! Now that’s a winning combination to ensure the vulture never replaces the eagle!