New Grand Alliance Mobilizes to Save Our Public Postal Service

In the face of aggressive attacks on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), a wide range of national organizations are standing up and fighting for one of the more widely used and important public goods in the United States. The Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service unites more than 60 groups in opposition to weakening the USPS for the sake of private investment and profit. Actor and activist Danny Glover supports the alliance and explains why, in a new video (see above) sponsored by the organization.

You can join the effort to save the public Postal Service by signing the pledge to support the USPS and postal employees and oppose efforts to cut and privatize the Postal Service.

The alliance issued a statement explaining why the USPS is so important:

The United States Postal Service is a wonderful national treasure, enshrined in the Constitution and supported by the American people. Without any taxpayer funding, the USPS serves 150 million households and businesses each day, providing affordable, universal mail service to all—including rich and poor, rural and urban, without regard to age, nationality, race or gender….

Good postal jobs are vital to strong, healthy communities and have provided equal opportunities and the foundation for financial stability for workers from all walks of life, including racial and ethnic minorities, women and veterans. Postal services are essential to commerce and bind together families, friends and loved ones. In the day of e-commerce, a public Postal Service is as relevant as ever.

They also describe the enemies of the USPS:

Even some postal executives have been complicit in the drive toward the destruction of the Postal Service and ultimate privatization: They have slowed mail service, closed community-based post offices and mail processing facilities, slashed hours of operations, tried ceaselessly to end six-day service, as well as door-to-door delivery, and eliminated hundreds of thousands of living wage jobs….

Yet those corporate forces who want to privatize public services allege that curtailing postal services and eliminating jobs are necessary due to diminishing mail volume and “burdensome” union wages and benefits. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, a congressionally manufactured USPS “crisis” imposed an unfair crushing financial mandate on the Postal Service that no other government agency or private company is forced to bear. (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 compels the USPS to pay approximately $5.5 billion per year to fund future retiree health care costs 75 years in advance.) Without this unreasonable burden, the USPS would have enjoyed an operating surplus of $600 million in 2013 and over $1.4 billion in 2014.

The alliance isn't content to just fend off attacks against the USPS. It wants to expand and strengthen it:

The people of this country deserve great public postal services. We advocate expanded services, such as non-profit postal banking and other financial services. We call on the postmaster general and Postal Board of Governors to strengthen and champion the institution.

The alliance has provided a set of the key facts about the USPS. Here are some of the key details:

  • The Postal Service uses zero taxpayer dollars to operate, instead it raises all of its revenue through the sales of products and services.
  • The USPS had an operating surplus of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2014. That is with an increasing volume of letters and packages.
  • The Postal Service goes everywhere, while private shippers don't. USPS delivers an average of 2.2 million packages for FedEx every day, since FedEx doesn't deliver everywhere.
  • The USPS has the highest public approval rating of 13 federal agencies.
  • About 40% of the world's mail volume is handled by the USPS.
  • More than 600,000 people are employed by the Postal Service, which is also the largest civilian employer of veterans and disabled veterans.

See the full list of participating organizations.

Crosspost from AFL-CIO Now