Postal Workers Protest Privatization

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Some postal workers were busy on Monday even though post offices were closed for Columbus Day. They held rallies across the country and right here in Lackawanna County to protest the possibility of going private.

Back in April, President Donald Trump created a task force commission to review the United States Postal Service and make recommendations on what he says is a failing agency. The report is now complete, but it has not been released yet.

Postal workers fear the administration is going to propose privatizing the agency.

With the slogan "U.S. mail is not for sale," USPS employees spent this Columbus Day rallying in downtown Scranton, calling on Congress to oppose postal privatization.

"Letter carriers are more than just delivering mail. We take care of our community."

The task force commissioned by President Trump has completed its report but hasn't released it yet. However, Postal Service workers fear they know what the administration is going to recommend, and that's privatizing the agency.

"If they don't get complete privatization, they want to take away all of the parcel package, e-commerce, which the Postal Service makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year. We have an exclusive contract with Amazon, and it's working," said Kevin Gallagher, American Postal Workers Union.

The USPS has lost tens of billions of dollars over the last decade. However, according to the 2017 financial report, package delivery brought in almost 30 percent of the postal service's annual revenue.

"The parcel service we can handle. That's our job is delivering across the country. We're universal, every address, every day," said Walter Sanko, National Association of Letter Carriers.

Postal workers are holding rallies like this all across the country.

"Anybody in a rural area is going to lose daily mail service or have to pay more to keep it. It's not fair. The Constitution established the Postal Service for universal mandate of delivery at the same cost no matter where you live in the country. That's what we're trying to keep."

Postal Service employees say a law passed in 2006 that requires pre-funding retirees' health benefits is a big reason for the loss of revenue, and they'd like to see a more standard pension plan.

"So take away that mandate, and we are cruising. No need to raise postage, everything is good."

We're the government agency with the most favorable rating of 88 percent," said retired postal worker Richard Dunleaby. "You can't take that away from the American people. We deserve it to have a postal service that is not privatized."

According to USPS employees, the report likely won't get released until after the midterm elections in November. Postal Service employees in about 140 cities across the country rallied at their local congressman's offices.

5 comments

  • Daryl Fisher

    Would a private company know to steal all the b-day cards with a 20 in them too? It’s become our family tradition.

  • 16viewer

    $75K a year to match the numbers on a letter to the numbers on a mailbox. I’d protest too if someone wanted to take such a sweet deal away from me.

    • albertcohol

      And where did you pick this figure from ?
      Although it would be nice if my carrier could place that mail of mine in my box and not the neighbors box, especially the bank & C card statements, invitations, personal & corporate checks Etc, like how hard can it be DUH !!

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