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Postal Workers Start Third Day of Hunger Strike to Save USPS

Postal Workers Start Third Day of Hunger Strike to Save USPS

 

Written by Tula Connell, AFL-CIO

On the second day of a four-day hunger strike by postal workers and their allies in Washington, D.C., dozens marched from L’Enfant Plaza to the U.S. Treasury yesterday wearing bandit masks and carrying a $44 billion check from the Postal Service. Workers launched the hunger strike Monday, days ahead of a vote in Congress on the fate of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and are holding morning and afternoon vigils to bring attention to the need to save the Postal Service. This from the Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council:

“Corporate America is trying to steal your postal service,” said Jamie Partridge of Community & Postal Workers United, as the hunger strikers chanted, “We demand a refund, we demand repeal” of the congressional mandate forcing the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. “We’ve been doing a lot of walking, singing and chanting, so we’re a little tired,” Partridge told Union City. “Some of us are hurting but we’re sticking with it.”

(If you’re in D.C., show your support for postal workers by joining them in a rally at L’Enfant Plaza tomorrow, Thursday, June 28.)

Several bills are pending in the House to address the financial crisis of the USPS. The cause of the agency’s shortfall is a 2006 poison pill put in a postal reform bill by the Bush administration that required the USPS to “pre-pay” future retiree health care costs for the next 75 years in the next 10 years—$5.5 billion a year. Without the pre-funding requirement, the Postal Service made a $7 million profit over the past six years, despite the effects from the economic meltdown.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) led Monday’s rally in front of the U.S. Capitol.

In a speech, he asked Congress to end prefunding of health benefits, which is sapping more than $5 billion from the Postal Service’s ledger.

“I will continue to fight any efforts to weaken the Postal Service, including any efforts to privatize essential services,” Kucinich said. “There are ways to generate revenue without cutting jobs, essential services and closing vital post office branches in communities that rely on them.”

The hunger strike continues today with visits to Congress and a 5 p.m. vigil on Capitol Hill.

This post was originally published by the AFL-CIO.

 

Related Stories:

Do We Still Need the Postal Service?

6 of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places

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Photo: Talk Radio News Service/flickr

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60 comments

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5:37PM PST on Feb 6, 2013

Reading this so many months after it was first posted simply saddens me. I do think that President Bush's PAEA was the killer...aside from folks who don't seem to know how to handle budgets.

9:26AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

More power to them!

7:37AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

I think the postal service is a very valuable service but, unfortunately, it has been so mismanaged over the years that I really don't know if it will survive. Prepaying 75 years of healthcare seems pretty excessive to me. Also, here in Massachusetts and probably all over the country, the postal service signed 20 year or more leases for many properties that it never ended up using. These are large commercial spaces that now sit vacant but the postal service must continue to pay rent and upkeep on them.

8:18PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

We have had the postal service since the beginning of our Country.. Ben Franklin was the first postmaster general. Our Founding Fathers were a lot smarter than the tea baggers in office now. The post office does a lot more than deliver mail.
I have never had a piece of mail lost or missed any important piece of mail sent to me. All this service for pennies. Keep our postal service, and show respect for the hardworking people who keep our mail coming to us safe and sound.

5:01AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

I am in support of The Postal Service. We need them.

4:48AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Save our wonderful Postal Service ! Let's stop this horrible trend of handing our public institutions to the pathologically greedy !

3:44AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Interesting post. Thanks.

3:05AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

yes this is an essential service agency for the nation. thank you, mr Kucinich for your efforts. yes, this was another bush whacked scheme to "privatize" a government service! too bad ms laura never read the rights of man or civil disobedience to george! [but then dicky would've vetoed it!] like other agencies, i'm sure there is some wastefulness but overall this smacks of another ploy to remove the average masses from basic communication in the real world. people who write letters usually aren't glued to the idiot box, sucking in the propaganda!

12:25AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

this is sad. :(

10:01PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Good Luck and Hope You come out Well we all NEED the Postal Service!! We will be Listening and Keeping thoughts for you all!!!

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