Not that there was much choice, but today the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS's) Board of Governors announced it will not end Saturday mail delivery.
Earlier this year, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said he would end Saturday delivery in August. Congress last month passed government funding legislation that specifically barred the USPS from going to five-day delivery. But up until today’s announcement, the USPS hadn’t backed away from its plans.
On Wednesday, top leaders of Brazil's largest trade union federation, Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), including President Vagner Freitas, João Felicio and Artur Henrique, met with U.S. union leaders at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategies for joint action, priorities and partnerships moving forward.
You are probably hearing that the Post Office is "in crisis" and is cutting back Saturday delivery, laying people off, closing offices, etc. Like so many other "crises" imposed on us lately, there is a lot to the story that you are not hearing from the "mainstream" media. (Please click that link.) The story of the intentional destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is one more piece of the story of crisis-after-crisis, all manufactured to advance the strategic dismantling of our government and handing over the pieces to billionaires.
More than 1,500 people rallied Tuesday on Capitol Hill in support of working families and to tell Congress not to make any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They also told Congress to close tax loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest 2% and to prevent the sequester from going into effect and harming the country. Throughout the rally, working families spoke with a unified voice calling for "jobs, not cuts."
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plan to end Saturday mail delivery beginning Aug. 5 is a “disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and on millions of customers,” says Letter Carriers (NALC) President Fredric Rolando. Postal Workers (APWU) President Cliff Guffey says:
USPS executives cannot save the Postal Service by tearing it apart.
A new annual report from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) showed increased worker productivity and a declining operational deficit, despite a larger amount of money lost by the organization based on a unique congressional requirement that USPS prefund retirement benefits for decades into the future. No other agency or private company in the country faces such a requirement. Congress passed the provision in 2006 and could repeal it at any time, solving most of the deficit problems the service faces.
Working people up and down the East Coast are pitching in to alert people about the clean up efforts for Hurricane Sandy and provide information for transportation, shelter and other resources. Firefighters, public employees, utility workers, letter carriers, nurses, grocery store employees, hotel workers and others continued to work through the storm to make sure everyone is taken care of. Once again, we’re reminded that work connects us all, and we’re better together. Here are some unions and agencies you can follow on Twitter and Facebook who've been hard at work during the storm:
Kermit Oliver is a member of the Postal Workers (APWU) and lives and works in Waco, Texas. He works the overnight shift sorting mail, then goes home and spends the rest of his waking hours painting. Then, he gets up and does it all again. Many people have creative hobbies when they get home from work. Oliver, though, is different. He is the only American whose works have been used to create exclusive scarves for Hermès. They sell for $410 each and sell out within hours.
On the second day of a four-day hunger strike by postal workers and their allies in Washington, D.C., dozens marched from L’Enfant Plaza to the U.S. Treasury yesterday wearing bandit masks and carrying a $44 billion check from the Postal Service. Workers launched the hunger strike Monday, days ahead of a vote in Congress on the fate of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and are holding morning and afternoon vigils to bring attention to the need to save the Postal Service.