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Now Is The Time For The AFL-CIO and The USPS Unions To Reach Out To Their Communities

Congress is currently debating issues regarding the Postal Service that will shape the its future for decades to come. The NALC has superior national leadership that keeps all of us informed on the issues and recommends when we should contact our legislators. Our challenge is that this can not be the extent of our activism if we are to survive. We must form alliances with other postal unions as well as the AFL-CIO. Equally important for us is to reach out to other groups that are fighting for economic justice as well as business groups whose survival depends on a functioning Postal Service.

We have a shared battle with our brothers of sisters of the APWU, NPMHU and the NRLCA. Together we are a formidable team. On September 27,2011 we worked with these unions and changed how the entire country views the postal crisis with the Save Americas Postal Service Rallies. This brought the outrageous prefunding issue into the national dialogue. We must recapture that spirit and solidarity if we are going to most effectively fight back against forces that want to dismantle us.

We have to connect with citizens in our rural areas and poor urban areas that will he harmed most by dismantling the USPS. We have to reach out to small business whose very existence is also at stake if the mailing industry sustains much damage. We have to work with senior citizen groups to let congress know they will not dismantle us without a fight.

The AFL CIO is currently working on extending their outreach to community partners and the civil rights, woman’s rights and the Latino movement. This is crucial for the labor movements survival as an effective counter balance to the enormous wealth and power that currently wield much control over the legislative process.

The wealthy, vote for their economic interests every time. They also convince the narrow-minded single issue voter to vote against their economic interests. The last ingredient they need to achieve an electoral victory is convincing enough information challenged voters to join them. This wealthy/uninformed coalition is the right wing base.  They remain a formidable threat. Not because of their ideas or activism just simply their vast money and the politicians they control.

The real reason the right-wing is hell-bent on destroying the Postal Service is because it’s proof that a federal agency with a unionized work force can be highly effective. These facts do not fit in well with the forces that demonize federal and union workers routinely for political gain.

We have to make our collective voices heard not just in the halls of congress but in the streets. This is the time.

 

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About Bill Brickley

Bill is a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers, serves on the NH Letter Carrier Executive Board as State Legislative Liaison. Also serves on the NH AFL-CIO Executive Board. Former NH Area Coordinator Amnesty International and NH Labor News Blogger Follow him on twitter @BillBrickley@NHSALC
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