Posted 12 years ago on Sept. 30, 2011, 12:08 a.m. EST by 99together
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Maybe you've heard the USPS is in a crisis, and it will either take taxpayer dollars or privatization to fix. This is a lie, designed to screw over postal workers and privatize (so part of the 1% can profit) a public service (one that's not "for-profit") that has never used tax-payer funding.
In 2006, the Republican-led Congress passed an unheard of law against the USPS, Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which forced the postal service to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”
The post office is only in trouble because of this former legislation and another bill currently being proposed. They have more than enough money in reserves to eliminate their financial issues, prevent mass layoffs, prevent the denial of benefits of their workers (many of whom are minorities, veterans, and disabled), and prevent wage cuts.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has proposed a bill, H.R 2309, that would result in $billions worth of post office closures, a weakening of services to the public (such as only delivering 4-5 days a week), and would come at a HUGE cost to those employed by the USPS. The richest man in Congress, worth $300m, seems to want to destroy this public service that so many rely on in an effort to privatize it. Issa is well-known for his cronyism, and I'm sure he as well as some of his buddies (maybe Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, or the Koch brothers) will be hopping on the Pony Express to make profit as soon as they can. The USPS currently keeps the costs of similar services in check, but if Issa's bill passes and the postal service winds up privatized, you won't be able to send a letter that arrives in 2-3 days to someone for half a buck anymore. FedEx charges $20-30 to send a simple letter.
There is still hope: Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)'s bill, H.R. 1351, that would allow USPS to use THEIR OWN MONEY to resolve this "crisis". On September 27, postal workers in 492 locations marched to gain publicity and support for H.R. 1351.
Our postal workers provide a wonderful service to the public, including those who make or supplement their income by selling things online. Their rights are being threatened by corrupt government legislation. They are part of the 99%. Other unions are beginning to join in in solidarity of #OWS. I suggest encouraging the postal workers to join in as well, whether at the movement in NYC or at any of the movements nationwide.
Together, we can create the future we want. Together, we can conquer. All members of the 99% should be encouraged to join.
APWU site here, including links to their many branches: http://www.apwu.org/index2.htm