Dimondstein on Radio
United Parcel Service Christmas Debacle Shows Why We Need a Public Postal Service
12/30/2013 - The failure of United Parcel Service to deliver holiday packages by Christmas demonstrates the importance of the U.S. Postal Service to the people of the country, says APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
“The United Parcel Service fiasco underscores why the Postal Service must continue to be a public service,” he said. “We must ensure that hiring decisions and other policy issues governing the nation’s mail service are not guided by the bottom line and private profit.”
United Parcel Service and FedEx were unable to meet their commitment to deliver holiday orders on time, prompting outrage among frustrated customers.
By contrast, the U.S. Postal Service performed well, Dimondstein told broadcaster Ed Shultz on his Dec. 30 radio show. The Postal Service could have performed even better were it not for a requirement that forces the agency to pre-fund healthcare for future retirees 75 years in advance at a cost of approximately $5.5 billion annually. That crushing burden chokes the Postal Service and robs it of the ability to serve the people to its full potential, he said.
The Postal Service is under attack by corporate privatizers who want to take over the nation’s mail service, Dimondstein said. “Companies like FedEx and United Parcel Service want to get their hands on that $65 billion,” he said, referring to the Postal Service’s annual revenue, which comes exclusively from the sale of stamps and services – not tax dollars.
A 2011 editorial in the Wall Street Journal written by Gary McDougal, United Parcel Service director for more than 30 years, called for the Postal Service to be turned over to his company and other private corporations, Dimondstein pointed out.
“The corporations want the private side to do it all,” he said. “And this is where it leads to – higher prices and less service.”
The Postal Service is able to provide better service less expensively because it belongs to the people and operates on a non-profit basis, Dimondstein said.
The APWU will unite with the American people to preserve and expand this people’s Postal Service, he said. “We need a vibrant service for generations to come.”