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 UPS 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 to a lesser extent FedEx were unable to meet their commitment to deliver holiday orders by Dec. 25, blaming inclement weather and unexpectedly high volume.
“The Postal Service is the people’s service,” Dimondstein told broadcaster Ed Schultz on his Dec. 30 radio program. “We need a vibrant service for generations to come.”
The USPS is under attack by corporate privatizers who want to take over the nation’s mail service, the union president said. “Companies like FedEx and UPS want to get their hands on that $65 billion,” he said, referring to the Postal Service’s annual revenue from the sale of stamps and services.
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled Junking the Junk Mail Office, written in October 2011 by Gary McDougal, UPS director for more than 30 years, called for the Postal Service to be turned over to UPS, Dimondstein noted.
The Postal Service performed well during this holiday season, but could have performed even better were it not for a requirement that forces the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare for future retirees at a cost of approximately $5.5 billion annually, Dimondstein pointed out. That crushing burden chokes the Postal Service and robbed it of the ability to serve the people to its full potential, he said.
“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 operates on a non-profit basis, Dimondstein said.
The APWU will unite with the American people to preserve this Postal Service, he said. “It needs to be vibrant. It needs to be expanded.”