Postal Workers Rally In Pittsburgh Against White House Plan To Privatize

Aug 21, 2018

About 2,000 postal workers rallied Tuesday outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, protesting a Trump administration proposal to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is holding their biennial convention in Pittsburgh.

The Trump administration proposal was unveiled in June as part of a larger plan to shrink the size of the federal government. APWU President Mark Dimondstein said privatization is bad news.

"It would mean less service, higher prices, and in some areas maybe no service," he said. "For the workers, who also affect our communities and how well our communities do, it would mean lower wages and less rights."

Dimondstein said the USPS serves the public good, and privatization would change that.

"Then the decisions on who gets mail, who doesn't get mail, when they get it and how much it costs will be based on who can make a profit," he said.

The USPS has lost $65 billion since 2007, and Dimondstein said this is in part due to less mail going through the system. Another reason is a 2006 law requiring the USPS to pre-fund retirees health benefits. However, Dimondstein said package deliveries are on the rise because of the growing online marketplace.