Hunger strikers charge Congress starving postal service
Communities and Postal Workers United
America’s postal service is being starved to death, according to five protesters [the number of hunger strikers is now approaching 20] who will be staging a hunger strike in the halls of Congress, beginning June 25th .
The activists claim that a 2006 Congressional mandate, which forces the US Postal Service to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance, is sending the service into a death spiral.
Not only would the postal service have been profitable without the mandate, say the strikers, the USPS has also overpaid tens of billions into two pension funds.
“Not the internet, not private competition, not the recession – Congress is responsible for the postal mess” said Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier traveling from Portland, Oregon for the hunger strike. “Corporate interests, working through their friends in Congress, want to undermine the USPS, bust the unions then privatize it.”
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced in mid-May that he would begin closure of half the mail sorting plants in the country and cut hours from 25 – 75% in half the nation’s post offices.
Tens of thousands of jobs will be eliminated and delivery standards relaxed. The hunger strikers are calling on Donahoe to suspend cuts and closures and allow Congress to fix the finances by repealing the prefunding mandate and refunding the pension surplus.
“We will not stand by as our beloved postal service is destroyed,” said Tom Dodge, a hunger striker and postal worker from Baltimore. “We will shame Congress and denounce the Postmaster General. We will engage in dramatic actions on Capitol Hill and at the USPS Headquarters to turn up the heat on decision makers.”
Sympathetic hunger strikes and other local protest actions are being organized by Communities and Postal Workers United, a national grassroots network.
National Call to Action – Washington D.C.
SAVE THE POST OFFICE
June 25 – 28th, Washington DC
America’s Postal Service is being starved to death, A 2006 Congressional mandate forces the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. 10% of the postal budget, $5.5 billion per year goes to prefund benefits for people who aren’t even born yet. Not only would the Postal Service have been profitable without the mandate, the USPS has also over paid tens of billions into two pension funds.
What is Killing the Postal Service?
Not the internet,
Not the recession,
Not private competition,
Congress is killing the postal service !
The Postmaster General’s response is to speed the death spiral by pushing forward massive cuts to service, closures of facilities and the decimation of living wage jobs.
Why ? Corporate Union Busting & Privatization !
We will not stand by as our beloved postal service dies from starvation. A group of postal
patrons and postal workers will declare a hunger strike on June 25th in Washington, DC.
We will shame Congress and denounce the Postmaster General.
We will engage in dramatic actions in the halls of Congress and at USPS Headquarters
to raise public awareness and turn up the heat on decision makers.
We invite all who care about our national treasure – enshrined in the Constitution, serving over 150 million households and businesses six days a week, providing universal mail services at reasonable, uniform rates – to join, endorse and otherwise support our Hunger Strike in Washington, DC or in their local area.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: WWW.CPWUNITED.COM