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Friday, October 28, 2016

Stand With Postal Workers This Thursday In A National Day of Action

Stand With Postal Workers This Thursday In A National Day of Action

When a big-name retailer finds its sales in a slow downward spiral, the geniuses in the executive suite often try to keep their profits up by cheapening their product and delivering less to customers.

To see how well this poorly thought-out strategy works, look no further than the declining sales at Walmart and McDonald’s. When the geniuses in charge of these behemoths applied the cutback strategy, their slow decline turned into a perilous nosedive. You’d think their experience would keep other executives from making the same mistake, but here comes an even bigger — and much more important — retail behemoth saying, “We have to cut to survive.”

That was the pronouncement last year by the head honcho of the U.S. Postal Service, which has been eliminating employees, closing facilities, and reducing services for years. Each new round of reductions drives away more customers, which causes clueless executives to prescribe more cuts. In a January decree, USPS virtually eliminated overnight delivery of first-class mail, and it’s now planning to close or consolidate 82 regional mail-processing plants. This means fewer workers handling the nation’s growing load of mail, creating further delays in delivery. The answer to this, say the slaphappy executives, is — guess what? — to cut even more “service” out of postal service. They want to close hundreds of our local post offices and eliminate Saturday mail delivery (which is one of USPS’s major competitive advantages).

And speaking of competitive advantages, we can now buy rolls of “Forever” stamps from our local post offices, protecting us from future price increases (and mailing a letter from Texas to Alaska for 49 cents is a great deal — FedEx and UPS can’t offer us anything remotely close to that). But We The People now need to put a “Forever” stamp on the post office itself, protecting it from a cabal of privatizers and the Postal Service’s own executives.

This cabal of corporate predators, congressional anti-government ideologues, and pusillanimous postal officials is dismantling this invaluable public service, piece by piece — an agency that literally has delivered for America from the very start of our country. Yet in the name of “saving” the U.S. Postal Service, they’ve been gutting its services, intentionally driving away business. Having fewer customers will give the cabal an excuse to make more cuts … and ultimately to kill it as a public entity. This is like a boss telling workers: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

Post office workers, letter carriers, and mail handlers are tired of the beatings, so they’ve launched a nationwide campaign with dozens of other grassroots organizations to rally public support to Save Our Public Postal Service by revitalizing and expanding the services that this venerable American institution can and should provide. Under the uplifting banner of “I Stand with Postal Workers,” the American Postal Workers Union is coordinating a National Day of Action this Thursday, May 14. Workers are fed up with the deliberate degradation of this vital public service, so they themselves are putting forth a bold vision and innovative plan not merely for USPS to survive, but thrive. With more than 70 other national groups, they’ve forged “A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service.” To be part of its actions, go to:

Some 70 public demonstrations and rallies will take place Thursday at post offices in 30 states — from Alaska to Florida, Maine to California. Join me this Thursday in standing with postal workers — for the benefit of all the people. Each of us can be a symbolic “Forever” stamp to protect our public post offices from the privatizers. To join this spirited stand for restoring the common good in America, you can find the exact location, timem and contact number for each local event at

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at 

Photo: Kevin Dooley via Flickr

  • Daniel Jones

    I swear, the United States Postal Service has increasingly come to remind me of Hatter Industries.. specifically what happened in *Alice: Madness Returns*

    • idamag

      There is a method to their madness. Their corporate buddies are waiting and rubbing their hands together in anticipation while our congress gives our government to them, lock, stock, and barrel.

  • latebloomingrandma

    This is a sad thing, since the postal service is actually one of the things the Founders established in the Constitution. There seems to be a push to privatize everything in this country. It all goes along with the meme that the government can’t do anything right. So let’s privatize it and make a profit for someone. No matter that “someone” seems to be that 1% who are doing very well at the expense of everyone else.
    I like UPS and Fed Ex. They have a place. So does the USPS. Email exploded before they could adjust to this loss of revenue; plus, the pension funding issue, which may have been written specifically to exacerbate their problems.
    Perhaps I’m too suspicious when Republicans are in charge.

    • John S.

      You are not too suspicious of Republicans, but by holding such suspicions makes you a very sane, wise person.

    • R Michael Maddox

      I hope Fed-X is better where you live. They are a COMPLETE WASTE here in Central Ga. WORTHLESS!!

