From Communities and Postal Workers United:
Dozens of postal workers, retirees, and community allies turned out this afternoon to celebrate the 241st birthday of the US Post Office. Postal unions have called on President Obama to declare July 26th Postal Heritage Day.
Chanting, marching through the Main Post Office in downtown Portland, singing and eating birthday cake, the crowd listened to postal defenders, including Benjamin Franklin, the first postmaster general in 1775.
Franklin, looking none the worse for his years, was apparently rolling in his grave, itching to bring a revolutionary message to today’s postal supporters.
“We need another revolutionary Postmaster General who will fight for the United States Postal Service, against the tyranny of the privatizers, against the oppression of the union busters. We need revolutionary postal workers who will spread the alarm to every corner of this nation. We need a revolutionary Congress that will fight the tyranny of the 1%, that will fight the oppression of the corporate profiteers,” proclaimed Franklin (aka Ben Poe).
“The postal service is under assault. Over 200,000 good union jobs have been lost in the past ten years as post offices and mail processing plants have been cut and closed. Mail is being delayed. At-the-door delivery is on the chopping block.
“The postal service is not broke, but the agenda of the 1% and their friends in Congress is to cripple the USPS, to soften it up for union busting and privatization. The USPS is a $67 billion annual business with over $100 billion surplus in its pension and retiree health benefit funds, over 30,000 post offices and 200,000 vehicles. We’re facing a huge transfer of public wealth to Wall Street investors,” said the elder statesman.
Reverend John Schwiebert, speaking on behalf of Portland Communities and Postal Workers United, expressed concern about the demolition of Portland’s Main Post Office. “The Main Post Office in downtown Portland will be replaced, either at its current location or close by.
“Today’s Main Post Office provides early opening and late closing, 24-hour access to thousands of post office boxes and scores of parcel lockers, general delivery for travelers and the homeless, passport application, dozens of parking places, Caller Service and Firm Hold-out, acceptance/payment/accounting for Business Reply and Bulk Mailing, after hours mailing machine, stamp vending, mail drops inside and outside, rest rooms, drinking fountain, snack bar, bike rack, exterior seating, shade, and trees.“
“Business and community customers need the same or improved service downtown.”
“We need postal officials, the City of Portland and members of Congress to hold immediate public hearings to hear from postal customers,” said Schwiebert.
Recent small victories in the struggle to save the postal service have included a moratorium on “consolidations” and plant closures until April 2017, a one-year deferral of outsourcing of post offices to “contract” stations and “Village Post Offices”, and a moratorium on the outsourcing of trucking.
Portland Communities and Postal Workers United is part of a national network (Communities and Postal Workers United) to defend and enhance the US Postal Service.