On Tax Day – April 15 -- Postal Workers to Deliver Two Messages at More than 100 Locations in Nearly Every State and through a National Television Advertisement
1) It’s a myth that the U.S. Postal Service relies on tax dollars for its operations. 2) The threat of the White House selling off the USPS to private interests leading to higher cost and less service for postal customers is real.
04/12/2019 - WASHINGTON – U.S. Postal Service employees joined by community supporters will engage postal customers outside post offices and leaflet at more than 100 locations from coast-to-coast Monday, April 15 -- Tax Day. Through leafleting, advertising, viral messages, and one-on-one conversations with customers, postal workers want to make it clear that USPS takes NO tax dollars. A common misconception is the postal service is tax-supported.
Postal workers also are sounding an alarm and are pushing back against a proposal – announced last June by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. The OMB report was followed in December by a “task force” report with similar recommendations, including the idea of “franchising,” where the government would sell access to your personal mailbox to third parties. A Senate hearing on the White House’s recommendations was held last month.
The White House’s blueprint to “reform” government services makes a series of false charges. It implies that USPS uses tax dollars for its operations, which it doesn’t, and – with no evidence – the White House also claims that the USPS “can no longer support” the current universal service requirement of daily mail delivery, six days a week, to 157 million U.S. addresses.
Left unsaid is that any selloff would lead to both higher prices and service cutbacks for customers. When the United Kingdom privatized postal services for example, rates rose 80 percent and many post office branches were closed.
APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. “Our message to the public is quite simple. ‘USPS keep it. It’s yours.’ Don’t sell this national treasure to private interests that will charge more for less service. A public postal service is important, especially in this era of e-commerce. We cannot leave rural communities and inner-cities isolated, senior citizens stranded and many businesses without a reliable means of reaching their customers.” Added Dimondstein, “The public also should be wary of this franchising concept. Right now, only you and your letter carrier have access to your mailbox. Letting others in to your mailbox also allows third parties an opportunity to take things away. This could be a threat to the security of vote-by-mail, and the privacy and security needed for government correspondence, medical bills, financial documents and other important mail.”
APWU has produced a humorous new commercial that reminds the public that the postal service is supported by postage and charges for package delivery and not tax dollars, called “We Deliver Almost Anything”. The advertisement will first air this Sunday, April 14 during the national broadcast of Meet the Press. Watch it here.
Many members of Congress along with religious and civic groups oppose postal privatization. The public Post Office enjoys a high level of approval from its customers. According to a Pew Research Center poll, the Post Office gets the highest ratings of any major government agency, with 88 percent of Americans expressing satisfaction.
The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service, and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. For more information on APWU, visit www.apwu.org
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