U. S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) and postal workers from across Queens yesterday protested President Trump’s proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service.
In April, Trump issued an executive order that established a task force to look into the Postal Service’s operations and finances. But before this task force came to any conclusions, his administration put forward a proposal to eventually privatize the agency. The proposal was part of “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” a government reorganization plan that was released in June.
But Meng countered in July, co-sponsoring a resolution in the House that calls for the Postal Service to not be privatized. The bipartisan bill, H. Res. 993, calls on Congress to “take all appropriate measures to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the federal government and is not subject to privatization.”
The resolution is pending before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and presently has 223 cosponsors. A similar bipartisan measure in the Senate, S. Res. 633, was introduced in September. It has 42 cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
“Selling the U.S. Postal Service to private corporations would be disastrous for our country, and we are here tell the President loud and clear, and in the strongest possible terms, that the U.S. mail is not for sale,” said Meng in front of her Northeast Queens office in Flushing.
Joining Meng in the rally were local members of the nation’s postal unions which include the National Association of Letter Carriers, American Postal Workers Union and National Postal Mail Handlers union. Also attending were the presidents of these local unions and other union officials.
The gathering was part of similar events that took place yesterday in Congressional districts throughout the country where postal employees joined Congressional members to stand against privatizing the U.S. mail. Events were held in front of Congressional offices nationwide and in some cases, outside post offices.
“Privatizing the Postal Service, a national treasure since 1775, would be absolutely disastrous,” said Tony Paolillo, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Flushing Branch 294 which represents postal workers throughout all of Queens. “Service would be solely based on private gain, and would put millions of American jobs in jeopardy. The U.S. Mail Is Not For Sale!!!!”
Meng noted that the American people and small businesses rely heavily on the Postal Service and if the agency is privatized, we all stand to be socked with higher delivery costs and a reduction of service, particularity in areas where it’s not profitable for private companies to make deliveries.
“Privatization may also put the jobs of our hard-working postal employees on the chopping block. It’s clear what we must do. We must take this privatization plan, stamp return to sender on it, and make sure it goes straight back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Meng.
Other officials who attended and spoke at the rally included Lillian Pascal, President of the American Postal Workers Union Flushing Local 2286, Trevor Stuart, President of National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 300, and Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.