You’ve Got Mail Today, Will You Have it Tomorrow?
Postal Workers, Supporters Urge 250,000 Stamp Collectors At NYC Trade Show to Join Campaign to Support USPS
NEW YORK – The mail always seems to get through somehow, but how do you get a crucial message about mail through to the public?
Start with the world’s largest stamp show.
Members of the American Postal Workers will reach out to stamp collectors at the upcoming World Stamp Show in New York City this week to issue a warning: The future of the public Postal Service is threatened by a congressionally-manufactured financial crisis and efforts to privatize the 240-year old national treasure.
“We can’t wait to talk with stamp collectors, who understand as well as anyone how a strong Postal Service connects our country,” said Dennis O’Neil, a retired postal employee. “They can be a key constituency in efforts to protect our public Post Office.”
More than 250,000 people are expected to attend the eight-day World Stamp Show, which begins on Sat., May 28, and runs through Sat., June 4, at the Jacob Javits Center at 655 W. 34th St. in New York City. The show is held in the U.S. once every 10 years.
For the first time, the American Postal Workers Union – with more than 200,000 members at the heart of the world’s largest postal system – will have an official presence at the show. APWU members will distribute informational handouts and souvenir items, joined by supporters of an advocacy group, A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service.
The Grand Alliance includes more than 130 national and local senior advocacy coalitions, civil rights organizations, labor unions, environmental groups, and other groups concerned about the future of the U.S. Postal Service.
Priorities of the Grand Alliance include:
· Standing up for postal standards, including door-to-door mail delivery six days a week. USPS management is currently pursuing a failed and self-defeating strategy of downsizing and service cuts, including a nationwide downgrade of delivery standards in 2015.
· Restore standards to July 2012 levels: According to news accounts, the USPS is not even meeting its own lower standards, with late mail having a significant impact on small businesses, senior citizens, consumers awaiting mail-order medicines, and other postal patrons.
· Addressing a costly, inappropriate retiree health benefits pre-funding mandate, which will solve a manufactured “financial crisis” at USPS; A 2006 law created an artificial financial burden for the Postal Service with an unreasonable requirement to pay in advance for retiree health benefits. This mandate, which costs billions each year, does not exist for any other public agency or private company.
· Adoption of a permanent moratorium on plant closings and consolidations. Postal management can save money and enhance productivity and efficiency by using existing personnel and resources, instead of continuing to outsource key functions – including its retail operations – to for-profit companies like Staples, which are not accountable to the people.
· Expanded services – including longer office hours, enhanced package delivery, low-cost digital access and postal banking.
· A full and functioning Postal Board of Governors, acting as champions of the public postal service: At present, there is only one confirmed member of the Board; eight seats remain to be filled.
“We’re at a pivotal point,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We can allow privatizers to destroy our beloved U.S. Postal Service and leave millions of businesses and residents with second-class service – or none at all – or we can boost service, expand hours, take advantage of the booming ecommerce sector, and offer new services, such as postal banking.
“We believe the public, starting with these stamp collectors, will favor a stronger USPS.”
The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service, and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. For more information on APWU, visit www.apwu.org.