      • idamag

        I can tell you a story about the big brown trucks that deliver packages and mail. I mailed sweaters to my son and his wife in Parumph, Nevada. February comes around and I have not heard from them, about the Christmas gifts. I call and ask if the sweaters fit. What sweaters? Oh, that must be what those torn up sweaters in the yard was. They threw the package over the fence and the dogs ripped the package up and the sweaters. When I contacted the service and asked them, could they not have left a note for the sweaters to be picked up? “No, we don’t do that?” Also, I came home from work one day to find a note on my storm door. “Your package is under the boat in the back yard.”

        • ralphkr

          My favorite interaction with UPS was a few years ago when I returned a scanner for repair under warranty to HP. After waiting 3 months I called HP and asked when I could expect my scanner. HP told me it had been delivered to my house. I contacted UPS and the manager checked & informed me that at 4:40 PM on a certain date the package had been placed inside my screen door. I then informed him that on that date at that time my wife had been watching the news less than ten feet from the OPEN front door and I am positive she would have noticed a UPS driver opening the screen door and dropping a package. I contacted HP, they sent me a new scanner, contacted the sheriff dept for prosecution of the driver for theft but they refused since HP had made me whole.

    • Allan Richardson

      MAY HAVE BEEN? It was passed by a lame duck Republican Congress in late December of 2006 after the Democrats had swept both houses. That should be “casual to the most obvious observer.”

  • janis mcdonald

    The post office is going the way of buggy whips (and I say this as the wife of a retired postal worker). I’ve worked in an office for 40 years. Back in the day, by the end of the workday, there would always be a pile of mail to go out — first class — on the corner of every office worker’s desk — now there are none (they have been emailed). It seems that MOST first class mail is handled electronically. I get my bills electronically, I pay my bills electronically. My mailman basically delivers magazines and junk mail — stuff that certainly doesn’t have to be delivered 6 days a week. It is unfortunate — but who didn’t see this coming? The sad part is the government and our taxes — as with so many institutions — are going to continue to prop this business up, just to keep it as a jobs program.

    • j.martindale

      There are products like the one I produce, which is legal papers, that require shipping. Many different businesses rely on the Postal Service. It is faster than any in the world. It is efficient, and it is being run into the ground by Rethugs who don’t like federal unions.

    • ralphkr

      Interesting, Janis McDonald, that as a wife of a retired postal worker that you are ignorant of the fact that the USPS does NOT get any tax money and is mandated to pay its own way. If it were not for the ridiculous mandate that they fully fund pension & health care for 75 years in advance they would have turned a profit last year.

    • Allan Richardson

      Since the Constitution (not an amendment, but the original, in a clause which has NEVER been amended out) requires the United States to have a Post Office for the purpose of spreading news and information to unite the country, it could reasonably be argued that NIXON’S reorganization of the Post Office from a Cabinet department to a pseudo-business in the 1970s was unconstitutional, since it was done without an amendment to the Constitution. The next step of privatization would be BLATANTLY unconstitutional, and I hope even the corrupt Republican partisan Court would recognize that.

  • R Michael Maddox

    This is EXACTLY THEIR STRATEGY ! They are doing it with ALL GOVT. Agencies. They cut staff then say the dept. doesn’t work, so they cut more till they convince us that it need to be “PRIVATIZED”. So then their CORP. GOONS- ie The KOCK BROS. can buy it and make it [sic] profitable again. All while they get RICH off the American people.

  • idamag

    There is a push to privatize everything that the government provides. They started to dismantle the post office with their onerous rule that the post office has to have retirement guarantees for 75 years. They have to put that money in a trust fund. No other business has to do this. Then, when they privatize the post office, big corporations will raid that fund. This was also the madness behind bush’s giving funding to private and parochial schools. Underfunding for roads and bridges is another attempt to privatize them. They will be funded by toll roads and toll bridges. Our state has a shining example: We privatized the prisons. Well trained prison personnel was replaced by entry level, poorly trained personnel. They started a gladiator school and forced prisoners to fight with each other until one was completely out. A couple of deaths led to some flack from the public. They locked the prisoners up and the third shift went home. They charged big for substandard food. They charged far more than a well trained staff and organization by the state would have done. Enough screaming and they were cancelled. It was a scandal when everything came to light. However, the governor is a republican so that is okay. Then there was a fire department, I watched on the news one night, who were called to a fire and because the home owner had neglected to get his fees in on time, they sat and watched his home burn. When profit becomes the bottom line, we pay. Defend our post office from the vultures.